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How to Prepare for a Successful Career Shoeing Gaited Show Horses

What you need to know before ever picking up a foot

Farrier Takeaways

  • Gaited horse clients expect a great deal from the trainers, farriers, veterinarians and grooms, who play important roles in preparing their horses for the ring.
  • People working with horses must expect and respect the fact that they must start at the bottom and earn their place in the hierarchy of the horse industry community.
  • Shoeing show horses is more complicated and precise than shoeing many other breeds/types. Handmade shoes are built to a specified weight and configuration.

Gaited show horses are a small niche within the horse industry, and shoeing them is equally so within the farrier industry.

Before putting on an apron and picking up a foot, a farrier must understand the discipline, potential clientele and what is expected in the horses’ hoof care.

Clients and Their Horses

Only a few thousand horses are registered each year including American Saddlebreds, Morgans, Arabs, Hackneys, Shetlands and a few others. Show horses are cared for and trained much differently than those in most other disciplines. As such, their hoof care is equally different. Farriers must be specialized to properly accommodate the requirements of the discipline.

Upper-level show horse owners are usually wealthy and rarely present on a daily basis with their horses. Horses with a strong presence and elegance are desired by the clients. World champions are a combination of genetics, training and management. They pay a premium for winning horses, whose value can be several hundred thousand dollars.

They also place a high standard on the horses’ care…

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Doug butler 0917

Doug Butler

Doug Butler and his sons Jake and Pete run Butler Professional Farrier School, LLC near Chadron, Neb. They have trained successful farriers from all over the world. Their weekly “Farrier Focus Podcast” features interviews with successful horsemen and farriers. They have authored many of the standard texts used for modern farrier training. Doug was one of 51 teachers interviewed by Bill Smoot for his 2010 book “Conversations with Great Teachers” published by Indiana University Press.
Lauren faas

Lauren Faas

Lauren Faas is a graduate of Butler Professional Farrier School and operates Faas Farrier Services in Williamsburg, Iowa. She has won national championships in show pony driving.

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