Farrier Advice: Communicate Directly

Chris Penola grew up with horses, but despite his early impressions, he didn’t initially realize that farriery was a viable profession. As he gained a broader view of the horse world, Penola found out otherwise

After spending his earlier career in business and entrepreneurship, Penola entered the farrier profession. As the Newtown, Pa., farrier met more hoof-care colleagues, Penola learned that the career “farrier” actually represents a broad spectrum. Coming from a career outside the farrier industry, he could see how that spectrum could be difficult for non-farriers to navigate. In particular, there is no uniform path to become or education required to be a farrier. While veterinarians spend years in school, that isn’t the case with many farriers. Therefore, some veterinarians may encounter some defensiveness in encounters with some farriers.

“Under these circumstances, veterinarians may have a tough situation because the farrier is competent, but that person could be defensive in the face of a very educated person,” he says. “Although this person should be confident because they’re knowledgeable and skillful, they may have a bit of a chip on their shoulder. If a veterinarian dictates to that type of farrier — one who doesn’t want to be told what to do — they become defensive. Once they’re defensive, then they’re blind.”


  • Prevent previous negative experiences with farriers from influencing your relationship with farriers you’ll work with in the future.
  • Making direct contact with a farrier will help initiate a good relationship.
  • Be mindful of your response when…
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Jeremy mcgovern

Jeremy McGovern

Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.

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