Concerns With Hoof Care Today

Four farriers discuss traits behind poor footcare and how to earn the trust of clients

While at the 2014 Cornell Farrier Conference, American Farriers Journal sat down with four farriers, each running a distinctly different practice, ranging from backyard clients to a veterinary clinic to high-end athletes:

  • Kalam Blessing — A 2012 graduate of the Cornell Farrier Program, his fledgling practice covers the Finger Lakes area of New York.
  • Dave Farley — The main focus of Farley’s practice is sport horses that compete in Wellington, Fla., Kentucky and in international competitions. His first professional year as a farrier was 1967.
  • Steve Kraus — The head of Farrier Services and a lecturer at the Large Animal Hospital at Cornell University, Kraus became a professional farrier in 1971.
  • Jack Millman — A farrier and clinician for nearly 40 years, Millman’s practice is based in Worthington, Mass., but he has traveled throughout the United States shoeing horses.

During this session, we talked about a variety of equine footcare topics. However, a popular theme throughout the discussion was issues affecting modern farriery. Here are some thoughts from these four farriers.

Dave, you’ve discussed seeing horses with the wrong type of shoeing. What do you see as the horses come down to Florida?

Dave Farley: It’s not as much a balance issue these days. I think the industry has become so much better, especially with medial-lateral balance.

Instead, with the horses that I see, their problems are more related to the incorrect shoe choice. I see the tendencies of not just one horse, but collectively of the farrier who…

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