What do horseshoers do?
The answer is so simple, not to mention so incredibly obvious, that it might strike some as a trick question. Or, others might find it foolish. Yet, it’s an important question that all farriers should keep in mind.
After more than 30 years in practice, as well as serving as lead farrier for Great Britain’s Olympic dressage and showjumping team, it’s still one that Haydn Price keeps top of mind each time he gets under a horse, he told attendees at the 2013 International Hoof-Care Summit.
“I have a slight fear that we’ve gone from being practical people to almost sort of semi-research scientists,” Price says. “We have to look at these horses, we have to be able to take that knowledge, that understanding and that learning and actually apply it in the things we do on a daily basis.
“I’m involved with the research and data collection, and I advocate for it,” adds the Welsh farrier. “I certainly also think that we need to bring it back to the table and remember that we shoe horses.”
Once at the table, a farrier must have an understanding of textbook anatomy and be able to apply it functionally.
“You must know all of the structures that are involved,” Price says, “because if we go into executing a shoeing process, you will at some stage involve those tissues.”
When confronting a case involving hoof deformation (Figure 1), understanding textbook anatomy and the forces that…