Don't Leave Safety to Chance

Taking precautions doesn’t have to be time consuming

The fabric of farriery is interwoven with risk.

The moment a horseshoer ventures alone into the world of the self-employed, the risk component skyrockets. It’s already a dicey proposition involving large animals that can run, kick and stomp without warning. Hot forges, heavy hammers, sharp knives and abrasive rasps only heighten the prospect of injury.

While it’s easy to wave off safety measures as inconvenient, cutting corners just to save time could prove costly. In the blink of an eye, the sounds of children playing near a barn can spook a horse and unleash a devastating chain of events that could result in a very uncertain future for you and your family.

Farriers from around the country lend their considerable know-how on the precautions they take each day to help improve their chances of avoiding serious injury while on the job.

The Lay Of The Land

When arriving at an area where you intend to shoe, be sure to assess your surroundings. Is the surface slippery because of water, ice or mud? Are there shovels, horse blankets or trash cans nearby? Is there a loose piece of tin jutting from the side of the barn that could cut you or the horse?

“The most important thing is having a clean shoeing area,” says Steve Sermersheim, owner of Midwest Horseshoeing School in Divernon, Ill. “A lot of times there are brooms, muck buckets and other stuff that are left in the area. I want to make sure I remove it. The…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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