Don't Forget the Basics When Shoeing Sport Horses

Avoid the traps of accessories by focusing on the needs of the athlete

We can learn a lot from babies.They learn to crawl before walking. Oh sure, once they start walking they’re in a hurry to start running. It’s only human nature. We’re an impatient lot. It’s an urge that farriers no doubt find themselves struggling with from time to time.

In an age when technology and science are improving the ways we live, work and play, it’s easy to get carried away and rush headlong into new advances. It’s also wise to pull back on the reins a bit and remember the fundamentals of shoeing the sport horse, says Welsh farrier Grant Moon.

“Without our basics, there is no way to implement innovation and science,” the Delta Mustad Hoofcare Center clinician told attendees at the 11th annual International Hoof-Care Summit. “You might want to implement science and innovation into your work, but without our craft skills, we have nothing.”

At the most basic of levels, farriers are service providers who trim and apply shoes safely to horses. Of course, it’s not quite that simple. Within those confines there are a host of duties and skills, and some don’t even involve a hoof knife or an anvil.

Open The Lines Of Communication

While the farrier is the one person applying trimming and shoeing skills under the horse, there are other voices to consider — the veterinarian and rider.

“We’re part of a team,” Moon says. “It’s listening to others. It’s appropriate to listen to everybody’s opinion. The rider rides that horse all the…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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