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Understanding The Cutting Horse’s Job

When shoeing the cutting horse, apply solid basics with a comprehension of what that athlete needs to do

Doyle Blagg will tell you that shoeing cutting horses isn’t rocket science. That’s easy for the Collinsville, Texas, farrier to say — he’s been on and worked under them for almost 60 years.

The fourth generation shoer isn’t saying that successfully shoeing these horses is easy. Instead, he finds there are challenges to keeping a cutting horse sound, but says if you apply the fundamentals of farriery, he feels you avoid complicating things and, therefore, can manage the footcare needs of any breed or discipline.

Blagg has shod all levels of cutting horses, from working ranch horses to the high-end champions, so he understands there are nuances among these competitors that farriers may not find as prevalent among other disciplines. If you
want to do quality work with these horses, Blagg says you need to understand how the fundamentals of farriery apply to them.

Be Aware Of What You Can’t Control

There are always elements that are out of a farrier’s control, and cutting horses are no different. Arena footing is something you have to consider. How will those conditions change from one to the other? Will the horse compete on a surface that is freshly plowed?

Blagg says you likely can’t address all of the variables that will occur between shoeing cycles, but you need to be aware of them and select an appropriate shoe that can manage the various circumstances — without introducing problems.

The Quarter Horses that largely comprise cutting horses are bred for many desirable traits…

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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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