Chris Wickliffe works with a horse in his practice that ends up with sore feet every winter as he starts training for the upcoming spring and summer show circuit. “We radiographed him and he had 18 degrees of rotation,” says the Gresham, Ore., veterinarian. “The horse had worked for 3 years like this, doing amazingly well on softer surfaces. But when winter rolled around and he went on frozen, hard ground, it was just too much.”
Wickliffe has also worked with horses with sore feet in the spring where the client comments that the same thing happened last year, but the problem went away on its own. Wickliffe says this indicates that the horses are developing very subtle laminitis each spring from being turned out on lush new grass.
Mike Hayward has built his footcare business around showing up on time and always keeping clients in the loop regarding delays throughout the day. “When I was in shoeing school, I learned the major client complaints are that shoers don’t show up on time, don’t stick to appointments or even make them,” says the Los Gatos, Calif., farrier. When Hayward’s delayed, he calls or texts the client and gives them a 2-hour time frame as to when he will arrive at their barn. As the day progresses, he provides them with a more precise time of arrival.