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I just returned from the early December meeting of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) in Anaheim, Calif. Like attending many other conferences, I always visit with as many exhibitors as I can to find out what role hoof care plays in their business.
One conversation with an architectural firm really stood out for me at the AAEP trade show. This is one of those noteworthy firms that designs vet clinics and horse barns that rival the Taj Majal.
I told the firm’s rep that I’ve found that many vet clinics we’ve visited have done a good job in the last decade of giving the farrier a “home” in the facility. However, I told him I was disappointed in many of the high-end horse barns that the AFJ editors see, in that there rarely seems to be a dedicated spot solely for the farrier’s work.
He was dismissive and essentially replied that farriers should be OK with working in the wash rack.
Granted, I’m not in the market for a vet clinic or horse barn, so he was well within his right to lose interest in talking to me. But maybe if he listened to what I’d tell him about farriery, he’d realize that his firm — and those like it — have been doing their customers a disservice by ignoring a farrier’s need to practice his or her trade in a proper environment.
Now, I’m not talking about the backyard clients, where a farrier is happy…