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One thing I’ve admired about farriers is the professional courtesy often shown to one another. It is common to hear farriers say that they won’t criticize the work of other hoof-care professionals because they simply don’t know what the other farriers were facing. Try to think of another industry — especially one in which independent contractors cover the same territories and cater to a limited number of clientele — that has this level of camaraderie.
However, at times a few farriers I’ve met have critiqued the work of another shoer despite having just said it isn’t their practice to do so. I’m not sure these farriers are aware that they just violated their own self-imposed rule.
I thought about professional courtesy on the day I spent with farrier Sean Travers (Pages 26-38). Based in Rhode Island, Travers travels the United States shoeing Morgans. He has a solid practice and is well regarded among the owners, trainers and riders of that discipline.
I know some members of the farrier industry don’t agree with the type of shoeing used by Morgan farriers and other long-footed, gaited disciplines. For the most part, the essence of the arguments is that the footcare philosophy and packages used aren’t good for the horse.
Instead of looking at the work of a shoer like Travers and evaluating that farrier’s work on its own, these farriers take a broad-brush approach and condemn the whole discipline by sampling extreme examples.
I won’t get into whether…