How Your Environment and Equipment Affect Your Health Down the Road

A long career in farriery means it is never too early to evaluate the tools and environment of your work

The conditions you work in can either support you in having a healthy, well-functioning body, or it can exhaust and possibly even harm you. While some aspects of the working environment might be out of your hands, taking thoughtful, respectful action may allow you to influence or even directly control many labor-saving variables.

Work Surface

A horse will be ideally positioned on concrete or mats with a solid footing underneath, instead of soft dirt or uneven ground. It’s more comfortable, and more energy efficient.

“You’ll expend more energy if you’re working under poor conditions,” advises Lee Green, CJF, owner of The Shoein’ Shop in Yucaipa, Calif., who says he was literally in a rut working at one barn.

“Years ago, I was at a nice stable and the area they gave me to work in was OK, but there were ruts from when they’d take the manure cart in and out of the barn. I never could get them to fix that up, and not only was it frustrating, it was also time and energy-consuming to have to deal with the uneven ground.”

If your client balks, you might re-frame a request for a hard, flat surface as being the best surface for the safety of the horse and overall shoeing results. However, Tom Wolfe, CJF, from Montana State University’s Horseshoeing School in Bozeman, says when it comes to environment put your well-being first.

“I think it’s harder for younger shoers or those starting out, because they want the business…

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