Regardless how you feel about hot button issue of immigration, Spanish-speaking laborers are now a permanent fixture of national economy. Both legal and illegal immigrants in these circumstances provide cheap labor that various  industries, including the equine, are unwilling to relinquish.

These workers can become an advantage for your hoof-care practice. Being able to communicate with the workers will increase your efficiency and save you money. For example, a trusted groom can keep an eye on a horse you're concerned about. Or that groom can administer thrush treatment, saving you a trip to the barn.

Learning a foreign language is not an easy or quick undertaking. However, learning a few key sentences can improve your ability to communicate with Spanish-speaking grooms. In turn, developing these relationships will provide you with eyes, ears and hands for you when away from your clients' barns.

1.) Please bring me the horse from the paddock.  

Spanish: Por favor, tráeme el caballo del potrero.

Variable: Need the horse to go back to its stall? Substitute "establo" for "potrero." 

2.) Please take this horse to the paddock.

Spanish: Por favor, lleve este caballo al potrero.

Variable: Sometimes you'll need to refer to the horse by its name. For example, if the horse's name is "Lucky," substitute "Lucky for "el caballo."

Several other key sentences and words will be featured in the next edition of AFJ's Getting Started in Hoof Care.

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