Wet Climate Fails To Dampen The Joy Of Farriery

Soggy conditions present plenty of hoof-care challenges for Virginia farrier

The skies have opened and a steady rain falls on a September morning in the southeastern Virginia countryside.

Folks in the Tidewater region are no strangers to a wet day. They get more than 46 1/2 inches of rain a year, which is almost 8 inches more than what falls on Seattle annually.

While it’s by no means a frog-strangling gully-washer, the rain is steady enough to add more than 1 1/2 inches when the day is done. And, as it is in most corners of the world, a significant rain such as this is the main topic of conversation at Thunderhorse Farm in Zuni, Va.

“We’ve had our fair share of rain lately,” says Darren Owen, owner of Indian Fields Farrier Service in Suffolk, Va. “It rained so much one day last week that some downtown Norfolk streets were shut down because they were under water.”

A wet climate such as this leaves quite an impression on horses’ feet.

“Hooves just suck up the water,” he says as rain pelts the barn roof. “We had some horses that came here from out West, where it’s pretty arid and leaves feet dry and hard. The wet climate here actually changes the size of their feet. We had some that swelled from a 00 to a 0 or a 0 1/2.”

9:30 a.m. Wendy Snyder boards about 25 horses at the historic Thunderhorse Farm. Ownership of the 27-acre farm can be traced to a royal land grant given to the Powell…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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