What was something you've done in the past few years to improve your safety on the job?

This can be for any aspect of farriery.

I stopped taking every snide I'm presented with. I'll honestly try to work with a horse, but if we're not getting anywhere after a half an hour, I charge for a full trim and tell them I'm not there to train them and offer to come back if they'll have the vet dope them.

I make sure I wear ear and eye protection whenever I'm at the anvil or using power tools. When I unpack my rig I put the safety glasses on my anvil so they are in the way before I begin working, which insures that I will use them.
—Mike Paparo

I have changed three main things that I can think of. 

  1. I bend my nails over instead of wringing them off. It leaves less sharp edges in case a horse pulls its foot away, along with helps me achieve a better finish. 
  2. I now wear safety glasses while using the grinder and working in the forge. I haven't had to go to the eye doctor since this change.
  3. I don't take on bad horses anymore unless they are willing to sedate. Can't work injured, so I try to prevent injuries.


I know some guys don't wear them but steel toe boots with metatarsal guards are on my feet every day. More than once I have had a horse come down on my foot and without them I would have been in a world of hurt. It also seems that when a horse steps on the hard steel toe he is more likely to pick his foot up vs stepping on a soft shoe where he just stands there.

Share your thoughts in the comments section below...

>>Read more Q&As