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Backyard horses — “Fluffy” to the author — come in all shapes and sizes and form the backbone of many farrier practices.
Backyard horses have an important place in your shoeing book
A backyard horse, by my definition, is simply a horse that lives in someone’s backyard. They are not associated with a commercial boarding or training facility. These horses could range from the weekend trail horse, retired pets or once fierce competitors in the wide range of equine disciplines.
Maintaining a book of backyard horses is the cornerstone of my business, as well as of many other farriers across the country. I live in a small town with a large horse population, where the economy is influenced greatly by horses. In fact, the county I live in has the largest horse population in the state.
The areas surrounding large cities are the best place to have backyard clients. In areas like that, it is easy to maintain a book of good backyard customers. In areas away from a city, horses get too spread out and there is a lot of time spent driving. From a practical viewpoint, it is important to be able to work in one area and group a bunch of horses together.
Shoeing backyard horses is not without challenges. Working conditions vary and working around the owners’ schedules can be difficult. Another challenge is the economy. The harsh economic conditions of recent years have hit the industry hard, forcing some owners to sell or…