We’ve all had those moments when we take a shortcut during a road trip, only to get lost. Too often, a shortcut in farriery takes a dangerous turn.

Bob Smith, owner of Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School in Plymouth, Calif., urges farriers to avoid shortcuts that could prove costly to your health.

“There’s enough bad things that can happen with good horses,” he says. “You just need to hedge your bets. You need to make sure you’re in control of as many things as you possibly can.”

One way to take control of your environment is picking an appropriate tie area.

 “Sometimes farriers make a decision to shoe a horse in an unsafe area because where you have to go to be safe is too far away,” says the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame member. “Tying a horse to an unsecured fence or post could give way if the horse gets scared. Then you’re going to have a 16-foot 2-by-6 beating you on the head. When that wreck happens, you’re going to get injured.”

Horses are unpredictable animals with minds of their own. Yet, there are times that a farrier will be lulled into a false sense of security that could prove dangerous.

“You haven’t had a wreck, and you think you know the horse,” Smith says. “So, you become a little complacent, and that’s very dangerous. We’ve all got stories of times when we just took for granted the horse, something happened and we had a wreck.”

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