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Backyard horses can be found just about anywhere. They’ll often be kept in small barns or stables that force farriers to do their shoeing outdoors.
Introducing a new AFJ series that will zero in on what many farriers say provides the backbone of their shoeing book
The first “Shoeing For A Living” story that I ever did pretty much revolved around backyard horses. I spent a late November 2000 day in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley with farrier Monica Hoff, who had driven down from Green Bay.
Hoff made six stops that day, and all but one of them involved backyard horses. I didn’t see a shoe nailed on that day, as some of the horses went barefoot year round and others had already had their shoes pulled for the winter.
But while I didn’t see any actual shoeing, I did see how backyard horse owners care about their horses and got a bit of a feel for the importance of this type of horse in the shoeing books of a lot of farriers.
Many of these farriers tell us backyard horses are the foundation of their business. And it’s surprising how often we find a backyard horse or two tucked into the shoeing day of even very high-end farriers. Our biannual Farrier Business Practices Survey as well as surveys we’ve taken at the International Hoof-Care Summit have consistently shown that well over 90% of farriers include at least some backyard horses among their clientele.
As an example, in 2006 I…