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Rookie farriers often find themselves suffering from a lack of confidence when it comes to dealing with horse owners.
To help you overcome these worries, we’ve asked five veteran farriers for their best ideas on communicating about footcare with owners.
Steve Kraus says it’s essential for new farriers to understand the basics of footcare before thinking about how to discuss the more complicated issues. The long-time Trumansburg, N.Y., shoer and resident farrier for the Cornell University veterinary school finds providing too much detail in footcare explanations can overwhelm many horse owners.
Chris Richardson agrees that there’s a need to keep explanations simple. “Tell owners what you see, explain your plan of action and put in plain words what it will mean for the horse,” says the farrier from Delaware, Ohio. “If you change your plan halfway through the process, take the time to tell them why. At this stage in your career, you should have decent knowledge of equine anatomy and be able to explain what you’re doing.”
Mike DeLeonardo suggests that new shoers explain how the growing hoof is affected by climate change, feed, environment and the horse’s usage. The veteran farrier from Salinas, Calif., says to explain how the typical hoof grows 1/8 to 1/4 inch per month and why the farrier needs to see these horses every 6 to 8 weeks to properly balance the hooves and avoid problems that can cause stress on the joints, tendons and ligaments.
“Sell them on how…