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It isn’t unusual for farriers to find themselves having to make difficult decisions. When part of your job involves meeting the expectations of others, you will often find yourself struggling to address unfair or confusing issues.
We took several tough questions from novice shoers and gave them to a few members of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame for their answers. Although you may not agree with their opinions, this article will reveal how some successful farriers have resolved tough situations.
A. First, remain professional on the phone and in person. Make an appointment as soon as possible to evaluate the horse. Listen and make eye contact with the client as she explains the problem as she sees it, without interrupting. Remember that the horse may be a personal pet and emotions sometimes get in the way of logic.
Watch the horse move and evaluate the lameness, isolating it to a specific leg/foot. Check for a digital pulse. A normal horse at rest usually does not have a digital pulse. A strong digital pulse would be indicative of a foot problem. Use your hoof testers in an attempt to find the specific area of the foot that is the problem.
Attempt to find the cause of the lameness. Remember that this is not a “blame game,” but an honest attempt on your part to help the horse and satisfy your client.