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Bob Marshall offers hands-on instruction to attendees at the Handmade Shoes Ltd. clinic.
“The horse tells you whether you are doing a good job,” was the message clinician Bob Marshall left with attendees at the November clinic at Handmade Shoes Ltd. Marshall, of Mission, British Columbia, a five-time winner of the World Championship Blacksmiths’ title, told his audience it was important to consider not only the foot, but also what they expect of the horse when planning its footcare.
Marshall used a slide show featuring a variety of images, including the Grand National where horses are shod in their simplest form, yet exposed to extreme demands; the inappropriate use of egg bars in a jumping horse; a video example of riders feeling the difference in different types of shoeing and the application of concave shoes in a variety of situations.
With 52 years in the farriery industry, Marshall has seen many horseshoeing fads come and go. While he freely admits that he doesn’t always know what is right, when faced with a particular shoeing dilemma, he won’t do what he knows to be wrong — even if it’s what a vet wants.
He insists that most farriers will face difficult situations with vets and the solution is to work alongside each other, explain your ideas, discuss them with the vet and gain mutual respect.
Marshall believes the reason for shoeing a horse is for protection and to provide traction, with the trim supporting it. If you stand a horse square…