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When we asked American Farriers Journal readers to gaze into their crystal balls, they came up with a number of insightful predictions that they see coming in the footcare world.
The following 35 anticipated changes that may occur during the next decade are compiled from dozens of predictions gleaned from readers.
1. Horseshoes may become wider, tougher and lighter as competition horses become bigger and heavier. New shoe designs will help prevent injuries and improve locomotion and reduce the need for forging handmade shoes.
2. Shoes made from synthetics, composites, rubber and combinations of metal and plastic that serve as effective shock absorbers will gain usage. However, steel and aluminum shoes will continue to be the most popular styles.
3. Hoof-protection products that function like a shoe or hoof boot that can simply be brushed onto the hoof, sole and hoof wall will appear in the market. These products will last for hundreds of miles of training, exercise and racing.
4. Highly educated and technologically savvy clients will demand different ways of communicating among the owner, farrier, trainer and vet. The result will be greater attention to detail that will lead to improved hoof-care service and performance.
5. More horse owners will admit that the majority of horses can’t be left barefoot. However, the barefoot movement will not go away.
6. As more city folks take early retirement and head to the country, farriers will be dealing with well-educated and well-funded professional business people who may lack “horse sense.”