Often a new client is a first-time horse owner and doesn’t know much about hoof care.
By educating new owners more about hoof care, the farrier can encourage them to take an active role in the health of the horse’s feet.
Mike Pownall, a farrier-veterinarian in Campbellville, Ontario, says most horse owners, especially those who are new, are starved for information.
“The more you can educate them, the better they can make good decisions,” says the partner of McKee-Pownall Equine Services. “This is not going to happen overnight. It takes lots of follow-up, highlighting things that they need to keep after — such as underrun heels, foot bruises or toe cracks. You can’t ignore things or just assume they don’t want to know. Part of our job is to advise them on the best ways to take care of their horse’s feet.”
Some owners are more open to advice and suggestions than others.
Tia Nelson, a farrier-veterinarian in Helena, Mont., says sometimes you have to be very direct.
Farrier Paul Goodness, right, says taking time to point out and explain issues like thrush or a sore spot can help owners understand how a foot can be healthier.
“You might need to insist they learn how to pick out their horse’s feet,” she says. “You can hint or try to be subtle or diplomatic, but unless you tell them directly what needs to be done, some of them just don’t get it.”
Despite persistent advice and warnings…