Horses in winter make an attractive picture, but farriers need to take care to protect horses’ feet during the cold months.

The Farrier in the Freezer

When temperatures plummet and the snow flies, farriers need to begin their winter hoof care practices

There are some areas of the world where above freezing temperatures prevail throughout the year. That means farriers can have a relatively stable approach toward how they service their clients and the horses in their charge. However, for those of us who have elected to live where the snow flies and temperatures plummet, plunging shoer and horse into the deep freeze for a part of each year, there are additional considerations to keep in mind to ensure that the horses we care for and our businesses remain healthy.

Client Relations

With the arrival of winter, the ground freezes up and temperatures drop to below zero. What client really wants to put on all those extra warm clothes, boots, mittens, etc., and then tromp through 2 feet of snow to catch a horse for a farrier? Ever run into this problem?

Unfortunately a lot of horse owners do very little — if anything — with their equine friends during the cold months. Often, they’ll ignore all but their most basic needs, such as being fed and watered. For many, the shows, rodeos and special rides are all over for another year. Out of sight and out of mind sometimes, unfortunately, rules the day.

But this is when a farrier can be of extra value to clients. It is critical to educate them to the fact that regular hoof care is important not only during the busy riding season, but also during their horses’ off months. We must continue to encourage…

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Patrick ards

Patrick Ards

Patrick Ards, APF-I, owns and operates Clearhills Farrier Services in Grande Prairie, Alberta.

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