Watch Your Back

If your toolbox is not both farrier and horse friendly, it’s not doing the job you need it to do

When it comes to protecting both yourself and the horse you’re working on, there are some serious safety issues to consider when selecting the toolbox that best fits your practice. To protect their backs and to get early warning signals that the horse behind them may be ready to make a dangerous move, more farriers are looking closer at the advantages of using a taller toolbox equipped with wheels.

“Some toolboxes are as hard on the farrier’s body as the actual trimming and shoeing itself,” says Sherrill Spears, the operator of Nature Farms Farrier Supply in Norman, Okla. “When you’re in a shoeing position and have to extend and twist your body to reach your tools, you’re opening yourself up for serious injury.”

Where’s That #*%! Tool?

“Make sure you always know where your tools are,” says Lee Green of The Shoein’ Shop in Yucaipa, Calif. “Never walk off and leave your tools close to a horse. Instead, just wheel the toolbox to the side and away from the horse while you go back to the truck or talk with a client.”

Spears urges shoers to keep their tools separated, whether with tubes or partitioned shelves. “Always know where your tools are and place them in the same place in your toolbox every time,” says Spears. “After 2 or 3 days of placing your tools in the same place each time, you’ll know exactly where every tool is located. You’ll be able to retrieve a tool without even looking for…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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