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When it comes to footcare work, there are probably more similarities than differences among top shoers from around the world. That’s what American Farriers Journal editors learned about hoof care from competitors at the World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition held during last year’s Calgary Stampede.
Another message that came through loud and clear was that there is a great interest among these top-notch shoers in expanding their trimming and shoeing knowledge.
Ian Pope of Cape Town, South Africa, says farriers in his country have to shoe more horses in order to make a decent living than shoers in North America. “A typical shoer does 15 to 20 horses a day,” he says. “Our average price for trimming and shoeing is $40 to $60 when converted into American dollars.”
“Many farriers are overworked and have no time to hot fit or make shoes,” adds Scott Borland of Alberton. “With better access to continuing education, we will acquire better skills and become more professional, ultimately enabling us to earn professional money.
“Many older farriers struggle and will never have the privilege of any sort of retirement, after a lifetime of shoeing. Where does this leave us, and how do we go about rectifying it? We are making inroads, but it will take time.”
Borland says a typical South African farrier works with 400 horses each year. “The number of horses that one needs is so high that a farrier will shoe just about anything to make a living,” says Borland. “As…