DON’T LOOK NOW. For farriers in the northern climates, snow and ice and subfreezing temperatures will be here all too soon. That means making adjustments for the good of the horses and the farriers.
Shoers in the north, start practicing now. Put away your calendar. Avoid eye contact with your weatherman. Don’t look up while the leaves change color and the birds fly south.
Get good enough at ignoring the signs of winter, and maybe you’ll be able to overlook the cold and snow when it arrives. Then you can keep shoeing the way you have been since spring.
Maybe it’s a long shot, but so were last year’s Boston Red Sox.
For shoers looking for a better bet, we offer helpful tips from several longtime farriers who’ve stared down winter while doing right by the horses they tend to.
Like Esco Buff, CF and PhD, who has adapted to shoeing in frigid Webster, N.Y. He starts with a positive attitude toward winter.
“I prefer to shoe horses in the winter over summer any day,” he says. “You can always get warmer, but not always cooler. I have a lot less problems in the winter. I wear my Carhardt bibs, long-sleeve shirts, a vest and maybe a loose sweatshirt over that. No need for a coat or gloves unless the temperature gets down to minus 30 F.
“In the summer I can’t shoe in this New York humidity once it hits about 85 F,” he adds, “whereas in…