Stage Secrets and Horseshoes

Long Island farrier shares what he’s learned about alternatives to traditional metal horseshoes while working on Broadway’s four-legged hoofers

Like many other farriers, Gary Werner of Smithtown, N.Y., has a varied clientele. He does most of his shoeing on Long Island and a lot of his clients are your average horse owner, with a horse or two kept in a small stable in the backyard.

But some of his other clients have included Elton John and David Letterman. He also shod the horse ridden by scantily clad models in a recent Victoria’s Secret television advertisement, although he admits he doesn’t think a lot of folks noticed the shoeing job.

Unusual Shoe Venues

The non-Long Island portion of Werner’s farrier business takes him to Manhattan, where he’s shod horses that have appeared at Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall, and that have performed with the Metropolitan Opera and the New York City Ballet. He’s shod horses that appeared on the David Letterman Show and in an Elton John-produced play.

Shoeing these show business horses has given Werner extensive experience in working with non-metal shoes, since his clients usually don’t want metal shoes marking up their sound stages, studios and sets. He’s used a wide variety of such shoes and says his experience with them has led him to use them more extensively in other areas of his practice, including in therapeutic work.

“These shoes are not fads to me,” he told an audience during a presentation at the Cornell Farrier’s Conference in Ithaca, N.Y., in November.

Bad Vibrations

Werner believes that the biggest selling point for many non-metal shoes…

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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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