Farriers' Roundtable

Q: How do you get owners to provide a good working area?

A: The first thing I do is explain to the owners how a clean and level environment will make the job easier and safer and will produce a better-quality job for the horse. I look around the area I will be shoeing in and determine if it is satisfactory.

If it isn’t, I’ll ask if there is a better place where I can shoe the horse with these things in mind:

  1. A flat and level surface that is large enough for the horse to stand comfortably and allow myself freedom of movement.
  2. Adequate lighting — either by natural light or electrical. Inadequate lighting can throw shadows that distort the view of the foot. Proper lighting is crucial to seeing the foot and making the right assessment.
  3. An electrical outlet within a reasonable distance.
  4. Ample parking so I can park my truck without blocking normal activity of the barn or facility.
  5. A shelter must be provided if the weather is inclement or hot.
  6. I ask questions about the horses themselves. For example, can they be tied or do they need to be held by someone? If horses can be tied, I prefer to tie them to a rail.
  7. A clean and dry area. Wet and muddy surfaces are very difficult to work in and do a proper shoeing job.
  8. I tell the client that I prefer to work on mats, asphalt or cement if at all possible. It’s easier…
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