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The Farrier's Role in Enhancing Hunter and Jumper Performance

Shoers are a key part of the team that helps these equine athletes attain their peak


Show jumpers are judged on how fast they can cover a jumping course without knocking down jumps. This is an extremely demanding sport and very few horses have the ability to compete at top levels.

To say that shoeing show hunters and jumpers is a challenging job is an understatement. The competition is intense. Owners, trainers and riders are constantly vigilant to ensure that horses are presented at their very best.

The farrier is just one member of a team that includes the trainer, rider, veterinarian, groom, chiropractor, masseuse and an occasional horse psychic. We each have a job to do.

The farrier’s job, obviously, is to shoe the horse, but it is also to use our experience to recommend shoeing changes to maintain performance. Very often I am given carte blanche in how a horse should be set up and my advice is, “Shoe every one like it was your wife’s horse.”

It is not uncommon for a client to present a new horse for shoeing and tell you he or she knew the horse had some problems when they bought it, but were sure you could fix them. What is important is to understand which problems you can fix — and which ones you can’t.

Hunters Vs. Jumpers

The show jumping world is divided into two different segments, show hunters and show jumpers. Show hunters are subjectively judged for conformation and type, their way of going (how pretty they trot and canter) and their form when jumping…

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Red Renchin

Red Renchin was a long-time farrier who called Mequon, Wis., and Wellington, Fla. home. A native of Minnesota and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame, he served as Technical Editor of American Farriers Journal. Renchin passed away in 2015.

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