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NOT YOUR FAULT. If gait problems develop a day or two after you shoe a horse, keep in mind that it’s not always your fault. Make sure you and the horse owner keep all possibilities in mind before you take the blame.
You hate that next-day phone call. It usually starts off with a horse owner on the other end of the phone saying, “You were working on my horse yesterday, and now he’s not walking correctly.” Immediately the horse owner wants to blame you, but you know that you didn’t do anything wrong.
Instead of snapping back at the client, the best thing to do is to consider all the reasons why the horse could be having problems. It may be purely coincidental that the horse is experiencing pain or walking difficulties shortly after you worked on the animal.
While it may not be your job to educate your clients about all the possibilities as to why their horse is experiencing gait abnormalities — it may be in your best interest to do so. There are several situations that are mistakenly blamed on farriers, according to Richard A. Mansmann, who operates a chronic-lameness practice in Apex, N.C. Mansmann is also an International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame member and he serves as director of the equine health program of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.