Andrew Elsbree

Dealing With the Web-Wise Horse Owner

Today’s farriers need to realize second opinions are just a mouse-click away


Web Knowledge is Power. Andrew Elsbree tells farriers it’s important for them to understand that their clients can access all kinds of hoof-care information on the Internet — and that not all of it is accurate.

Some farriers wear the fact that they aren’t computer savvy like a badge of honor.

But like it or not, shoers in this day and age are going to be dealing with the Internet and the World Wide Web — even if they never put their fingers on a keyboard or place their palm over a computer mouse.

The farrier may pretend the Internet doesn’t exist — but horse owners don’t.

“If a client’s horse has a problem, he or she can be online before you are out of the driveway,” farrier Andrew Elsbree told an audience at the International Hoof-Care Summit in January. “In a matter of minutes, they can access information that you have spent 20 years acquiring.”

That might not be the worst thing, but as anyone who has looked on the Internet is all too aware, in addition to that information, horse owners also have access to myths, rumors and outright lies — often presented as absolute facts.

Elsbree, an American Farrier’s Association certified journeyman farrier from Greenville, N.Y., says he had his own Internet epiphany while shoeing for a client with a background in scientific research.

“She had a horse with a quarter crack,” Elsbree recalls. “She looked up quarter crack on the Internet and I had to listen…

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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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