Farriers' Roundtable

Q. How do you deal with horse owners who want to get actively involved in their horse’s hoof care?

A. The first things I do are thank and applaud them; good hoof care is the result of a team effort. Well-informed clients can save the farrier a lot of headaches and create a wonderful relationship between you and them. I find this type of person loves the information I give and truly wants to help his or her horse (the real client).

People love to be informed, but not necessarily taught. We all (myself included) are at times guilty of trying to sound overly intelligent. We use big words and throw them out fast in an effort to make ourselves sound more professional. I remember a young shoer at a clinic who defined the movement of the hoof capsule as “fluid dynamics.” Sorry, but to me, fluid dynamics is what wakes me up at 3 a.m.

Another farrier, talking very rapidly, once told me about how the suspensory ligament bifurcates and extends distally; where it divides, where it attaches, etc. He went to great lengths to make it clear to me that he knew all the anatomy. 

While glad that I knew what he was saying, it occurred to me that if I didn’t, I might feel separated from the conversation. In my opinion, we can easily reach a point at which we cease telling clients what we know and begin telling them what they don’t know. That will not…

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