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At the 2003 American Farrier’s Association convention, as part of the Anvil 21 presentation, I talked on keeping the horseshoer sound and healthy. We have all read many articles on keeping the horse sound and working, but very few on the horseshoer.
I am not a nutrition expert or a personal trainer. I am a full-time horseshoer and have been for 36 years. Very early in my career, I had the good fortune to have a client who was a personal trainer and another who had a master’s degree in nutrition. The two of them put me on a program that has kept me very healthy as well as fit to shoe horses every day.
The first thing that you should do is contact a personal trainer who would be willing to watch you shoe a horse. We all stand under a horse a little differently, so we use different muscles. A good personal trainer can tell you exactly what muscles you are using and can put you on a good toning program that will keep you in shape. Farriers do not want to build bulk because bulk limits flexibility and ability to move quickly when necessary.
The trainer should also put you on a good stretching regimen. I stretch every morning and it only takes 5 minutes. I also do mini-stretching before every horse. I try to walk about 12 miles a week, breaking it down into 3 or 4 miles a day over three or…