Lameness As The Sum of Many Parts

English farrier describes a case in which a continual quest for information paid off for a horse

KEEP DIGGING. David Nichols, a farrier from Worthing, England, has come to believe that lameness issues often have multiple causes, most of which may seem minor. It’s the sum of all the parts that farriers must diagnose and deal with.

Lameness cases can be very complex. When they are, the more detailed you are in your examination, the better. That’s the lesson to be learned from a case study presented by David Nichols during the International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, earlier this year.

Nichols, from Worthing, England, is an associate of the Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers of Great Britain and a certified journeyman of the Guild of Professional Farriers. Much of his work is done at two equine hospitals in England, where he’s well known for therapeutic work and problem solving.

This particular study involved a high-end sport horse. Nichols indicated that he was almost surprised when the horse was brought into the hospital because of the reputation of the horse’s regular shoer.

“When you look at this farrier’s shoeing, you realize at once that he does excellent work,” says Nichols. “He’s very methodical and extremely strict about the way he treats horses’ feet. It’s very rare to see any of his cases in the hospitals. In fact, when I’ve filled in for him when he’s been on holiday or has been injured, I’ve always been concerned that my work doesn’t look as good as his does.”

Lameness Issues

But the horse, which competed internationally in…

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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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