The Blame Game

Lame horses might have legitimate complaints, but they don’t point fingers at farriers. Should you?

When dissatisfied with the work of a farrier, one horse owner told us, she likes to “hit the nail on the head and get the air cleared. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s a necessary evil.”

It could get even uglier, when you, the next farrier on the scene, get pulled in by this or any other horse owner looking for an opinion. You bend over the feet of the problem horse, find what you believe to be truly bad shoeing, then look up into the eyes of a glaring, expectant owner.

What do you say?

Do you offer a polite but meek, “Geez, it’s really hard to say how this happened.”

Or do you find the farrier guilty as accused, verbally blast him right out of his rig and start counting the dollars soon to come your way from his former client? This would be justifiable, wouldn’t it, based on his sub-par work and, more importantly, the genuine benefits the horse would receive from your better care? 

That’s what American Farriers Journal wanted to know, so we posed this question to subscribers of the e-mailed “Shoeing Tip Of The Week.” A trainer, veterinarian or horse owner asks you to look at a lame horse and after a careful examination, you conclude that the problem is caused by the way the horse has been shod or trimmed by another farrier. How do you handle this situation?

Farriers Weigh In

Matt Carava, a farrier in Arcadia, Calif., draws a hard line…

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Ron Perszewski

Ron Perszewski is a freelance writer and former associate editor of Ameri­can Farriers Journal.

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