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Author Heather Smith Thomas shoes horses regularly, but she says she’s not a farrier. By that she means she doesn’t make a living shoeing horses. In fact, the only horses she shoes are her own.
But she has done so for a long time, having lived on a ranch for most of her life. She has raised and trained horses for 45 years, and she learned to shoe as a practical matter.
That’s the perspective she brings to her new book, Understanding Equine Hoof Care. From her ranch in Salmon, Idaho, she has written a book that targets conscientious horse owners who want to monitor the hooves of their animals, maintain the soundness of the feet and perhaps tackle trimming and shoeing.
The result is an easy-to-read, 160-page paperback book that covers the basics of equine foot care.
Knowledgeable farriers have little to gain from the book — although a little review never hurt anyone — but it would be a fine starting point for anyone interested in becoming a shoer, with the understanding that additional study and training would be required to become a true professional.
Also, farriers who believe that hoof-smart horse owners make the best clients might consider recommending this book to their customers and others.
Smith Thomas, an experienced author who has written 13 other books on equine health care and training, provides a logical presentation of the basics.
The nine chapters advance from the introductory “Hoof Structure and Foot Facts” to the concluding…