It's All About Balance

Veteran Standardbred farrier Ed Warrington maintains many shoers tend to address the effect of a footcare problem rather than dealing with the cause

In 53 years of shoeing, Ed Warrington is still trying to figure out the best approach to getting Standardbred owners, trainers, veterinarians and farriers on the same page for the betterment of the horse.

It’s been 53 years since Ed Warrington started shoeing Standardbred racehorses. And he says determining the best way to balance these horses is just as important today as it was back then.

The Townsend, Del., shoer grew up in his father’s livestock auction business. In the late 1950s, the family converted the sale barn into an 80-stall training center and built a half-mile track for training Standardbreds.

“Standardbreds were big in the area at that time and still are,” says Warrington. “I did the shoeing at our training center along with another dozen training centers within a hour’s drive.

“I kept busy shoeing Standardbreds along with some backyard horses, Pony Club horses and 3-day horses.”

Warrington also shod horses at 10 pari-mutuel Standardbred tracks located within a 2-hour drive of home.

“When I was younger, I did most of my shoeing in the shops at these racetracks,” he says. “It was a big benefit, as I could drive to work every morning, open the shop door and go right to work. I didn’t have to unload the truck every day to start work and my shoeing schedule was normally set 2 or 3 days in advance.

“Another advantage to working in the shop was that most tracks stabled 1,000 to 1,200 horses. They required one…

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Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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