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Having a contingency plan already in place helped British farrier Mark Aikens get through the 8 weeks he was laid up because of a serious injury.
Accidents certainly can happen when farriers are working with horses, but one is always hopeful that it won’t happen to you.
Since the majority of farriers work alone and are self-employed, the ability to earn money and support their families is dependent upon being able to get under horses every day. After all, you don’t get paid for sitting at home.
Trimming and shoeing is an extremely hazardous occupation. Farriers risk burns, cuts, kicks and bites — not to mention the wear and tear on backs, knees, hips, elbows and wrists.
In my 23 years as a British farrier, I’ve had my fair share of injuries. Being able to deal with injuries seems to go along with becoming a successful farrier. Based on my experience, the average farrier will sustain a work-related injury, which will necessitate time off from work, approximately once every 5 years.
With these odds, you need to develop a contingency plan for when this happens to you — and it will happen. Let me relate how I learned the importance of having a plan of attack in place when I was injured by a horse as outlined in the accompanying sidebar.
As I was lifted into the ambulance at the barn following my accident, the idea was already running through my mind as to when…