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Q: One of the most important — yet often overlooked — aspects of shoeing, is the dangerous and difficult working conditions that farriers must endure. Of all the barns I’ve ever worked at, only two have made any effort to install the safety improvements I requested! At one large barn, I played electrician (since nobody else would) to install badly needed lighting for an area I often worked in. I received no assistance in this effort. In fact, while I was doing this electrical work, the “jefe” was working on the barn-owner’s sailboat.
Even something as simple as a carport, with a few added amenities, would make most farriers lives vastly easier. Sadly, most barn owners would rather ignore the issue and hope it goes away. But the problem isn’t going to go away for a variety of reasons, the biggest of them being that it’s a safety issue and we farriers can’t afford the liability insurance.
I was showing a friend of mine around a barn which actually has a real blacksmith shop work area built into it and he asked me, “Do you lease this space?” At first, I was mortified and puzzled by the question — but now I wonder if he isn’t on to something here.
Horse trainers lease these facilities and boarders pay their share. But we farriers expect to come in, do our work, collect our pay and leave. What does the property owner get out of this? No wonder there’s no incentive to…