Shoeing The Whole Horse

Lessons From Woody: A Revolutionary Approach To Farriery

THIS ARTICLE is not about a new way to do things. It doesn’t tout a method or pretend to teach you “how-to.”

Many ideas presented here are as old as the hills, and so it isn’t intended to inflate my reputation, or necessarily to cause you to change the way you handle your tools or your forge.

What the editors of American Farriers Journal have invited me to do is something far more dangerous and far-reaching: change the way you see and the way you think about your work as a professional farrier. While this article is intended for farriers, the information it contains is equally important for you to pass along to horse owners, riders, trainers, veterinarians, equine dentists, and chiropractors—the whole horse-management team.

The process of change starts with learning the meaning of the word paradigm (pronounced PAIR-a-dime).

What Is A Paradigm?

Farriery could certainly qualify as one of the biological sciences. Farriery ought to be science as much as art and technique, and belongs in the broad category of biology just as much as other medical and quasi-medical sciences.

Farriery has its greatest affinities with such fields of endeavor as physiotherapeutics (rehabilitation of injuries to the musculo-skeletal system), human kinesiology (detailed study of the golfer’s swing or the runner’s physical technique) and orthopedics (the science of correcting and preventing skeletal deformities).

The modern practice of farriery evolved from the 900s A.D., when the much-feared Magyars scored Europe with long-distance raids ridden at lightning speed, made possible by…

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Dr_deb_bennett

Deb Bennett

Dr. Deb Bennett has studied classification, evolution, anatomy and biomechanics of the horse. She worked at the Smithsonian Institution, until founding the Equine Studies Institute. She is an author who has published four books on horse-related topics, in addition to articles in most major equine magazines in North America.

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