Are Farriers Losing Control Of The Footcare Game?

Some industry leaders believe it’s time to establish hoof-care quality and control standards before someone else does

EDITOR'S NOTE: A quote by Mitch Taylor was added to this article in the seventh and eighth paragraphs. 

Mitch Taylor stands in the glare of the spotlight, holding an equine cadaver limb.

The owner and director of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Richmond, Ky., is beginning his anatomy lecture at the 2015 International Hoof-Care Summit in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he wants to get something off his chest.

“The inside of this is higher than the outside,” Taylor says, pointing to the cadaver’s underslung foot. “The highest part of this foot is the bar. I’m seeing that someone has some mechanical skill, but doesn’t have the very basics of farriery. One of the basics of farriery is when you have sore-footed horses, you don’t have them standing on their soles.

“I’ve got a rolled trim that’s put onto an apparatus that’s flat. The heels are extremely contracted. There are a lot of us who would do a lot of things with this, but what I probably wouldn’t do is bind up the back half of that foot with glue.

“Now, I don’t know the situation with this horse,” Taylor continues as he sets the foot down. “What I’m saying, boys and girls, is I think it’s time for us farriers to step up our game. There are people out there who are requiring professionals,” he continues as he sets the foot down. “I’m tired of listening to veterinarians in the back room talking about how horseshoers are dumb and how we…

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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 25 years. A native of Maine, he is the Managing Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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