Figure 1.

It doesn’t matter what type of horse Mike Hayward and his team get under, it’s going to get hoof polish.

“Does every horse go to a show?” he told attendees Sept. 19 at the American Association of Professional Farriers (AAPF) Hoofcare Essentials Clinic, which was held at Life Data Labs in Cherokee, Ala. “Absolutely not, but you know what? Every horse that has a shoe on is going to look like it’s ready to go to the show.”

The philosophy is simple.

“The foot on the floor is the best business card you can have,” explains the San Martin, Calif., farrier. “You provide the best quality of work on every single horse, donkey or mini. It’s always the same quality.”

When you polish that many feet, though, you’re going to go through a lot of product — and not all of it ends up on the horses’ hooves. Using the traditional brush, a fair amount of product often ends up on the floor, your hands or too much is applied to the foot.


Figure 2.

“If you use hoof dressing, put it in an old shoe polish bottle (Figures 1 and 2),” suggests Hayward, an AAPF board member. “There’s less mess, less waste and more profit.”

Do you have a helpful tip you would like to share with other farriers? Send them to Jeff Cota at