Are You Practicing Legally?

Arkansas farrier and lawmaker helped to change the veterinary practice act after he discovered horseshoeing ban

Jim_House.jpg Lee_McGrath.jpg
Jim House Lee McGrath

Are you practicing farriery lawfully in your state?

Many believe you are, but in point of fact, some truly don’t know.

For several years, Jim House be­­lieved that he, too, was shoeing horses legally in Fayetteville, Ark. He learned the truth from a constituent while stumping for votes on horseback during his second campaign for the Arkansas General Assembly.

“The gentleman said he was in the business of teeth floating,” recalls House, who’s been a part-time farrier for 45 years. “He said, ‘The veterinary board has sent me cease and desist orders and told me I can’t do that anymore. If you will read the veterinary practice act, you will find that you, as a horseshoer, are not practicing legally either.’”

Sure enough, Arkansas Code An­­notate 17-101-101 outlawed horseshoeing unless the horse owner, the owner’s employee, a neighbor or a veterinarian, performed the task. The Arkansas Veterinary Practice Act de­­fined the practice of veterinary medicine, among other things, as the diagnosis, treatment and an attempt to correct disease, defect or deformity.

“It’s the fact that it says no one but a veterinarian can correct a deformity,” says House, who’s a graduate of Bud Beaston’s Oklahoma Farriers College. “Well, I’m sorry; in my mind, that catches horseshoers right in the middle. So, if you’re going to manage a toed-in horse, that’s where the veterinary medical association comes in.


It’s critical that you read and understand the veterinary practice act that governs the areas in which…

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Jeff cota 2023

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the editor of American Farriers Journal.

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