The Horse Is The Client

When Hank McEwan was honored as British Columbia’s Horseman of the Year, he paid thanks to the horses instead of the owners, trainers and riders

Even after 55 years, Hank McEwan hasn’t lost his love for shoeing. Semi-retired from a remarkable teaching and shoeing career, he spends considerable time horseback riding and packing in the Canadian mountains while still shoeing 90 horses.

Over the years, this member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame has picked up hundreds of ideas that will help make your shoeing work much more efficient. All together, the Langley, British Columbia, farrier figures he’s trained over 700 shoers in a teaching career that stretches over four decades.

Know What Matters

McEwan urges farriers to ask themselves if they are making a decent living, paying the bills and having fun. “You’ve got to be committed to the shoeing business and rely on good thinking to be successful,” he says. “An an example, spending time perfecting your skills so that you can earn prestige for your shoeing work is important and may make you feel good. But even though it will not put more food on the table, it will sure make it taste better.

“Shoeing is not a hit-or-miss situation. It pays to keep every aspect of the shoeing job as simple as possible.”

Know Your Horses

Over the years, McEwan learned how valuable it is for a shoer to get along with horses. “Good horsemanship is knowing when to do something and when not to,” he says. “Horses won’t like you if you don’t do good shoeing work, and owners won’t like you unless you are cheap.”

To be successful…

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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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