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Born and raised in Sweden, Conny Svensson also learned Standardbred shoeing there (where it is more popular among the population that in the United States). He then came to the states in the early 90s and developed his farrier practice. Today, he only shoes for one Standardbred client, Hall of Fame trainer Jimmy Takter (a fellow Swede transplant).
Here are some observations he has about his having learned shoeing in Sweden and some of the Scandinavian influence on Standardbred shoeing. Svensson sees it as an equal trade of ideas — better practices from each country eventually make it into the common practice over the Atlantic.
Trimming with a flat blade knife with a rawhide mallet. Old habits die hard. Svensson still uses a mallet and knife to trim from time to time. Although he may not use this combo on every horse, Svensson tends to use it every day. He uses it to clean up hard, dry soles. Another situation in which he uses it is it to lower the heels in situation when too much rasping makes it impractical, and the nipper lacks the precision. He prefers using his nippers, rasp and hoof knife.
When he came to the United States from Sweden, Svensson primarily used a mallet and flat blade to trim Standardbred. However, someone stole these tools, and he made the switch to the more common usage of nippers.
“If I ever catch that person who stole my knife, I’d like to take them to dinner,” laughs…