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When a farrier embarks on this remarkable career, it’s common that he or she will shoe horses commonly referred to as backyard horses.
In fact, according to the latest American Farriers Journal Business Practices Survey, 92% of United States farriers work with backyard horses. Although some look upon backyard horses with disdain, this segment of the horse population may be the very best kind of horses to be shod.
Most of these horses live on small acreages or backyards and are treated as a member of a family. They are used for pleasure and companionship, rather than work or show. Being this type of horse puts the animal in a category where its value may not be easily represented in dollars. As a family member, their value is based on the family union instead of what the horse could bring in an auction. I find that at show horse barns, you can be viewed as a laborer, although a skilled one.
With any type, style, discipline or population of horses, you can make a list of pros and cons concerning that part of the market. Writing these down will give you an idea if you want to shoe that type of horse. As I went through the process of making my list, I found that I shoe a fair number of backyard horses, and I…