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One key to both his medical and shoeing success that Michael Miller would like to pass along to other farriers is the importance of keeping fit. “Since I used to do long distance biking as a hobby, I asked an exercise therapist to put together an exercise program for me,” says the Trussville, Ala., orthopedic surgeon and farrier. “As it turns out, those exercises that are best for a biker are also good ones for a shoer.
Miller says shoers need to recognize their most important farrier business asset is not their truck, or inventory of shoes and supplies. “It’s your body and you need to take care of it,“ he says. “If you don’t exercise regularly, you’ll find this out the hard way.”
Previous studies from the Center for Equine Health at the University of California—Davis indicated a link between the use of toe grabs on the front shoes of racing Thoroughbreds and an increased risk for injury. Even so, the California racing industry has asked for a more-in-depth research study that includes the impact of the type of shoe being used on the welfare and performance of racehorses before reaching any decision on the controversial use of toe grabs.
Led by University of California—Davis researcher Susan Stover, the new study will look at each horse in every race in California. Along with veterinary researchers, a California Horse Racing Board farrier will record the…