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Our “Hoof-Care Q&A” this issue features advice from Florida farriers on better communication with horse owners on their role in footcare (Page 64). The five shoers in this story gave tactics they found effective when trying to enlist the client’s help.
As I read this story while working on this issue, I took a call from California farrier Blake Brown. Coincidently, this unexpected call gave some seasoned advice on the topic of communication.
Brown retired from active horseshoeing about a dozen years ago, but has remained an active member of the industry. First, he’s been a longtime clinician for Delta Mustad Hoof Care. Brown also works as a farrier consultant at Loomis Basin Veterinary Clinic, where he lends his experience and knowledge to farriers and veterinarians on a variety of footcare cases.
While discussing his years of work at the clinic, I asked what have been the common causes of lamenesses he has seen. Brown reasons about 85% or more of the cases he has been referred to at the clinic were due to feet that weren’t properly balanced to the horse’s conformation and that the shoes were too small.
Brown gets why this occurs in many cases — the farriers didn’t want shoes pulled. He found that the farriers involved with these cases hadn’t communicated to clients reasons why they had lost shoes — and what their responsibility as the owner was in prevention. Or they had and the owners wanted none of it.