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We live in a remarkable time with the advancements of diagnostic tools. Digital radiographs, MRIs, ultrasounds and other innovations can reveal so much detail at almost instantaneous speeds. But as Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child explains, as helpful as those tools are, they don’t represent the reality for the everyday work of most farriers.
“We’re simply using our eyes and our ability to observe,” he notes. “And the average farrier is still out there watching horses go, interpreting foot falls, landing/loading patterns and gathering data through naked eye observation.”
Of course one of those points of analysis is reading shoe wear patterns. In his presentation sponsored by SmartPak at the International Hoof-Care Summit, Child discussed how reading and correctly interpreting wear patterns could alert you to issues.
To help the horse, a farrier must continually observe and adjust. Child warns against becoming so involved in your daily work that you become complacent with this activity.
“It is too easy for us, especially when we’re working alone, to get in a rut and go through the motions and not monitor and adjust,” he says. “It helps us anticipate problems and instill confidence in ourselves, as well as those we’re working with.”
Reading shoe wear, like other aspects of farrier is not an exact science.
By identifying issues revealed though shoe wear, you can alert the client and team, demonstrating your role as the footcare expert.
Child continues that as important as the role of those…