What’s your best advice for handling annoying flies while shoeing?

This is a very good question and very relevant to the farrier profession. The farrier’s job is hard enough without the added burden of dealing with the many annoying effects of flies.

  1. The owner, client or trainer should show respect for the farrier by providing a clean environment in which to shoe the horse. If an acceptable place is not provided, then the farrier must ask for one.
  2. The farrier should carry a good quality fly spray and spray the horse as needed with the owner’s permission. Some horses don’t like to be sprayed, so it’s always good to ask before spraying the horse, especially the first time.
  3. It is very important to keep the area clean while working. This means sweeping the floor every time a foot is trimmed. The trimmings and manure should always be swept at least six feet behind the horse. Don’t sweep to the front or the side of the horse as the debris will still attract the flies to the horse’s face or body. The broom is also an important tool that every farrier should carry in his truck.
  4. Another helpful tip is to place a wood clamp (Available at  Home Depot) in the tail of the  horse to prevent ones eyes to be injured by the tip of the tail when an odd fly lands on the horse.

            — Fabio Gnoatto, Wellington, Fla.