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Why You Should Build Your Practice Around Backyard Horses


Pictured Above: The 2016 American Farriers Journal Business Practices Survey shows that 92% of United States farriers shoe backyard horses

As you embark on this remarkable career, it is likely you will shoe horses commonly referred to as “backyard horses.” Some will say this with disdain, but in reality, this segment of the horse population may be the very best kind of horses to be shod — especially in this economy.

Most of these horses live on small acreages (backyards) and are members of a family. They are used for pleasure and companionship, but not for 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 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 market. Writing these down will give you an idea if you want to shoe that type of horse. I’ve worked on more than the average share of backyard horses — many that I reminisce about with mainly good memories.

The Pluses

Working relationships. One of the great things about working with backyard horses is the close relationship you can develop with owners. Often, you will get to know them on a personal…

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Chris gregory

Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is a Hall of Fame farrier and owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

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