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Farriers spend a lot of energy, effort and expertise to keep their charges’ feet in tip-top shape so that their clients can continue year-round. Some farriers have clients who opt to migrate their horses to other locations beyond their “home base” for part of the year, such as those whose clients show during the winter in Florida.
These farriers have found that certain factors, such as climate, amount of precipitation, arena footing and sometimes turnout footing, and management, affect the hooves of migrating horses differently depending on geographic location. It’s important for farriers with migrating horses to understand how these factors affect hooves as the horses go from one location to another. Knowing this helps the farrier decide how to trim and shoe a horse before it heads to a “secondary location” and what to expect when it returns to its home stable. In addition, farriers find it important to collaborate and coordinate with farriers in other locations frequented by their clients so that their charges can continue to have the best in foot care.
Justin Richardson, a Loxahatchee, Fla., farrier, almost exclusively works with dressage clients, except for a few hunter/jumpers he cares for through his work at a local veterinary clinic. He has several clients who travel north for the summer to show and has experience working in both the North and South.
“Feet are easier to manage up North,” he says, adding that feet grow faster in Florida. “Florida is usually so…