To Train Or Not To Train?

Some hoof-care professionals believe training a horse to stand properly is part of the job — but others aren’t so sure

Pictured Above: Each time a farrier works on a horse, you’re either training it to help you or teaching bad habits, Neal Port says.

Anyone who has shod or trimmed a horse’s feet has stories about dealing with unruly horses. Ask most of them, and they’ll probably have a few tips to share about how they are able to get those same horses to be cooperative.

But is training a horse to stand properly for hoof care really part of a farrier’s job? Not everyone thinks so.

We asked some experienced farriers to share their thoughts on the subject and their responses covered a broad range of issues, including safety, liability, efficiency and relationships with owners, among others.

As Part Of The Job

Jack Roth, a farrier, veterinarian and owner of the Oklahoma Horseshoeing School at Purcell, Okla., feels very strongly that training is an important aspect of the job. Roth is a well-known crusader for horsemanship and thinks that aspect of a farrier’s knowledge is as much a part of what a farrier brings to the profession as his or her shoeing knowledge.

“We horseshoers visit the horse more often than any other equine professional,” he says. “The amateur — and even the professional — horseman consider our advice to be valuable. I consider that our horsemanship advice to the owner is at least as valuable as the actual physical work of shoeing the horse.”

Farrier Takeaways

  • Providing training can be seen as a part of better customer…
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Pat tearney

Pat Tearney

Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.

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