Keeping it Simple

North Carolina farrier Sean Gaul believes that a conservative approach that relies on the basics is the best way to help horses

Pictured Above: Columbus, N.C., farrier Sean Gaul finds that keeping things simple and adhering to the basics are the best ways of helping horses stay sound.

It might seem elementary, but the best way to clear away the clutter is to keep things simple and rely on the basics.

Sean Gaul embraces this philosophy in his hoof-care practice. Yet, for the sake of the horse, the Columbus, N.C., farrier believes it’s equally important to keep an open mind. In his 23 years of farriery, not only have those values served the horses in his care well, Gaul has benefitted, as well.

On a warm June day of “Shoeing For A Living” in the western Carolinas, Gaul demonstrates how keeping things simple and relying on the basics keep the horses that he services sound.

Safe Help

Gaul begins the day at the Tryon In­­ter­national Equestrian Center in Mill Spring, N.C., which will play host to the Fédération Equestre Internationale World Equestrian Games on Sept. 11-23, 2018. Before heading to his shoeing area, Gaul makes an unscheduled stop to examine a horse that has recently arrived from Florida.

A groom leads the mare from its stall and walks her down the aisle as Gaul watches her intently.

“She’s off,” he says, picking up the sensitive left front foot. “She’s not comfortable at all.”

Farrier Takeaways

  • Leaving plenty of foot is a big key to keeping horses going during the dry, hot summer months when the ground turns hard.
  • When working on show…
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Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

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