Steve Kraus says a horse’s conformation problems can have a serious impact on footcare problems. The veteran farrier from Trumansburg, N.Y., told attendees at the recent American Farrier’s Association convention that breeding for color, show ring quality, performance ability and factors other than feet and legs have led to many of today’s conformation concerns.

“Too often, we’ve dealt with multiple generations of conformation failures by breeding unsound horses, buying someone else’s problems and with owners lacking knowledge regarding the importance of proper conformation,” he says. “Poor conformation causes lameness in many predictable ways.”

University of Georgia equine veterinarian Andy Parks told attendees that it is critical for shoers and equine vets to separate balance from conformation when tackling footcare problems.

Raise Your Prices, Don’t Work As Hard

Mitch Taylor recalls talking with a 10-year veteran Ohio farrier who felt he was overworked while trimming and shoeing horses for $65. The farrier indicated that he didn’t have time to do anything else in life and wasn’t able to spend valuable time with his family.

Taylor, the owner of the Kentucky Horseshoeing School in Mt. Eden, Ky., told International Hoof-Care Summit attendees that he recommended that the shoer double trimming and shoeing prices. Yet the shoer was worried about losing more than half of the horses. “I finally talked him into doubling his prices,” says Taylor. “He only lost about 20% of his work and that is a testament to his capabilities as a farrier and it led to a better life…

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