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Lessons from the Track

Veteran Thoroughbred and Standardbred farriers share some quick, important lessons they’ve honed over their careers

Before passing away in 2009, Ronald “Tex” Cauthen left a lasting legacy as a racetrack farrier. The Hall Of Fame shoer helped many farriers and veterinarians increase their skill and knowledge, allowing them to improve the hoof health of many horses on and off the racetrack.

To commemorate the life and work of Cauthen, the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center launched the Tex Cauthen Memorial Seminar last year. The purpose of this event is to bring farriers and veterinarians together to improve equine footcare in the same spirit as Cauthen had promoted throughout his career.

As part of the second annual event, held on Jan. 21, 2018, a few veteran farriers were each given 10 minutes to share an important lesson from their careers of shoeing on the tracks. Here is some of this insight.

Watch Your Horses And Listen To What They Tell You

Observation is an invaluable part of this business. I think that’s true whether you’re a farrier, veterinarian or trainer. If you’re dealing with large animals, they’ll tell you so much through their body language. I don’t want to sound like a horse whisperer, because that’s not what I’m talking about. Just take time to notice your horses.

It is also important to keep your horses quiet. If a horse is nervous or afraid of you, he won’t teach you anything. All he’s doing is trying to get away from you. If you’re heavy-handed on a horse, that’s a horse that can’t tell you…

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