Chris Niclas, a farrier from Sequim, Wash., believes that the equine community benefits when its members work together to improve as a group and as individuals. This belief led him to start an independent workshop and support group for equine industry professionals, including farriers, barefoot trimmers, veterinarians and equine practitioners.                                       

“I’ve dreamt of seeing the equine community come together to work and help each other out for years, so I’m excited to see it become a reality,” Niclas told Karen Griffiths in an interview for the Peninsula Daily News.

Griffiths, who learned about the workshop through her personal farrier, Preston Pherson, lauds the spirit of encouragement and professional support that drives the workshop.

“It’s a social network designed to be a place where horse owners, horse enthusiasts and equine professionals can go to get help, offer assistance to others, exchange ideas, and socialize about the health and soundness of their equine companions,” Griffiths says.

“It all comes down to education,” Niclas says. “We are all thirsty for knowledge. We want to continually better ourselves in order to better serve our horses and clients.”

Even though the workshop is a new venture for Niclas, he already has received resources and tools from many equine organizations. The Equine Lameness Prevention Organization (ELPO), Olympic Game Farm, Sound Equine Veterinary Hospital, EasyCare, Redhorse, Equicast and some equine drug companies have all donated resources, learning tools and products to Niclas for the workshop. Farrier Dave Hill has also offered continued assistance to Niclas.

Niclas, who uses the teachings of ELPO in his workshops, is grateful for the overwhelming response he’s received from everyone involved.

“It’s a support group for farriers,” he says. “And we get a lot of support from those in the horse business.”

The workshop, which Niclas started in December 2017, has already benefited its attendees.

“I’ll bet most of the farriers there were like me, happy to learn about new ways to communicate with each other and veterinarians, as well as clients, by using techniques pioneered by the ELPO,” says Pherson, who views Niclas as a mentor.

“One of the ELPO’s mottos is ‘Helping people help horses’ and this is precisely what it looks like,” Pherson adds.

If you would like to learn more about the workshops, you can email Chris Niclas at

To learn more about ELPO, visit