Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

ARTICLES

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Therapeutic Farrier Achieves Hoof-Care Goals Using Pads and Pour-ins

Products can provide frog support, cushion the sole and reduce concussion
Pads and pour-ins offer farriers a variety of options when servicing hoof-care clients. Nick Denson, a farrier in Sagamore, Mass., works on many therapeutic cases and relies on these products regularly. During the 2020 International Hoof-Care Summit, Denson presented “Shoeing Tips with Castle Pads and Pour-in Urethanes” during a How-to Hoof-Care Product Knowledge Clinic, sponsored by Castle Plastics.
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Strategies for Working with Difficult Horses

Get in tune with horses by understanding their perspective
Farriers often have to work with less than cooperative horses, and sometimes it’s a challenge to assess why a horse is acting the way it is and figure out how to resolve a certain issue. The reward outweighs the effort, though, because many problem horses can then be approached or addressed a little differently — and successfully — without causing future issues.
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Equine Body Work Benefits Hooves

Making uncomfortable horses comfortable makes farriers’ jobs easier and improves feet
Each horse is born with its own conformation, but many factors affect skeletal structure and posture as the foal grows up. Often by the time a farrier is working on that horse’s feet, there are issues that put stress on various parts.
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Overcome “Bad” Horses in Your Hoof-Care Practice

Gaining trust and nurturing your relationships with horses will make your job easier
Every farrier at one time or another comes across a horse that’s difficult to work with — or has a reputation of being difficult. There might be some horses that you would prefer not to have to deal with, but you realize that it’s in your best interest to go ahead and do them.
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How to Deal with Softhearted Clients and Spoiled Horses

Farriers offer advice on how to break bad habits of both owners and horses
Farriers are generally prepared to deal with just about any situation they are faced with in terms of the horse’s behavior — determining whether it’s scared, nervous, inexperienced, in pain or spoiled — and having a strategy to successfully handle that horse.
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Hoof Care for the Nervous Horse

Patience is the key to earning the trust and respect of anxious horses
Sometimes the farrier is confronted with a new horse that is averse to being handled, and it is important to be able to tell whether the horse is evasive because it is afraid and nervous or independent and spoiled.
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