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.
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.
Horsemanship is critical for the safety of you and the horse, not to mention it makes your job easier. Learn some important handling and communication skills in the November 2018 issue of American Farriers Journal.
When farriers approach a horse they’ve never worked with before, they have to be able to develop some sort of communication and a rapport with that horse — a relationship that is mutually beneficial. You want the horse to be at ease with you, and you at ease with it.
The frog is the softest part of the hoof, even though it is made up of the same fibrous material as the rest of the external foot. It’s softer and more pliable because it contains oil glands and more moisture than the hoof horn and sole. In moist conditions, the frog might be nearly 50% water, by weight.
Many farriers starting out in the business today may not have much experience with horses. They might not realize the importance of reading a horse to understand its frame of mind before they pick up a leg to start working on the foot — especially if it’s a new horse they haven’t worked with before.
Watch International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member Roy Bloom of Drummond, Wis., as he forges the winning shoe during the Vern Hornquist Memorial Class at the 2019 American Farrier’s Association Convention in Tulsa, Okla. Bloom forged a 10 1/4” x 3/8” x 1” shoe from a 4 1/2” x 5” piece of aluminum bar stock. The toe must be 3/16” and the heel must be 1/2”. It also must fit six #4 city head nails.
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