Articles by Heather Smith Thomas

You and Your Horse's Feet

The Barefoot Question

Whether this will work for your horse or not depends on the details
A growing number of horses today are staying barefoot. Some are ridden with hoof boots, but many are ridden barefoot and can withstand the stresses we used to think could only be handled with shoes.
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Texas Farrier's Timesaving Tips

A few minutes spent organizing and planning your shoeing day will get you home earlier and feeling better
Tommy Boudreau, a Mineral Springs, Texas, farrier, at work making shoes in his shop so they'll be ready for the next day's shoeing. Whether shoeing one horse or a dozen, improving your efficiency in trimming and shoeing is an important key to success.
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You and Your Horses's Feet

The Basics of Hoof Care

What you need to know about keeping your horses feet healthy
It’s an old saying, but still true: “No foot, no horse.” As a horse owner, you may get tired of hearing it, but it should serve to remind you that a sound hoof is crucial to the health and function of the horse.
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Bowed Tendons: The Farrier's Role in Prevention and Treatment

Regularly scheduled hoof-care appointments and cooperation with a veterinarian are important aspects of dealing with these injuries
Modern ultrasounds are useful for diagnosing bowed tendons and other soft tissue injuries, particularly minor tears that aren't obvious during palpation. It may take an experienced person to spot less obvious tears in the tendons.
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Horses Are At Risk For Rabies And You Can Be, Too

Know the warning signs and urge your clients to vaccinate their animals against this deadly virus
We generally don’t think about horses when someone mentions rabies. The first images that come to mind are “mad” dogs frothing at the mouth, or wild animals such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and coyotes becoming aggressive and attacking people.
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Product Knowledge

Wrap It Up Right

Farriers dealing with first aid situations should know how to properly apply a bandage — but also know when a vet needs to be called in
There are times a farrier must administer first aid for a foot or leg injury, and it's handy to know what products/materials might be helpful, and some do's and don'ts for proper bandaging.
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