Paul Goodness, chief of Farrier Services at Virginia Tech’s Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va., says there are many therapeutic farrier options that can be employed, as well as different types of shoes that might help if conformation of the hoof is not good.
Novice horse owners may not realize that older horses — and even some horses in their prime — often develop arthritis, or joint inflammation. Painful, stiff joints can be managed to keep most of these horses comfortable enough to continue performing.
The farrier, often with the help of a veterinarian, has treated a hoof problem and now it’s up to the horse owner to follow instructions for care during the rehabilitation. Sometimes it can be challenging to persuade the owner to be an active member of the team.
It’s not the farrier’s job to train the horse, but sometimes it’s necessary, especially when the client is a novice horse owner. Farriers want to work with the horse safely and improve its tolerance of foot handling.
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