Pat Tearney is a long-term newspaper and magazine veteran writer and editor. Before retiring, he served for a number of years on the American Farriers Journal staff and continues to share his writing talents with our readers.
It seems almost counterintuitive to think that building and applying the complicated appliance often needed in therapeutic shoeing could be a losing proposition for a farrier. But that can easily become the case unless some thought and reasoning are given to properly charging for the work.
As horses age, they present new challenges to horse owners, as well as to farriers. Because farriers are usually the equine professionals who see horses and owners most regularly, they are frequently the first person a horse owner goes to for advice when senior horses begin to have new issues.
If you’re a horseshoer, you work with metal every day. But how much do you have to really know about metallurgy — the science underlying the working of metal — to be successful?
That might depend on how you define success and what kind of farrier you want to be.
There is no shortage of horseshoes, in size, style or material. It will take no more than a few minutes inside a well-stocked supply store to convince anyone of that. Jeff Ridley, a farrier from Leighton, Iowa, recently was struck by that fact during a clinic at Anvil Brand’s headquarters in Lexington, Ill. The clinician was Shayne Carter of West Mountain, Utah.
Performance horses, by the very nature of the work they are asked to do, are more prone to injuries than horses that are being used primarily for recreational riding.
There are a number of studies that offer evidence that certain injuries are more likely to occur with certain disciplines, but an informal survey of several experienced farriers indicates that across disciplines, more common injuries such as sore feet and abscesses are the culprits that farriers most often have to deal with.
Bright green grass is one of the signs of spring, but all that green is also a red flag for hoof-care professionals. It means it’s time to remind your clients of an increased danger of certain forms of laminitis, as well as keeping an eye peeled for the early warning signs of the disease.
When experienced farriers check the wear on horseshoes they’ve just removed from a horse, it isn’t just to see whether they can reset them. They’re also looking for valuable information. Four veteran farriers took time to share some of what they’ve gleaned from studying the wear patterns on horseshoes over their careers.
Illinois farrier Vern Powell shares the benefits of looking at feet in terms of steel length instead of a standard factory shoe sizes. It could give you a leg up in a forging competition or when sitting for an examination.
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From the feed room to the tack room, SmartPak offers innovative solutions to help riders take great care of their horses. SmartPak was founded in 1999 with the introduction of the patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system. The revolutionary, daily dose SmartPaks are custom-made for your horse, individually labeled and sealed for freshness.