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.
I'm currently working on writing a Shoeing For A Living article for the May/June issue of American Farriers Journal. Red Renchin and I spent 1 day and part of another, with Jimmy Gore, a shoeing veteran of 39 years, who lives and works in the Baton Rouge, La., area.
Blake Brown, a retired farrier from Loomis, Calif., hasn't been away from day-to-day shoeing all that long - 9 years - but in his hoof-care consulting work, he's already seen some big changes. And put that emphasis on big.
It’s easy for farriers to think of a hoof as a sponge that easily soaks up water from the environment. But scientific studies find no difference in relative hydration between hooves from wet or dry environments. What’s actually going on in hoof hydration is far more complicated.
Trimming protocols and choice of shoes vary for various riding disciplines. You don’t typically need reining plates, for instance, if you’re shoeing polo ponies. In similar fashion, certain lamenesses are more likely to be seen in horses used in one discipline than another.
There is probably no single piece of equipment that has changed how farriers do their jobs more than the portable propane forge. From shaky beginnings when they were seen more as a novelty, they have become virtually a necessity for farriers who want to hot fit and hot shoe away from their own shops.
Texas farrier Don Mock's shoeing trailer was built as a project by (then) high schoolers Warren and Dean Evans. The brothers made this project as part of their Future Farmers of America Agricultural Technology and Mechanical Systems course. He uses the trailer at his hunter/jumper client Bay Yard Farms. This trailer won the best FFA project award at the State Fair of Texas.
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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.