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've heard a lot of farriers champion the so-called K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid) method for horseshoeing. But I've heard some of the same farriers then describe their "simple" system. It includes assessing the horse's conformation, age, work, environment, hoof-horn quality, hoof-wall thickness, sole type, frog health, past history, any current or recent lamnesses or problems, trainer requirements and rider needs and style.
Loomis, Calif., farrier Donnie Karr shapes a shoe while working at a small ranch in Granite City, Calif. Karr has been shoeing full-time for just over 13 years. This particular ranch is home to a number of cutting horses, as well as other horses used in Western riding disciplines.
X-ray machines are probably never going to become standard equipment on shoeing rigs, but the information gleaned through this technology can help you provide better hoof care and improve your standing in the eyes of your clients
Digital radiographs allow "stall-side" imagery that farriers and veterinarians can read within seconds, as farrier/veterinarian Raul Bras of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital did on a Lexington, Ky., Thoroughbred farm in this photo.
Backyard horses are an important part of a hoof-care business. Particularly with novice horse owners, farriers may need to serve as a hoof-care educator. For years, our readers have been telling us that backyard horses are the backbone of many of their hoof-care practices.
This Pennsylvania corral demonstrates the variety of horses McCandless may see on a day when he's shoeing backyard horses. Like many young farriers, Clint McCandless has a lot of backyard horses on his shoeing book.
Aluminum horseshoes are not new. They've been around for several decades now and are the shoe of choice at racetracks and for many disciplines. Trainers choose aluminum shoes when they want less weight, more flotation or because they think they absorb shock better than steel.
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.