Jeremy McGovern has been a journalist for nearly 20 years. He has been a member of the American Farriers Journal staff for 7 years and serves as the Executive Editor/Publisher. A native of Indiana, he also is a member of the board of directors for the American Horse Publications organization of equine media.
Don Mock started his shoeing career in 1972, skipping his high school graduation ceremony to begin his farrier business. Shoeing for nearly 50 years, he has decreased his workload to several days a month, keeping his practice near his home in Denton, Texas. He primarily works at a large jumper barn with farrier Jarrett Bros.
Dr. Andrew van Eps likes to get the bad news out of the way with audiences when lecturing on laminitis prevention. The associate professor of Equine Musculoskeletal Research at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine reminds that a cure for laminitis is improbable. Certainly, a laminitic episode can be addressed and the horse can be helped, but even with improvement, there is the danger of recurrence and sustained damage. The good news, however, is we understand intervention better.
What is your top career highlight? Maybe it is a particular case in which you helped the horse overcome a tough injury and return to work. Maybe it is a horse that won a significant race or show thanks to your footcare. Is it the first time you earned money shoeing a horse?
When attending farrier clinics, sometimes the best ideas you leave with come from fellow attendees you talk with. Warrenton, Va., farrier Marc van der Rest shared a tip at a clinic that he attended about 10 years ago.
Several years ago, Danvers Child didn’t want a new rig. His reasons were justified. A new body or trailer never made the buyer a better farrier after driving it from the manufacturer’s shop. Shoeing since 1972, Child felt with the years remaining in his career, he wouldn’t earn a return on the investment into such an expensive purchase.
Hospital plates long have been an option for farriers to address issues including puncture wounds, abscesses and keratoma removals, among others. The concept of protection is straightforward, but design and application are only limited by a farrier’s creativity. They can be made using various materials to attach to numerous shoe types.
For the farrier industry, poor communication with clients remains a top issue that may significantly damage a practice. It can lead to the loss of business that’s severe enough to cripple one’s livelihood. Clients and prospects often cite “not returning a phone call” as their main gripe with farriers. Many of those offended fail to realize that the inactivity is intentional.
Although he is based in North Florida, Ty Garner’s work isn’t fully localized — he travels to follow his clients on the circuit, taking him through the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. On this “Shoeing for a Living Day,” he shows how his daily approach relies on the basics, but also thinking how best to keep horses in the show ring.
Adam Fahr's article on tuning a punch in the March issue of American Farriers Journal is a reminder of how tough farriers are on their tools, as well as the need for maintaining them. A well-crafted and maintained tool repays your investment many times over.
In this episode, Arizona farrier Eric Billingsley shows the 4-Star gooseneck trailer and truck he relies on to navigate the hilly, desert country he calls home. He purchased and designed that trailer about 20 years ago and it continues to provide Billingsley and his apprentices with business efficiency and peace of mind.
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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.