Katie Navarra

Katie Navarra

Katie Navarra is a freelance writer who draws from her experiences owning and showing horses, and inter­viewing the industry’s leading pro­fessionals.

ARTICLES

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Hoof Health Hinges on Dynamic Climates

Ever-changing environment can leave your clients’ horses struggling to adapt
After a client invests $40,000 on footing for their arena, it’s hard — maybe impossible — to convince them it’s ruining their horse’s feet. Uxbridge, Ontario, farrier Dave Dawson had a client express concern that their horses were frequently tripping and stumbling.
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Pressure Plate Analysis Measures Dynamic Weight Distribution

Ghent University researcher’s findings can influence trimming and shoeing for individual hoof-care cases
Human medicine and athletic stores rely on visual maps to recommend orthotics or sneaker styles based on a person’s gait. Pressure plates measure how an individual distributes their weight as they walk or run and converts that data into a graphic interpretation. That information is used to pair the right support or shoe style for specific gait pattern or abnormality to reduce the risk for injury.
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How Hind End Geometry Improves Performance and Balance

Cornell University Farrier Steve Kraus explains the geometrical effects of trimming and shoeing
Car manufacturers know placing the power at the rear of the vehicle allows for better balance. Nearly all race cars are rear-wheel drive so that when accelerating from a stop, the vehicle’s weight transfers to the back of the car and provides increased traction.
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Hoof Moisture Content Plays a Major Role in Foot Quality

Shorter trimming intervals, moisture barriers and proper supplementation can aid farriers in regulating hoof moisture
Veteran farrier and founder of the Crawford, Neb., Butler Professional Farrier School, Dr. Doug Butler is credited with saying, “Hoof quality may relate more to the hoof’s ability to regulate moisture content than anything else.” Although Lafayette, Ind., farrier Danvers Child jokes that he and Butler, both members of the International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame, sometimes have disagreements, they see eye-to-eye on this point; the key topic of client discussion should center around regulating the moisture content in hooves.
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Joint Practitioner Educational Clinics: Win-Win for Clients and Their Horses

Case discussion builds camaraderie and helps reinforce professional boundaries
One Friday a month, 30 farriers in western Pennsylvania gather at Allegheny Equine Practice. At least one, often two, lame horses are awaiting them. A veterinarian performs a lameness exam and explains the steps involved. The horses are blocked and radiographs are taken.
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Hoof-Care for the Cloned Horse

Farriers might be seeing double, but the feet are unique
Five identical horses awaited Texas-based farrier Virgil Conde at a former client’s farm. Each was a clone of an elite Arabian halter horse. It wasn’t quite like seeing double since their white markings varied. Some had stockings, others didn’t. One had a blaze; another had no white on the face. Even the hoof pigmentation was different with some having white feet and others dark.
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Using Clips as Needed, Not as Trends Dictate, Will Enable Farriers to Improve a Horse’s Hoof-Health and Performance

Hoof proportion, digital alignment and capsule health should all be considered before deciding whether to use clips and which kind
It’s not uncommon for farriers to feel pressure from clients who ask for a shoe style or trimming method because the people winning in their discipline “do it that way.” Suddenly, it becomes the “go-to” preference and influences availability of supply.
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Use Caution When Working on Sedated Horses

Chemical restraints help relax horses and dull pain, but can pose a significant risk for farriers
Horses that are nervous, lame or irritable aren’t the most pleasant to trim or shoe — and they can be downright dangerous. Sedation is commonly used in these types of horses so that a farrier and equine veterinarian can work safely. In fact, 90% of farriers say they shoe sedated horses, according to a recent American Farriers Journal poll.
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