Obviously, the Internet has provided farriers with the instant access for sharing opinions, requesting help and general conversation about hoof care. Connected to farriers through the AFJ Facebook page and my personal page, it is great to see those who utilize this platform to further discussion of pressing topics. Clinton Corners, N.Y., farrier Taylor Keenan is one of those farriers who "gets it."
Recently, he threw out this question. “With spring on the doorstep, what role, if any, do farriers have in helping prevent laminitis/founder in our clients' horses?” A combination of farriers and some horse owners followed by sharing thoughts and observations on the topic.
Steve Prescott, a farrier from Hardeeville, S.C. replied with a terrific summary. “I personally think it is our duty to remind the clients that have horses that exhibit the signs of being susceptible to the dangers of lush spring grass to be on their guard, and to offer solutions for them... I have never had a client tell me to mind my own business; they have always appreciated that I take an interest in their horse's well being. I think it is important to remember that we are the hoof care specialists, and this should be part of our service.”
I would hope that most farriers would be in agreement with Prescott. Certainly, there are ethical reasons and common business sense for educating clients about hoof care. I don’t think there would be much disagreement with the concept of client education. Instead, failure to actively teach a client is more of a case of daily management. Taking the time to do so isn’t at the forefront of thought with everything else that may go in the day. Posts like these, seen while we are maybe catching up with the days of friends and family, serve to remind to take that extra time with clients.
A pertinent topic, great discussion among international farriers and keen insight — all to further an industry. It is a pretty good investment when at times Facebook seems to be more about skipping through posts in which many people share the minutest details of their day.