Be involved with your horse’s hoof care – even if you don’t know a lot.
Meet your farrier and ask him questions about your horse’s feet, current shoe size and if there are any concerns. You may be able to address any problems through diet, exercise or other management changes. Farriers with the “I care” approach are happy to educate, answer your questions and keep the line of communication open. Whether trimmed or shod, a professional farrier’s priority is the welfare and soundness of the horse.
Owners and farriers must develop a plan to provide correct trimming or shoeing. Farriers and horse owners have a responsibility to one another. Communication and trust are key!
Your chosen farrier should be punctual and reliable, courteous to barn staff, mindful of barn hours and rules, and keep you and your coach or trainer informed of any new instructions or challenges with the horse or reset.
Great “keeper” farriers:
- enjoy working with horses on a daily basis and have excellent horse handling skills; they are kind yet firm when dealing with young or spoiled horses and accommodating to the limitations of geriatric equines.
- listen to their customers’ wants and needs, suggesting appropriate solutions.
- know when to seek veterinarian assistance.
- are keen to observe other farriers’ shoeing techniques and barefoot methods to add to their “toolbox” of ideas.
- enjoy attending hoof seminars to broaden their understanding of hoof and leg mechanics, participate in round table discussions, and take away fresh ideas in business development, product innovations, and practical application.
- have excellent record keeping skills.
The farrier should leave a bill stating all procedures and charges, instructions, and plan the next service date.
As the horse owner, you need to provide:
- a safe, clutter free area with non-slip footing for the farrier to work.
- level ground and good lighting to help the farrier balance and level the feet.
- horses with clean legs and feet.
- a good fitting halter; either the horse can stand quietly in cross ties or you supply an experienced handler.
Owners should pay their bill promptly in order to keep their account current. Farriers appreciate being paid when services are rendered.
Be empowered, be informed, and develop a long lasting relationship with your farrier. Your money and your horse’s soundness is on the line!