Farriery is not rocket science – anyone who has attended one of my courses will have heard me say that, and I say it because it is so true.
All you need to do is to correctly balance the hoof to eliminate 90% of problems in the hoof.
Hoof problems include not only hoof related lameness, but also lack of competitive edge and poor or inconsistent performance.
It takes a steady hand, a fit body and patience to correctly balance the hoof, every hoof, every single time – but it’s not rocket science and it is simple to understand what to look for in a correctly balanced hoof.
Unfortunately there is a fortune out there being made because of NOT correctly balancing the hoof.
How is that fortune being made?
By manufacturers selling remedial or bandaid horseshoes, plastic horseshoes, pads and sole packs all designed to cater for farriers too lazy or too uneducated to correctly balance the hoof.
A fortune is being made by farriers charging exorbitant amounts for ‘corrective shoeing’ or ‘specialist shoeing’ when that is just a normal part of a farrier’s job. A fortune is being made by manufacturers promoting remedies for Seedy Toe and other ailments which occur if the hoof is not regularly maintained and correctly balanced. A fortune is being paid for veterinary treatment for unnecessary abscesses, navicular syndrome, and other hoof related lameness issues which arose because of not correctly balancing the hoof in the first place.
Does it sound too good to be true – correctly balance the hoof and resolve 90% of lameness issues? It is true and it should be so simple and yet hoof care is getting worse, not just in Australia but worldwide. Farriery is seen by too many people as a ticket to easy money. In Australia farriery is an unregulated trade. Accreditation is only a requirement for shoeing racehorses, and only in some states. Anyone can call themselves a Farrier, it is only a word.
The resolution of all this has to come from YOU the horse owner.
- YOU have the right to ask for information, to ask questions of the farrier and to be prepared to say if the results don’t look right or if the answers don’t sound right.
- YOU are the one riding the horse, you know how your horse is travelling and how it should be travelling.
- YOU have a duty of care to your horse to ensure that correct hoof care is available for your horse.
It is up to YOU to fulfil that duty of care by understanding what you are looking at when you look at the hooves of not only your horse, but of every other horse you ever see.
Whenever you see a horse, any horse, start by looking at the hooves and understand what you are looking at. Learn more, ask questions and don’t accept poor workmanship, YOU are the only person that your horse can rely on.
YOU the horse owner have the power to change and control the standards of hoof care in the farriery industry.
~ David Farmilo