Category Archives: Competition Horses


At last year’s Royal Adelaide Show I had a couple of clients with their horses to attend to, and it was an eye opening experience to observe the mini- dramas of others unfolding around me as I worked. I wonder why there are so many complications in competing - the whole scenario was a comedy of errors.

Most of the problems seem to stem from measuring for the respective height classes, and it is my opinion that the whole traumatic situation could be avoided very simply by putting common sense back into the rule book for measuring.

Any competent horseman knows that if a pony or galloway or hack measures 3/8” to ½” over its currently dictated height it still doesn’t belong in the next height class, and any competent judge can see that. This lack of common sense latitude in the rule book causes huge problems all down the line, and ultimately they end up in the farrier’s lap.

These horses have been shod … Continue Reading ››


There are six bad habits creeping into hoof preparation and the fitting of shoes.

1. Quarter clipped shoes, rolled toe and square toed shoes.

2. Deliberate spooning of the heels on work shoes and race plates.

3. Leaving bar pressure under the heels.

4. Not achieving a T-square at the heels.

5. Not eliminating flares everywhere in the hoof.

6. Using shoes that are too heavy and with nail holes set too coarse for the white line.

Now let me explain in more detail the detrimental effects of these six main problems for the horse.

  1. Continue Reading ››


Far too often the hoof does NOT suit the event and the end result is a very mediocre level of performance for the horse and a bewildered rider.

This is as much an owner/rider judgment problem as well as a farrier’s lack of attention in advising the client, but first the farrier needs to know how the client expects the horse to perform in order that he can set up the correct hoof care procedures.

The pleasure horse is about 80% of today’s horse population but probably less than 20% of their owners have grown up with horses and know how important correct hoof care can be. So many others who own and ride their horses haven’t yet seen the need to understand what is below the girth, so this puts a lot of responsibility on the farrier to educate his clients about hoof care which in turn allows them to fulfill their duty of care to the horse and also be a … Continue Reading ››