Recent changes to the Australian consumer laws may very well be the catalyst for change in the trade of farriery. The new laws give the horse owner legal redress for substandard work carried out by the farrier and has far reaching impacts on our profession.
In this country as in many others, any person with even limited knowledge is allowed to provide hoof care to horses; there are no laws to prevent them doing so even when their efforts result in lameness to the horse; as a result many owners have gone for months or even years before finding a true tradesman to get satisfaction, with no redress for loss of costs.
Doubtless many people in the industry of providing hoof care will be concerned by these new laws, however we should be welcoming it as an opportunity to change. Starting from the top, farriery must be recognised as a skilled trade and profession by the Government.
It may be a … Continue Reading ››
As farriers, we have let the horses and the horse world down. With information technology on tap, we are still not getting it right. The over abundance of horses with long toes – low heels, flares, contracted heels and Seedy Toe are ample evidence that things are not right, and that farriers are not correcting these simple problems. And I am not just talking about Australia, as these problems are world-wide.
The reason the farriers are not correcting these problems is they don’t know how to, and the reason they don’t know how to is that they have not been taught correctly. The farriers working for the Sultan of Brunei, or for the Hong Kong Turf Club no doubt do an excellent job, as do the top few percent of any trade. But these farriers are an elite group and do not travel around shoeing kids’ ponies and enthusiasts’ pleasure horses.
This leaves the stable door open for newcomers to … Continue Reading ››
Because I flaunt my mobile phone number and my email address so freely, I receive a lot of phone calls and a lot of emails. Invariably I am either under a horse, running a course, or out of range in the outback, but I make a point of ringing every caller back as soon as I can and I check my emails daily.Leaving a mobile phone on for 24 hours a day has its disadvantages when travelling - I am often woken around 5am by my mobile phone, when unwittingly someone from the eastern states has rung me not realising that I am currently travelling in Western Australia which is two hours behind their time. I had an email last week from a woman who hoped I would be able to tell her the quietest stock horse stallion in Australia suitable for her mare. I am flattered that people think I know every horse in Australia, but I really don’t. I receive a huge number of calls and emails from people asking me to recommend a ‘good farrier’ in their area. In actual fact, I … Continue Reading ››
Equine Influenza in the eastern states has been a steep learning curve for everyone in the horse industry, and many have suffered financial loss because of it. The bottom line is that very few horses died because of EI, the horses are still out there and they are still growing hoof at the same rate as they did before, and they still need trimming and shoeing at regular intervals. But where are the farriers?
During the lockdown, farriers could only visit one property per day. This was fine where the farriers had large numbers of horses to attend to on one property, but most farriers visit six or more properties per day, which made the financial situation for them untenable.
During the lockdown, many part-time farriers and indeed many full time farriers found alternative work. Many farriers have a trade such as fitting and turning, or metalwork, or automotive skills. Many farriers went to work for the mining industries, and then found that the money was good, they … Continue Reading ››
One of the sessions at Equitana 2005 in Melbourne in November was an open discussion on ‘To Shoe or Not to Shoe’. Panelists were Carl O'Dwyer, Grant Moon, David Farmilo, Will Miller, Dan Guerrera and Mark Rodney.
The discussion was well attended considering it was the last segment on the final day, starting at 5.15pm. The audience had the opportunity to question the panel and it would probably still be going if Equitana hadn't closed its doors!
In summary, horse owners obviously have an ever increasing problem with farrier related problems. I made the comment that horse owners have a duty of care to their horse when it comes to hoof care, and I was very promptly put in my place with the audience demanding to know just how they can get their farriers to listen to what they want.
One member of the audience labelled farriers as 'precious' due to their reluctance and affront at having the owner daring to make … Continue Reading ››