Category Archives: Preparing for Trimming

Preparing for Trimming


A shoeing bay offers the best in hoof care facilities. While many shoers work on horses in cross-ties, David Farmilo prefers a simple shoeing bay. Of course that means you’ve got to convince horse owners to invest in an inexpensive shoeing facility. A farrier from Oakbank, Australia, Farmilo is convinced that using a shoeing bay can make your hoof care work much easier. The simple setup also pays off for owners and trainers by providing a place to handle health care, dentistry, washing and grooming chores. A speaker at the recent International Hoof-Care Summit, Farmilo’s shoeing bay is easy to construct either outside or in a barn and makes working with any size horse or pony easier and safer. All an owner needs is a concrete slab, two 18 foot lengths of 2.5” diameter galvanised pipe, four base plates and four dynabolts. The 2.5” … Continue Reading ››


In a previous article I praised the advantages of a shoeing bay, and offered plans for the construction of the same. The overwhelming requests for plans that I have received has been amazing - it gladdens the cockles of this old farrier’s heart to think of shoeing bays springing up all around Australia, making the workload of the farrier so much easier and safer. It was when one such request also included the question ‘what if I just make a rail on one side, and use the wall on the other’ that I decided to clarify just why the dimensions of the shoeing bay and its construction are so important. It is so easy to accept the method of carrying out any simple task without questioning exactly why the task is carried out in that manner, and I thank him for asking that simple question. I remember the story of the young bride who always cooked a leg of lamb after cutting off the knuckle and discarding it. Her young husband queried why she did this, after all it was his favourite piece, and she said in some surprise that she … Continue Reading ››


There is only one way to tie up a horse while you are trimming or shoeing it and that is loosely. No matter how much you molly coddle that horse, pamper it or talk to it, your horse is a wild animal and there is just no predicting when an Afghanistan Climbing Camel is going to walk around the corner of the stall and frighten the heck out of your horse.

If you don’t want him to break his neck trying to escape from that camel, then make sure he is loosely tied. If he is serious about breaking free, he should be able to pull back and be free of the rope without taking the fence, gate or stall with him.

On one of my outback courses last year, I missed seeing that one of the participants had securely tied her horse to the rails despite my previous safety warning never to do this. Not only did he try to break free and fail, but he came down hard on my foot. During another recent course, the horses were tied to the rails while we … Continue Reading ››


I invite feedback from all my course participants and a recent feedback email gave me a jolt. It read “Changing from a participant to a viewer this time was lucky for me in a way as it allowed me to be in the right place at the right time (ie not under my horse) to pick up a great piece of knowledge from David that has enabled me to solve ongoing mystery injuries with my horses. David mentioned that if a horse won’t stand still when a farrier is doing the front feet to look at where the farrier is standing. He said that quite a few farriers pick up the horse’s leg then drag it out to the side to work on it; an unnatural and often painful position for the horse which means they will often try to ‘escape’ the situation. Well, the chiropractor has been telling me for ages that my horses have torn/scarred pectorals (which I found odd since they are very quiet, not in work and we have no slippery areas). My farrier came on Friday and I noticed, yes, he drags the leg out to the side and … Continue Reading ››


This question was thrust upon me the other day when I was asked to define the difference. Any farrier will tell you that he learns very quickly to identify these two categories of equine handlers, because the smooth transition of the day’s work and everyone’s safety depends on his instant assessment of not just the horse but also the horse owner or handler.

You may think he is just a farrier; however the need to survive has taught him to be a part-time psychologist who often resembles a contortionist with a quick mind and a good sense of humour, and with a very high pain tolerance.

A horseman is usually a competitive person or stockman who has experienced the value of training his horses to be confident and obedient, and they in return have developed a high degree of empathy and respect. The farrier can usually relax around these horses and expect not to be confronted with any sudden disasters, and thereby do … Continue Reading ››