My horse’s love affair with the farrier
There’s one thing in horse ownership that you come to learn and appreciate more than ever: your farrier. Finding a good farrier is like finding that one perfect foundation for your skin tone – almost impossible. When you find them, you hold on tight.
A horse’s hooves are their foundations. Think: horses spend almost their entire 24 hours a day on their feet minus a few hours laying down to sleep. Those hooves carry 1,000+ pounds a day on capsules of tissue, blood and bone. Keeping their feet balanced and correct is a true art and one not enough equestrians appreciate.
I’m sorry backyard owners, I will never pick up a rasp and try and trim my horse’s feet myself. Nope, never ever. I value his feet and everything that goes into them. There is too much at stake and it’s worth the money every 6 to 8 weeks.
I have become very good at recognizing trouble signs. I know the basic signs of thrush, white line disease, flares, chips and abscesses. I know a nail in the foot is an immediate call to the farrier and the vet! I know enough of when to call my farrier and say “come save me.”
Think of all of the diseases that are potentially life threatening – or at least career ending – that show signs of trouble in the hoof; laminitis, navicular, broken coffin bones and many more. An incorrect balance on the feet can also affect the horse’s entire body. You don’t mess with that alone.
It comes down to the fact that I’m ok that my horse has a love affair with my farrier. He should because in the end, it’s better for everyone. It’s worth the money to have a qualified farrier who knows what he’s doing taking care of my horse’s feet. He’s not just some guy who decided there’s money in blacksmithing and wants to run around and call himself a farrier.
When looking for a new farrier, don’t be afraid to shop around. Ask other horse owners who they use. Ask who they won’t use. Gather as much information about the blacksmith as you can. And if your farrier isn’t cutting it, don’t be afraid to find a new one. You can find the right fit for you and your horse, but don’t be surprised if he/she isn’t the cheapest on the block. A good farrier is worth it.