Kentucky Equestrian Articles


Before you FIRE your Farrier...

Submitted by: Danielle Aamodt
Phone: 267-972-1491
Email Address: danielleaamodt(at)gmail
Date Added: 10/31/2014

Farriers are literally the foundation of your horses health. They have one of the most important and most mysterious jobs in the industry. It takes specific training and a lot of hands-on experience to become a good farrier. No hoof is made the same, and farriers must become problem solvers and in some cases, magicians.

Farriers also get the blame for problems that are most likely not their fault. It's too easy to search the internet for an article on hoof care and go back to the barn feeling like an expert. While it is important to educate yourself on what your farrier does, keep in mind that their knowledge and experience took years to accumulate. Its impossible to know all the important elements in a few hours of study.

But what do you do if you think your farrier is not doing the best job for your horse? Tread carefully here. You don't want to argue with someone who knows better than you do; its insulting to them and will most likely make you look like a fool!

So, here's what you do:

Ask how he / she approaches your particular horse & why they do it a certain way. Most farriers enjoy explaining their methods. Who knows- you may learn something new about your horse's confirmation.

If you believe your horse has a lameness issue relating to the hooves, TELL them! Even though a good farrier can see how your horse wears down their shoes, they won't know everything about your horses movement by looking at the feet. Be sure to consult with your Veterinarian about these issues as well-- many times lamenesses are not a farrier problem.

Check out their confirmation. Go back to those books and assess if that's just how your horse is or if the problem is coming from the shoeing work.

Seasons change, and weather affects the condition of your horses feet. Don't blame the farrier for the issues arising from nature; ask how you can both manage the environment together.

After you've talked to your farrier, studied your horse, and considered your own management-- if you're still concerned about the quality of your farrier's job, THEN it's time to ask for another professional opinion. You can ask your Veterinarian, if they have a good understanding of farrier work (not all will) or you can ask another farrier. Be careful who you choose, because this is a competitive industry --they might convince you of your worries just to gain a new client.

If you decide to get another farrier, be sure to TELL your farrier that you are going with someone elses services. It is bad form to drop them at the last minute or to stop answering their calls. If you are too afraid to tell your farrier why you're leaving, then I bet you haven't taken the steps above. Give them a chance to get it right before you send them packing!

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