|First Posted Oct 29, 2007|
Jul 22, 2010
Be Ready For The Farrierby Debora Johnson
The farrier is coming and you have arrived at the barn. What can you do to prepare for your horse's farrier appointment? There are a number of steps you can take to help the farrier and expedite the farrier's time as well as your own.
Our horses are bare foot on all four feet. We are lucky that our riding territory is beautifully maintained and not rocky. Both Rusty and A Patchy also have strong feet. They are given farrier's formula every day as a supplement. They get all their shots, vet checks two times a year, excellent grass turn out, good quality hay, and wonderful daily care as well. My farrier, Don Roof, comes every 6 to 8 weeks. If we need him sooner he has asked us to call him and he will come. Having trimmed the horses for several years he knows their growth patterns. Don has been my farrier for 24 years except for a stint while we were boarding in Maryland. One of the reasons we moved the horses back to Virginia was because we missed Don.
The toe usually grows more rapidly than the heel. When your horse has shoes the toe does not wear down and this can cause many problems if the horse's feet are not tended on a regular basis. For example, a long toe can put undue pressure on the heel of the foot, the hoof may grow and push against the shoe or grow over the shoe causing corns, contracted heels, and quarter cracks. If your horse's feet are not tended by a good farrier your horse can develop seedy toe and abscesses. Added to all this, the angles of the foot change and can cause gait problems, lameness, and inflammation. The discomfort that your horse feels may manifest itself in muscle soreness because your horse tries to compensate for the pain. A horse that has pain can develop other bad habits and not want to perform. He may also develop behavioral problems.
I cannot stress enough the importance of an excellent farrier and regular foot maintenance. Remember, "No feet, no horse!"