Farrier (How to choose, What to expect)

ALEX: In selecting a farrier, it’s important to note first off that a horses’ hoof is one of the most important parts of their anatomy, so it’s important to find the right farrier because a horses’ hoof needs attention pretty much on a monthly basis. A horse is shod or has new shoes or is trimmed really every 30 days, give or take a few days. If you let that go, then it can really cause some serious problems. So in selecting a farrier, we’d probably go back to where we were with a veterinarian. If you’re in a certain horse community, is talk to people. Find out who they use. Make sure that that person can come out on a regular basis, once a month at least. That’s probably the best way to do it.

STEVE: And I think it’s really important that you communicate your desires of what you’re going to use the horse for. They understand. I mean, if you go out and you buy a reining horse and the guy doesn’t know how to put a pair of plates on, the sliding plates and things of this nature for a reining horse, he’s not going to be of very much use to you. So finding a guy that understands your discipline, whether it’s a saddlebred, a thoroughbred, a jumper, the differences that he can put on your horses’ feet to get the maximum amount of performance and maintain their feet and also deal with problems, because problems do arise. They get thrush. They get quarter cracks, they get wall separations, things of this nature, and being preventative and also being really, really ahead of the curve and pointing these things out to you and how you can maintain is a good communication between you and your blacksmith and it’s something that helps your horse be maintained better. If you’re having trouble with thrush, obviously your maintenance of your horse in the stall has not been the best, so he’s going to point that out to you. He can’t just come in and say, you know, every four or five weeks, like, hey, you’ve got a little thrush here, let’s clean it out. No. That’s a maintenance problem, it’s something you need to work with with your blacksmith. He’s going to point it out and you’ve got to basically have something, a routine that helps clean this particular problem.

ALEX: And some horses, I mean, in trail riding, some horses don’t really need shoes all the time. You can do things with horses without having its shoes put on. But there is a proper trimming that needs to be done at least once a month.

STEVE: Oh, at least. Yeah. And obviously during the winter, it’s a little slower, they don’t grow as much foot, during the summer, they grow more foot. But there are several disciplines that you can get away with not having any shoes on at all.