Which Way Is The Wind Blowing?

New trends and fads giving you difficulty? Remember the following recommendation. Not many times can you make the wrong decision by assessing the problem and go back to the basics you learned in the very first years you were shoeing. Talk with the shoers and vets you trust. The material you get from those sources and what you learned early on will serve you well. New and most times, not very well thought out fixes are trotted out to be taught with vigor for a short period of time. Then, after everyone takes the new fix home, realization sets in, "hey we thought this was a great idea when the guy was demonstrating it, but after trying it out, it doesn't seem to work quite the same.

There will be a lot of enthusiastic viewers that come home and start teaching and preaching something that doesn't need pushing. Some thoughtful integration of the technique into their personal work so that they can look at the benefits and short comings would be more useful. Trust your basic learning experience.

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When you do run into a problem that you already have a fix for, and is clearly effective, evaluate the current fad against what works for you. You can incorporate the new approach into your arsenal of tools in a thoughtful way so that you have time to assess how and why it works. Flash is is just flash, great for a show and stimulating some thoughts on new approaches. The horse is looking for tried and true.

When researching something new for today, be sure and look at how the methodology works, speak to the person or clinician demonstrating and ask the questions that the other guys didn't ask.  Again, talk to your trusted shoers and vets and compare the difference in what you have known to work and what is being presented. Usually the guy who made it up or re-discovered it is very excited about the new prospect and hasn't viewed the results with the same scrutiny as those in the audience will. One can always say, "that's just not by the book". Don't buy the whole book, tear out and

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throw away what doesn't fit the horse that you are shoeing at this moment, For that matter, stick to just one hoof at a time approach, that might be thinking in the moment just like the horse does. A horse doesn't ever say "I'm going to try moving this way for the next couple of days and see what happens". When we make some change we wait and go back four or so weeks later to see what the results were. It would be better, but a lot of times impractical to look at every change we've made with a new trick and see the results throughout the shoeing cycle. I do make a habit of calling clients periodically in the shoeing period to ask about the progress or negative impact of the fix that I employed on the horse.

Which way is the wind blowing? I think back to the basics is kept quite clean, shinny and effective through the strongest of winds of change. Change and brilliant new approaches can be a thoughtful process that evolves and not just wedged in.

Keep it clean and simple,

Don Dressel


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