and welcome to EquineAir. The information that is on this site is a collection of ideas and collaborations I've had with farriers, veterinarians, trainers, horse owners and professionals involved in horses. All of those people that I have come in contact with, beginning as a cognitive 3 year old with grandmom as my guide to the equine world, has and is playing a very important role in where my learning takes and shapes me today.
There is no single recipe or solution to shoe every horse and there are no recipes on this site, just situations that may stimulate a direction for the reader. Each horse is an individual and further, every hoof is unique and they should be shod as individuals. From these two points I build an approach to the ever-changing shoeing demands to keep horses sound. Considering that it is human nature to break things down to an almost meaningless, over simplified, step by step set of instructions. It’s not surprising that when the simplified view comes into play, the end product becomes diluted and for the most part mechanical and somewhat less than functional. Everyone that gets into shoeing notices that most horses will go pretty well even with the most marginal of shoeing. Horses are very tolerant. I think a fix can be simple, but recognizing the problem is not. What tends to drive overly simplistic approaches to complex, organic
structures such as a hoof, is the desire to satisfy a problem quickly and easily. That in itself is not the problem, who doesn't want it (problem) to straighten up fast? The problem is apparent when I watch a talented shoer/artist attempt to teach a technique that is second nature to the artist because of years of eye, hand and brain training. In making the process seem simple, there is an inherent loss of depth in the final product. The demonstrator makes the case seem easy and anybody watching can do it. That is the mechanical part. The benefit of the simplistic approach is that it is easy for almost anyone to follow. The final prescription may turn out to be very simple, but the process leading to the end prescription is time consuming and difficult. Passing the prescription to someone else is time consuming and difficult as well. In the majority of lameness and gait cases, mediocrity is all that is necessary to get the project finished. There will be an obvious thing to change, say medial/lateral adjustments, to affect a favorable goal. So just doing the job works out well for the major portion of problems presented. We can all benefit by looking at an array of approaches or techniques that solve the problems we encounter every day. One important aspect of shoeing I want to address on this site are approaches that may be helpful in themselves but also to stimulate the idea that most of the shoeing problems encountered are multi-faceted and need to be solved that way. Draw from a collection of approaches to solve your problem. This way you can step up the quality of your work and maybe slow down
your volume. I prefer, and recommend finding a balance between the amount of time working on each horse and the volume of horses one can do in a day, week or month for that matter. Horses can endure whatever we serve up and also how rapidly. That doesn't mean we should aspire to that. When you look closely at your work, the mistakes on every hoof become a little more glaring. Self and colleague criticism will carry you and I to the next level. I offer these pages and information to help the already somewhat experienced farrier. You can always contact someone who will clarify any procedures shown here or contact me. Any of the material shown here has been done for the individual hoof and may not translate to your horse. Just one more vantage point may give the view needed to solve the problem you have before you. A process can be passed on and that is beneficial. It is more important to realize that the depth of the problem requires the same depth thought when attempting to fix that problem(s).
The fifty six years I have been watching horses and over thirty nine years of shoeing is a base for learning experiences that I gain everyday from interactions with the horse and others involved in the equine world. I know that if you are shoeing, you're having a great time. I never thought that shoeing would turn into a lifetime endeavor. Enjoy the information here and please don't hesitate to email or call.
Inquires by email.......... don@EquineAir.com
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