We shared a podcast on Social Media, Farrier Focus, we received comments that I felt are worth addressing.
If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the Farrier Focus Podcast, you can find it here
Comments regarding the Farrier Focus Podcast on Social Media:
“The biggest problem with farriers(I am one) is that most of them aren’t horsemen. Most have never had horses, and damn few could make a living on one. I get around horses most guys can’t because of that difference.” posted comment
“I totally agree! I’ve been a full time farrier for 27 years and still get calls to fix problem horses. Been very lucky to be around some great horsemen.” posted Comment
At least in my travels it seems that the majority of cowboy farriers, one that didn’t go to school and more or less learned on the job, have some horsemanship as good or bad as it may be. But a lot of thefarriers that went to a shoeing school may have much less experience around lots of different horses. The same is true with a lot of veterinarians. And too many owners have never crawled underneath a horse.
Although I don’t believe it is the Farrier or Veterinarians job to train on people’s horses, a better understanding would go a long way to prevent trouble and to better maintain positive experiences for the horse.
But where do we turn, many clinicians haven’t spent much time under a horse. I do not see this demonstrated much in the educational programs from clinicians. For most spectators it’s not entertaining or fun, and can be very intimidating. The answer to most of their problems seems to be more groundwork. So where do horse owners go for help with preparing the horse for a farrier? There is the real problem.
Ray Hunt was the horseshoeing instructor at a major university in California, for a time, and a very good farrier! Of course, we all know he has good horsemanship skills. There was a handful of people that worked around him on the ranches before he started doing clinics full-time that had a good opportunity to learn this subject. But the majority of the people know him for his colt starting and horsemanship exercises while riding their horse.
So, the problem we have is most horse owners, and worse yet breeders, don’t know because they haven’t spent enough time under a horse. And some of them don’t care enough; they feel that it’s the Farrier’s problem if the horse gives them any trouble. Very few farriers have the time, or enough knowledge to help the horse out very much.
Although horse owners are conditioned to pay hundreds of dollars for corrective shoeing, or for a vet clinic to bandage a leg, but very few will reach out to a knowledgeable horsemanship source for the problem, at least until the farrier says they’re not coming back.
So, I guess until it becomes more popular, like trailer loading demonstrations, groundwork, or riding through noodles, we may have to continue down this path.
I’m not sure how to get information out there, but I think a one week course, handling the feet of a multitude of inexperienced or bad experienced horses would be helpful to many owners and farriers.
To the farriers out there we know I’m preaching to the choir, and to the horse owners, breeders, and teaching institutions, for the greater good of the horse, think about it.