A Good Farrier Is Hard to Find
And when you find a great one, you better hang onto him/her forever! Megan Kaiser declares it National Farrier Appreciation Day.
Top image: Wikimedia Commons
A friend of mine expressed that there must be a psychological syndrome where new mothers come to worship their pediatricians. I have small children and agreed but, being who I am, instantly thought that this most definitely applies to horse owners and their farriers.
Just as your pediatricians swoop in and save the day with your new born, a good farrier helps your horse in ways that you just don’t have the skills to do. They determine if you can go to that competition. They can ease your horse’s pain. They can make or break your horse (which for many of us is one of our children).
My horse is now 23. He compensates for some discomfort and doesn’t wear this shoes (in front) and feet (in back) evenly. He has old man tight hocks, doesn’t enjoy having the shoe nailed on, and can nibble on things if bored (e.g. farriers while they are working). He isn’t crazy or super bad, but he isn’t a simple shoeing job.
For several years I was the only client Paul had at the small farm where I keep my horse (recently others have jumped on the band wagon). Faithfully he comes out and spends the time shaping and grinding the shoes, trying different types of shoes, and perfecting the best break-over for my old man; for one horse. He didn’t have to do that, he could have done the trim, slapped on the shoes, and chalked up any issues my guy was having to being ridden for 20 years. Nope, he is there in the freezing cold or blasting heat fitting and re-fitting. He is also the source of some great stories!
Through text messages and with some tools another boarder had Paul has talked me through removing a half pulled off shoe at seven pm on a Friday because he was four hours away and couldn’t get there (and I couldn’t find another farrier). Those words were a life line when despite having watched something be done hundreds of times I needed to step up and do it myself because my best friend was in pain. At my next appointment Paul took me through removing the shoes step by step and instructed me on what equipment I needed to have on hand (and I am so glad I have them: they were used by the barn owner two weeks ago when she found herself in a similar situation with her mare).
So if there is not a National Farrier Appreciation Day, let today be that day! Thank you Paul.
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