Farrier Friday at Allegheny Equine Associates

In order to best serve their clients, farriers need to constantly learn new techniques and approaches. In order to aid in this process, one vet hosts Farrier Fridays so apprentices can learn from journeyman farriers. Read on for more:

By Laren Willamson

On a chilly evening, farriers from across Pennsylvania and Ohio gathered at Allegheny Equine Associates’s facility in Apollo, PA for an event they’ve dubbed “Farrier Fridays.”

Farrier Fridays originally were organized by local professionals several years ago to promote continuing education clinics for farriers at all levels of their professional career. They established a goal of encouraging and supporting the next generation of farriers as they gain experience and expand their knowledge to be as successful as possible. Like many industries, they’ve faced the challenges of waning interest in the industry and a lack of fresh faces. However, once the interest seemed to be resparked they took off full speed ahead.

For this evening’s event Roy Verocay APF-I, a journeyman farrier and GluShu representative, provided an in-depth presentation on the process of glue shoes. Verocay began his farrier career over 20 years ago and has been committed to honing his craft ever since. His dedication to furthering his education and implementing innovative techniques can easily be seen in his approach to both complex and standard cases.

Verocay elaborates on hoof shape and preparation using cadaver limbs. Photo by Laren Williamson.

He kicked off the presentation with a slideshow highlighting the most crucial aspects of glue-on shoes, from proper foot preparation to the effects of temperature and climate on adhesives. He explained the unique difficulties farriers may face when using this shoeing method for various disciplines and medical applications. The adaptability of adhesive shoeing makes it an ideal choice for injuries that may require modifications and it provides the farriers with a good base to start the healing process. Cadaver limbs were provided to give attendees a chance to familiarize themselves with the products and experiment with the challenging aspects of application. Throughout the demonstration the room was filled with constant discussion of previous experience and new ideas between the peers.

Apprentices tested their skills at proper glue application using icing to mimic consistency and spread of adhesive. Photo by Wayne Sodowsky.

For the live demonstration,  Allegheny Equine Associates provided x-rays and a lameness evaluation on “Shiloh,” a 12 year old standardbred, for the group to evaluate. They were able to collaborate on the best methods and the results they hoped to achieve with this specific case.  This gave apprentices a chance to show off some of their skills as they prepared the hooves and began the application process. Shiloh stood patiently as her hooves were cleaned, trimmed, and fitted for shoeing. Verocay stayed close at hand to provide additional instruction, often giving helpful tips that he has picked up over his years of using the products. The evening came to a close once the process was complete and any lingering questions were answered. 

As the crowd dispersed for the night, it was obvious that the event had created a fantastic environment for camaraderie and growth for longtime professionals and the next generation alike. 

Photo by Laren Williamson

Laren Williamson was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by horses, but it wasn;t until recent years that she fully committed to her journey as a horsewoman. With a couple years of ranch riding and cow work under her belt, she spends much of her time as an intern at Hohmann Performance Horses in Volant, PA., working with her 2 year old, Lenas BoomJakalaka. She looks forward to learning the process of bringing a youngster up and introducing one to the showpen.