Hot! Shoeing – and ponderings of therapeutic shoeing.

posted in: The Daily Grind | 0

We did have some really nice weather recently, but that appears to be over.

Instead of just one extra shirt for the trip home, its more like one for every horse or two. Lots of laundry and drinks.

The bright sun sure does make lots of things look cleaner, but I can attest that the people that have be be around a farrier in this heat and humidity would disagree.

During the nice weather, Will and I have been trying to get some good footage and photos while I’m shoeing the horses.

We are learning a lot about working together with the cameras and stuff. It takes a lot of practice to keep multiple cameras going with fresh batteries and keep all the files organized for editing later. We’re getting it though.

I have had a lot of calls for more therapeutic shoeing again lately.

I’m always torn about that. I love the challenge; the art and science of shoeing a lame horse and the satisfaction that comes from being able to craft an elegant solution and see a horse feel better because of it.

On the other hand, it is super expensive and time consuming to work on these horses and the maintenance can be a real hassle. For example, I recently put some Myron McLane frog pads on a couple of navicular syndrome horses and the horses seemed to really improve.

That’s super satisfying, but then a couple of them pulled a shoe and one of them completely lost a shoe.

When any horse loses a shoe, I lose the profit from shoeing that horse. When it is an expensive and difficult appliance that is lost, that dramatically amplifies the loss of an already thinner margin.

In recent years, a lot of farriers have decided to step away from therapeutic shoeing altogether and leave all that to the clinics.

That is the decision I have made as well and now suddenly, I find myself being pulled back.

So, the decision becomes this: do I go all in, or stay completely out?

I do have a lot of experience in lameness and show horses. I have pretty much all the toys to be able to build and apply anything the horse needs. Do I want to spend the extra time and money and just go all in – and charge the prices I need to make it all work?

It’s something I really need to think about.

In the mean time, I find myself pecking away at the supplies I need to head that direction. That can become a dangerous thing if I don’t put a good deal of thought and intent into this. I don’t want to find myself in a couple years time trapped by my current indecisiveness.

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