The "Farrier-Friendly"™ series By Bryan S. Farcus, BS, CF

General Horse Foot Care
The old saying "No Foot, No Horse" is one horse people like to recite all the time. What constitutes a healthy foot? As equine experts, you will have to be familiar with and responsible for the "Life-Line" of your horse – his feet.
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Questions of Curiosity
The Unanswered…
An anonymous author once wrote:
Everything that is either timeless or priceless comes to us in the form of art. Those things which are based on mechanics alone must be updated periodically and for a price.
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Does Your Horse Suffer From Farrier Phobia?
Imagine yourself trapped in an elevator. Your hands are tied and you are only able to stand on one leg at a time. Let's also add an annoying fly that insists on using your nose for a landing site. Sounds pretty uncomfortable and maybe even scary if you're the claustrophobic type, doesn't it?
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Consider Care Even When They are Bare
The decision to shoe or not is one that is based on an evaluation of three main concerns. The first being the quality of health of the horse’s hoof (i.e. the presence of any deep cracks or extreme distortions of the wall). The second being a noticeable weakness in the limb-to-hoof connection, resulting in a lack of weightbearing capacity for the horse (i.e. Collapsed "urderran" heels, Longtoe / Lowheel syndrome, Club footedness, etc.). And last, the consideration of the workload.
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Coming Together
At the start of the last decade, I was just entering the horse industry. The "horse world" was a virtual undiscovered territory that I was excited about and ready to explore. The experiences of these past ten years have merely served to start me off on this journey and each equine expert that I have met and studied (farriers, vets, trainers, and breeders) has, without a doubt, contributed to my success thus far. I have felt for some time now that it is my moral duty to transfer any knowledge gained to those who depend on it the most – the horse owners.
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Knowing Your Horse's Feet-- Inside and Out
As I reflect back on the years that I have spent learning and teaching, I admit that in the beginning, it would have been very easy to be mislead. Whether we are willing to admit it or not, we are virtually at the mercy of those "first impressions".
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Hot or Cold Shoeing: What is your Farrier Doing?
One of the hottest issues in today's horseshoeing industry is the concept of shoe fitting. If you were to gather a group of farriers and initiate a round table discussion on this topic, you would find yourself in the middle of a heated debate. This debate, however, is not a new one. As early as 1890 a book, entitled The Practical Horseshoer, clearly illustrated opposition among many prominent farriers and with a bit of poignancy, M.T. Richardson summarized it best: "The advocates of each system of fitting are numerous, but the weight of evidence seems to be in favor of cold fitting, in theory, and more or less hot, in practice."
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© 2000 Bryan Farcus. All rights reserved.
Bryan Farcus, certified farrier and head of the Department of Farrier Science at Meredith Manor International Equestrian Centre, has been combining the skills of horseshoeing, teaching and riding for the past ten years. He has also achieved a BS in Business Management. Bryan is the creator of "Farrier-Friendly"™ articles and products aimed at improving the general understanding of horseshoeing through horsemanship. For a complete collection of "Farrier-Friendly"™ articles click here.


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Updated: October 2005.