Choosing a Farrier–What You Must Know.
You have heard the old adage “no hoof, no horse.” Well, this is one of those horsey phrases that really rings true. Excellent hoof care, nutrition, and maintenance of the foot will help minimize some of the most common hoof issues affecting horses. Naturally, it cannot guarantee that your horse will never develop any problems, but it will give you a fighting chance. One of the most important things you can do for your horse is to ensure he is attended to on a regular basis by a highly experience and reputable farrier.
Choosing the right farrier is an important decision. Many are extremely busy with very few openings, so selecting your farrier and booking as soon as you can is recommended to ensure your horse does not fall behind in his hoof care program. So, what should you look for when choosing the right farrier for your horse?
Discuss Your Farrier's Experience.
Unlike veterinarians, farriers do not have to complete a degree or certification to practice in the US– anyone can advertise and work in the industry. However, to carry out farriery, a wide knowledge of the horse is required. They must have a firm understanding of the anatomy of the horse, understand diseases that affect the hoof, and complete training to learn the techniques required to trim and shoe correctly. It is highly recommended that you select a farrier who has completed the American Farrier’s Association (AFA) certification program.
The AFA offers a certification program which spans many levels of competency.
The Internship level requires completion of a basic farriery anatomy exam.
The Certified Farrier (CF) requires a year of farrier experience and successful completion of the written exam, as well as a two part practical exam on standard and therapeutic techniques, such as remedial shoeing.
Following successful qualification as a farrier after earning CF status, the AFA offer a higher level certification, the AFA Certified Journeyman Farrier. To gain this higher level certification, the farrier must complete at least two years’ experience in the field and take a further advanced written test with practical exam, requiring the candidate to make and fit bar shoes to exacting standards.
It is highly recommended that you select a farrier who has completed their AFA certification. If you should need details on a farrier in your area, visit their website.
When making your first call to a farrier, there are some important questions you need to ask prior to booking an appointment. Make note of the answers you receive to ensure you both book correctly and follow protocol. Good farriers are often very busy and require advance notice for booking.
Some of the questions you should ask:
When your farrier first visits, it is important to make some observations to ensure you will be able to work together. Some things to look out for include:
Choosing a farrier is an important decision for any horse owner. By following our simple guide you will be able to approach and select a professional with ease. Come back to Spalding soon for more hints and tips on horse care
*Image courtesy of Dollar Photo Club.
This is so helpful, I am just looking for a skilled farrier to come to our horses
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