So many people influence the life of a racehorse. Along with a great training team, like horseOlogy, other professionals play a massive role in our success. One of those unsung heroes is the farrier. What is a farrier, and how do they affect the comfort and career of each of our horses? Let’s take a closer look.
What Does a Farrier Do?
For a long time, the term blacksmith was interchangeable with farrier. It is a specialization of blacksmithing to make and fit horseshoes. However, a farrier also knows how to trim, shape, and clean hooves. It’s not unlike visiting a human podiatrist if the podiatrist’s patients are inclined to kick.
Hoof care is exceptionally important for every horse, and thoroughbreds are no exception. They have delicate feet compared to other breeds, so attention to detail is vital to their overall health. A good farrier, along with a proper diet and excellent stall maintenance, will keep a thoroughbred’s feet healthier. Just like we regularly schedule haircuts or manicures for ourselves, horses need to be seen by the farrier every four to six weeks.
Horseshoes can be made from several types of metal, including iron and steel. For racehorses, though, to improve traction and reduce stress on the hoof, the vast majority will use aluminum shoes that are attached using smaller nails. Some racehorses even wear corrective shoes to help with leg and hoof problems and keep them balanced.
How to Find a Good Farrier
You should consider a few things when hiring someone for your horses.
- Ask for recommendations within your equine community
- Review certifications and education
- Work with a farrier who understands your horse’s breed and discipline, such as thoroughbred racehorses
Once you select your expert, you can expect a personalized approach to hoof care for each horse. Be sure to always communicate with your farrier, so they know what’s been going on between visits.
Every horse in the care of horseOlogy is treated with a personal approach from nose to hoof.