A farrier with 40 years’ experience in the trade is writing a book to pass on his advice on keeping safe around horses to younger generations.

Farrier Peter Baker has aimed his book at anyone handling horses, but specifically at people working unsupervised for the first time.

Mr Baker highlights the waning of the “knowledgeable old village carter” as his inspiration. By compiling the book in a modern format of photos, captions and DVDs, interspersed with text, Mr Baker hopes to make “three generations of word-of-mouth training” more accessible.

“When I was young, we learnt everything from older horsemen. Families like the Edgars and Whitakers have it stored in their heads, but all this knowledge is dropping out of the system and unless it is put into script, it will disappear,” said Mr Baker.

Though he acknowledges there is health and safety information available, Mr Baker is keen to bring his lifetime of experience to a broader field.

Peter Ablett from the Farrier Training Agency agreed: “There is advice around, but it’s hard to pin down an up-to-date body of knowledge. Peter’s book will be incredibly useful as a holistic approach to horse-handling.”

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (13 November, ’08)