Roland’s nags and nails: give me dry horses and a cuppa

  • This blog is sponsored by the PRO FEET range of hoof care products from NAF

    I’ve met quite a few farriers now, either at seminars or farriery competitions and via consultations and training programs. And among them are some particularly fastidious ones! For example, they will only shoe a horse if the feet are picked out, washed off, dried and the horse is tied up and ready. If the horse is not correctly prepped, then it won’t get shod — they are back in the van, reverse and move on to the next job. Tough!

    This week has reminded me of the fact that we don’t operate like that. This is partly because we are based in a very rural part of the UK and partly due to the profile of our customers, who are not the large scale professional yards who have the time and staff to turn out immaculate horses.

    So therefore we either roll-up our sleeves and get muddy cold forearms or keep them down and get muddy wet sleeves. I’ve tried both this week and I’m not sure which is worse. Cold, wet muddy foot against bare skin is a bit bracing first thing on a cold morning but then wet, muddy sleeves have their own set of issues.

    One thing that we will not do is shoe in the rain. We do expect somewhere dry to work but even then, some yards (or fields) don’t have such facilities. Light to moderate drizzle is just about acceptable, but nothing more. We will not get wet through!

    The best places are those that have somewhere dry and dry horses. Thankfully, most of our customers offer such luxuries, and the icing on the cake is always a hot cup of tea or coffee. We are then, without a doubt, living it up!

    The weather this week is set to be wet and windy. Fingers crossed that the diary of shoeing appointments is kind…

    Until next week



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