How to Choose a Farrier

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This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Bayard Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved.  Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.


Q: Just getting started with horses and have a lot to learn. I was told to consult you about how to find the right farrier for my new horse. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

In advance, thank you for your time.

A: Choosing the right farrier should be approached in the same manner as you would choose the right doctor for your children. You would concern yourself with the doctor's experience, reputation, area of expertise, and willingness to take you on as a client.

Selecting the best farrier for your horse should not be based on low price, he's a nice guy, he's been doing it a long time, he's a family member or other reasons having no relationship to expertise as a farrier. Your search for the right farrier should begin with asking your veterinarian for a recommendation and talking to horse owners and trainers you respect. Find out which farriers are continuing their education by attending clinics and workshops put on by local farrier groups. If possible take a critical look at horses shod by any farriers you are considering.

A few other points to consider are:

Does the farrier drive a dependable rig that is not likely to break down on the way to your appointment?

Is he a successful, educated professional respected in the community?

Does he have the tools and skills necessary to take care of your horse's needs, including high tech solutions to any problems that might arise?

The American Farrier's Association is a good source of information on selecting a farrier, and you should take a look at their web site at . The AFA also maintains a database of certified farriers and journeyman farriers that is searchable by area and name at Find a Farrier .

The care of your horse's feet should be a team effort. That team should consist of the horse owner, the farrier and the veterinarian. Your responsibility as part of the team is to educate yourself to have at least a working knowledge of your horse's needs. Otherwise how will you know if they are being met? This knowledge would include knowing a good job from a bad job and being to tell when your horse's feet need the farrier's attention. Scheduling should not be left completely up to the farrier. Remember, the phone lines work both ways. Your farrier should be scheduling your horse for work every 6 to 8 weeks. If you don't hear from him as the time approaches, call him.

I would like to leave you with one last important if not original thought: No foot, no horse.

Geronimo Bayard
The Village Blacksmith
Oakland, Oregon


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This entire web site is copyright protected.  1996-2001 Geronimo & Mary Bayard,  2001-2008 Mary Fitzpatrick
All rights reserved. Contact Mary for reproduction information & permission.