Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Millwater's Farriery: Hoofcare for Horseowners...

   When the first modern lexicon of farriery was done in '94, we didn't have the wherewithal to do a lot of fancy stuff like in-context illustrations, so we settled for an appendix of line-drawings to which the dictionary entries could refer...  Later versions got the in-column illustrations, but the appendix was retained as an efficient way to provide full-page illustrations that could serve multiple entries.  While the illustration appendix pages stayed the same, the illustrations have been upgraded as available print quality has allowed.

   Now, for the first time, we're actually adding some new appendix pages for Millwater's Farriery: The Illustrated Dictionary of Horseshoeing and Hoofcare.

   This one touches on something I've been trying to get across for some time...  

   Horseowners often complain that it's hard to get a decent farrier to come out to there area to do their horses.  The pros seem to only want to do big barns...  Well, part of the reason for that is that pros think about more than just making the trip out to shoe your horses.  They know that shoes sometimes get stepped-on or pulled.  Not too much of a problem at the big barn, where the farrier probably swings-by on a regular basis and can do patchwork without screwing-up his schedule.  If he only comes out your way once every six weeks, and your horse messes up a shoe halfway through the cycle, he knows he either has to make your horse wait (which sucks for you), or shuffle around his schedule to get out there to patch (which sucks for his other clients)...

   To avoid this, a farrier will often simply not take-on clients he knows he can't provide full service to...  A horseshoer might just short the heels, nail behind the bend, and use other physiologically unsound methods to keep the shoes on tight between visits.

   But, if more horseowners would put together an inexpensive kit, and learn a few basic skills, farriers would know that his clients won't be SOL if Dobbin' eases a heel.  

   Pulling off a bent shoe, flattening it out, and nailing it back on through the established nail holes doesn't require the skills or tools of a qualified farrier.  Used to be a pretty common thing for horseowners to be able to do.  With competent farriers getting to be spread pretty thin these days, this ability will make one an asset to the horsekeeping neighborhood.

- 30 -


No comments:

Post a Comment