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Selecting a farrier for your horse

Routine hoof care is essential to your horse’s health. Regular trimming and in some cases, shoeing can help keep your horse sound and performing. Having a farrier that works well with your horse and is willing to meet their individual needs is important.

Often, the best way to find a farrier is by word of mouth. Your veterinarian, industry professionals and other horse owners are good resources. The Minnesota Horseman’s Directory lists local farriers.

Considerations

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Maintaining the relationship

Once you find a farrier that works for you and your horse, here are some tips to keep a good working relationship with them.

Scheduling

Maintain a routine trim schedule even during the winter. Horses usually need a trim every 6 to 8 weeks.

Work space

Make sure you have a flat, clean and well-lit area for your farrier to work in. This will provide a safe area and help your farrier complete quality work. A rubber mat can add traction and comfort for both the horse and your farrier.

Horse behavior

Make sure your horse stands nice, is clean and well behaved. Tie your horse and practice picking up their feet. You should pick out each hoof daily. Never tolerate kicking, biting, leaning or pulling the leg away.

Horsemanship

Learn how to properly handle and discipline your horse. Ask for help from an experienced or professional horseman if needed.

Be prepared

Have your horse caught, brushed and ready for the farrier. This is especially important if multiple horses are scheduled to be trimmed or shod.

Payment

  • Make sure you understand your farrier's fee structure

  • Make your payments promptly

  • Schedule and cancel appointments in advance

Krishona Martinson, equine Extension specialist and Kim Otterson, County Line Farm

Reviewed in 2018

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