If you own (or have ever owned) a horse, then you are familiar with farriers and the huge impact they have on the quality of life for our equine companions. However, most of us are entirely ignorant to this profession… most of us have never even heard of a farrier.
This year, July 6th-12th is National Farriers’ Week, and we wanted to do our part to show appreciation for the dedication and hard work put forth by this very important group of men and women. Without them, the health of horses would suffer. So, our hats are off to our farrier friends.
What does a farrier do?
Farriers are one part animal care provider and one part blacksmith, combining their skills to provide overall care for horses’ hooves. They watch for signs of disease in the hooves or symptoms of lameness, and respond appropriately. They trim the feet, cut out any excess material, and help maintain good hygiene.
How does someone become a farrier?
In order to become a farrier, candidates can either study through an apprenticeship or at one of the few schools that are available to learn the trade. However, there is a lot more to it than just the study.
Future farriers should understand that this is a job consisting of a very high level of physical labor and very low level of recognition. They need to have a keen ability to handle a horse and recognize problems, such as uneven gait or confirmation flaws.
Farriers also spend their entire careers improving their craft and undergoing continuing education. This is a career that requires an incredible level of dedication and love for equine species.
As anyone who has worked with horses can tell you, farriers are invaluable to a horse’s quality of life. This profession deserves much more than one week of gratitude for what they do, and we are happy to extend our thanks to the men and women of the horseshoeing craft.