Horse Care 101 – Farrier

(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsing Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center. And today I’m joined by two certified journeymen farriers that are at the Horse Care 101 here in Manhattan, Kansas. So, welcome guys. (Matt) Thank you. (Chris) And thank you for everything you’re doing to educate some of the clients here that have been to just learn about horses and the farriers and kind of what is involved with a farrier. I think a first place would be to start, and we have Matt Merrill from Allen, Kansas, and Patrick Dutton around the Wichita area. They’re here and both certified journeymen farriers. And I just was wanting to know again, what is a certified journeymen farrier, so people kind of know when they see that abbreviation in farriers and what that involves? (Matt) Certified journeymen farrier, we have both taken a voluntary certification test with the American Farriers Association. The test itself is a full horse shod and two hours with hand made shoes, plain stamped on the front and quarter clipped behind. There’s a pretty intense, at least for horse shoers, anatomy test and written test and then there’s also, you have to fit a bar shoe to a foot in 35 minutes. So it’s basically, it’s a test that just shows that you are capable of at least meeting these standards in a certain amount of time. (Chris) Right, right. And the amount of just work and detail I think is something else that is a part of that whole certification, just being very detail oriented and knowing what you’re doing I think is, I was kind of a fly on the wall watching one time on those things and it’s pretty impressive to watch some of those certifications. So, I think that is great and it’s just an added aspect of knowledge for farriers to have for that. (Matt) You bet. It’s not set up in a way that this is the way you need to shoe all horses, it’s set up almost as a prescription. So, if we can shoe a horse that precisely in that amount of time, you can do the same thing for a veterinarian at home. (Chris) Yep. And that’s great. So here at the Horse Care 101, what’s kind of a common question that you found that horse owners were kind of asking you about? (Matt) Well we asked… had several questions asked about why do you have to shoe your horse? Can your horse just go barefoot all the time? And our answer to that was just your horse needs shoes when it wears off more foot than it grows, basically. If you think about that for a second, it’s a pretty common sense way of going about it. Some horses, horses in training and horses that are being used every day, they just wear off more foot than they grow, we have to come up with something to make up the difference there. And it can be a steel horse shoe or it can be… there’s all kinds of stuff. There’s boots, there’s any number of things that can make up that difference. (Chris) And knowing, every horse owners knows that- how crucial it is to have a sound horse with all four feet that are sound. And every horse is different as you go through and just I think the biggest thing is getting a farrier involved right off the bat, so we know kind of what would be the next step and just having a great relationship with the veterinarians and that aspect. And I really appreciate the relationship that we have with you and the rest of the Kansas Farrier Association. (Matt) Yes sir. (Chris) And that’s another thing too, you’re the president of the Kansas Farriers. (Matt) Yes sir. (Chris) And do you just want to talk a little bit about that organization and what that kind of does? (Matt) You bet. Kansas Farriers Association is a group of horse shoers. We basically just try to get together and you know, it’s a camaraderie kind of thing, but then it’s also a group of people that are set up to where we can have clinics. We can have certifications and in some cases we have contests, and it’s just… it’s all centered around shoeing horses and trying to become better horse shoers. (Chris) Well thank you guys for being here at Horse Care 101 and thank you for helping improve the horse through the foot. (Matt) It’s our pleasure. (Chris) Thank you.

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