View Full Version : Farrier work and the dressage horse...

Sep. 6, 2009, 09:50 AM
I was wondering what people discuss with their farriers in regards to breakover, rolling the toe, not rolling the toe etc. Obviously a good balanced foot is a must but is there any room for play for better movement and what works with your horse.

My current farrier does an excellent job but he is a hunter farrier and tends to keep the toes quite short and rolled and I am wondering if it is worth having him play around with it a bit.

Any thoughts?

Sep. 6, 2009, 10:36 AM
I live in thoroughbred land and almost every farrier has a connection to the racing/breeding industry out here. A lot of farriers I've had will just trim them down to the point of nothing (no rollover, no wall, no heel) and slap a pair of shoes on them. Since my girl is barefoot, there is nothing worse than having her sore on her feet because they trimmed her short.

I'm lucky to have found my guys.

When we are trimmed, I discuss how she's going, and I see and feel. I don't even try to dictate the trim. They discuss with me what they see (from a professional standpoint) and what needs to be done in the next 6 weeks.

Sep. 6, 2009, 11:02 AM
I used to discuss those things with my farrier. I got fed up with lost shoes and chasing toes that i took him barefoot and learned to do it myself. now i dont have to discuss it with anyone. i'm in charge of how my horse moves.

Sep. 6, 2009, 11:15 AM
If my horse is sound and the shoes are staying on, I am happy.

If there is a problem with one of the above, I describe the problem, not the solution.
So I will say, "He seems to be a little bit sore in his heels these days," or, "This horse pulls shoes."

That way, the farrier can do his job and fix the problem. If I just tell him to "roll the toe more" he can not holistically do his job in light of what the problem is.

Leaving the solution up to the farrier also treats him like a professional whose opinion one respects, and is a wonderful tool both to keeping the horse sound (because really, he knows more than me. For real.) AND to keeping one of the most important people to one's horse's well being happy to work with you.

Sep. 6, 2009, 12:20 PM
Same here! I'll comment, he has gotten in alittle long in the toe since the last shoeing, or he was tenderfooted for two two days on the last trim. Or, those shoes just don't seem to be staying on.

My farrier then fixes it, because that's what he's spent years doing.

He doesn't teach or train, and I don't trim or shoe.

We get along. ;)

Sep. 6, 2009, 12:35 PM
Sadly there are very few really good farriers so it makes them really expensive because they travel all over the country and even the world to shoe horses. The really good farriers understand how a horse moves and how they should move for a specific discipline.

Sep. 8, 2009, 12:55 AM
I regularly discuss my horses' movement or any potential problems with my farrier. I ask many questions. My farrier interprets my questions and tells me whether or not they are a good idea and I usually go with what my farrier tells me. We have a great relationship and I have learned alot from him. He has also learned alot about my horses from my comments. He is the expert but I see the day to day with the horse. Our dialog is invaluable. I believe that your hunter farrier will be able to tell you with what to play around with and what not to, and can help you figure out what changes can help and hinder the movement. Is your farrier open to this?

Sep. 8, 2009, 11:31 AM
If my horse is sound and the shoes are staying on, I am happy.

If there is a problem with one of the above, I describe the problem, not the solution.....

Well stated - if there is a problem I tell the farrier about it - like my mare's one hoof is very upright so there have been times when riding (/walking her from ground), you can hear the other front hoof hitting the ground harder. I tell the farrier about what I hear and he fixes it (slight change in hoof angle), not how I would fix it since HE is the professional, not me.

If it's not broke don't fix it! :D