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  • darrallclifford

What I Do Differently

I was asked by a new client recently what I do differently to the farrier they are using now.

I first asked them before I answered why they had called me to look at their horse.

They informed me that their horse had some behavioural issues when being trained and their horse's feet were changing shape, and the saddle does not fit anymore. And someone said to try me.

Then I asked them what they perceived as the job of the farrier.

They said that their farrier's job is to put shoes on their horse so they can ride him without being footsore.

This is the answer I hear a lot from horse owners; they believe the job of the farrier is to stop their horse from being footsore.

I believe the farrier’s job is far more than just putting shoes on your horse.

You see, over my years as a farrier, I have become more interested in studying the behaviour and physical structures of the horse and systematically arranging my findings to identify the general rules that I can use in the clinical environment that will encompass all aspects of the animal being presented to me for treatment.

I found that by studying anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology and the relationship between their different biological system, I would have a healthier understanding of the individual animal's behavioural characteristics and postural stance. For, this is what I believe farriering is all about. Comprehending the biology and science of the biomechanical movement of the equine and using your findings to guide you through the trimming and shoeing strategies that you want to apply in the clinical environment.

We must remember that equine science is never truly standing still, as we are always finding new scientific studies that enlighten us more on the biology of the equine. Therefore, our appreciation of the functions and mechanisms which are at work in the living equine must also change to embrace these new scientific studies. Science-based research is all about being able to repeat your findings repeatedly, especially in the clinical environment.

This is why I have become more interested in studying equine biomechanical medicine. So, through research, I can identify the pathology markers primarily of the distal limb and systematically arrange my findings to duplicate the required results. My aim is always to return dysfunctional structures to functional structures, giving the animals an improved quality of life.

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