An appropriately qualified farrier needs to attend your horse on a routine basis to undertake trimming and if necessary, shoeing. To ensure your horse gets the best care, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about farriery and shoeing.
How do I find a farrier?
In the United Kingdom, registered farriers are governed by The Farriers Registration Act and overseen by the Farriers Registration Council.
To find a registered farrier in your area visit The Farriers Registration Council.
How often does my horse need to see a farrier?
It is difficult to put a time frame on how long a horse should go between trimmings as there are many factors which affect the growth and wear of the hoof, including amount of work the horse is doing and surface that it is working on. Your farrier will be able to advise you on the frequency of visits required for your horse, but generally horses need trimming every 6-8 weeks.
Does my horse need shoes?
Horses have survived for thousands of years without shoes, and still can, however some horses do now require shoes for various different reasons.
There are three reasons for horses to wear shoes:
1. To prevent excessive wearing of the wall and sole when moving on abrasive surfaces such as tarmac and concrete.
2. To enhance performance, whether for grip, the horse’s action or protection from injury.
3. To effect a change to the hoof or to provide therapy to the foot, limb or body or compensate for conformational defects.
If your horse does not fit into these categories it should be questioned whether they need to be shod and in many cases it is not unreasonable to have just front shoes fitted. All horses are individuals so it is best to discuss their specific needs with your farrier on a regular basis.
Regardless of whether your horse is shod or unshod you should have an understanding of their feet and become familiar with their individual hoof conformation.
Should you have any concerns, the best person to help is your horse’s farrier who should be only too willing to discuss issues on one of their routine visits or over the telephone if you feel the problem is more urgent.