You’ve heard of a farrier and you may even know that it’s incredibly important. But why? What do they do? And what modern methods are being used to cross over human and horse care?
At least every month the farrier visits all miRunners horses. But why? Because there is an old saying that is as true today as it was 50 years ago:
“If you don’t have a foot you don’t have a racehorse”
That is because you need the foot to be in good condition to maintain soundness. You need the foot to support the rest of the horse. This enables them to train well and then race well.
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Farriers specialise in equine hoof care, and today that involves a mix of skills across different disciplines, from infections to bio-mechanics.
Today by applying greater bio-mechanical understanding, a horse that might have struggled with work previously could have a possible career with the fitting of a personalised shoe. Principles used to align humans are being applied to horses with incredible results starting with small changes in their shoes to achieve soundness.
To keep a horse’s feet in good condition their regular “pedicure” consists of constant checking and filing to ensure there are no chips or splits that could cause future problems, plus keeping their hoof wall in good quality through oiling.
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Some common problems farriers are always on the lookout for with thoroughbreds are bad heels and rotation of the foot.
They are looking to keep the heels open and straight, especially during growth periods. Any signs of rotation – inward (pigeon toed) or outward – will affect the rest of the leg and the conformation of the horse. Ideally if rotation tendencies can be identified early they can be treated immediately to stop the rotation before it becomes an issue.
Farriers also look to promote a healthy thick hoof wall, with as much around the hoof capsule as possible. They always keep an eye toes too, hoping for neat toes that are not too long.
In the above video you can see the farrier visiting a young Saganaki in this owner report video. Watch his handling and the treatment he receives at a monthly visit. For those familiar with Saganaki it is a nice reminder of just how far this yearling has come in his development since his time last year.
If you liked the insights of the owners update video above and you would like to become an owner of a premium thoroughbred matched with Australia’s best trainers, you can own through miRunners for just $275 (plus $15 a month).