What does a Farrier do?

A farrier is a professional in the field of horse care who is responsible for a wide array of equine needs and are trained in the medical processes that are usually required for horses. They are equipped to handle various aspects of domestic horse care such as shoeing horses, trimming their hair and monitoring them for health problems. Historically, farriers were responsible almost solely for the shoeing of horses, with their name even coming from a word related to blacksmithing. This has resulted in a common misconception that they build horseshoes or are blacksmiths themselves, while in actuality this is rarely the case. While the carrier is not as prevalent as it was due to the decreased usage of horses in work settings and decrease in horse rearing in general, they are still highly respected professionals in the field on equine health. It should be noted that while farriers are trained in the medical needs of horses, they are not qualified to perform medical procedures on horses. They are, however, able to discern the severity of issues plaguing horses and recommend various treatments and direct horse owners to veterinarians qualified and trained to perform these services.

Farriers offer services more in line with daily horse care and are able to offer advice to horse owners on how to best care for their horses. They are in possession of special tools such as brushes, trimmers, and horseshoe nails which allow them to do their jobs effectively.

Horseshoeing

This is the primary responsibility of a farrier and is almost the definitive job of a farrier. Horses should be shod for a variety of reasons, as their hooves wear down from use and heavy loads. Workhorses and domestic horses are made to work long hours and carry heavy loads as part of their daily routines. This requires them to be shod properly by a farrier trained to do so. Farriers also trim the hooves of horses if required and replace old shoes. They may also bend and adjust the shoes to the required shape if the horse’s hooves. Farriers may also recommend alternative types of shoes based on the medical needs of horses and determine whether a horse needs special types of shoes for various corrective purposes such as uneven hooves. Shoeing a horse also offers several other benefits such as increased traction in uneven ground. They can also current problems in a horse’s gait and correct various hoof problems as determined by the farrier.

Cleaning

Farriers are also trained and equipped to clean and groom horses. Farriers also advice horse owners on the proper methodologies of carrying out horse grooming activities and cleaning schedules for the horses they own. Hygiene is an extremely important aspect of horse care, and it can significantly impact their demeanour and health. Horses should also be groomed regularly to maintain their hair and fur at manageable levels. Farriers also treat horses’ fur with various anti-bacterial treatments or medications to ensure their wellbeing.