Your horse’s hooves are arguably the most important part of his anatomy. As the age old saying goes “no hoof, no horse”. Nothing is truer than this when it comes to general horse care. As a horse owner, it is your job to know how to properly care for your horse’s feet and what steps need to be taken to insure that his feet remain happy and healthy. Once you find a farrier that works for you, and better yet your horse, you need to have his feet trimmed every four to six weeks.
 
If you are like the majority of horse owners you will be working your horse like usual and one day you will notice that your horse has a small crack starting to form on one of his feet, so you will point it out to your farrier next time he visits. As usual he will trim your horse’s feet and recommend an anti-fungal/anti-bacterial  remedy for his feet, possibly a diet change, and also that you will need to clean and treat the horses hooves every day.
 
Most people with a sigh of relief go out and purchase the treatment and treat the horse’s foot for the next few days. Over the course of the next four to six weeks they may slowly start to forget to treat the hoof and shrug it off as not a big deal and that they will get around to it.
Suddenly it is trimming time again and the farrier points out that the small crack that could have been trimmed out by now has only gotten wider and has since started to travel up your horse’s hoof wall. The owner says that they have been treating consistently since the last trim or perhaps shrug the words off, but the farrier gives the same instructions and is on his way.
 
This process is often repeated numerous times in the horse world, and unfortunately is sometimes followed by the assumption it must be the farrier’s fault. So the owner goes out and searches for a new farrier who perhaps recommends a different product or diet change and the vicious cycle only repeats itself more.
 
 
Most (not all) farriers have your horses best interests at heart, yet even with the best intentions and years of knowledge, farriers can be wrong and make mistakes. However, farriers also are not magical beings that can in, one or two trims, instantaneously fix whatever problem your horse is having (cracks, tender/soft feet, flat feet, founder, etc…). Farriers are only half of the solution, the other half is you: the owner. If one half is giving the issue their all but the other half is not then the problem only continues. Farriers and owners need to work together to solve the issues that the horse may have or develop.
 
 
            Blaming the farrier for everything wrong with your horse’s feet is never the solution, especially if the prescribed treatment is not given as directed. Would you blame your vet for your horse’s pain if you were told to give him pain killers twice a day for two weeks, but only managed to give it to him for five days? If your farrier offers you a solution to your horse’s problem, use it, your horse will be better for it.