Heading out of town for the holidays? Like many horse owners, your horse’s health, safety and wellness is top of mind when you are preparing to leave. Hopefully you already have a farm sitter lined up to care for your animals while you are gone. Before you go, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind.
The Successful Farrier VisitBack to overview
Having just seen my farrier for service on four horses, it gave me plenty of time to visit with him and listen to his side of the story.
There is a lot that goes into a successful visit.
Most farriers are quite busy at this time of the year and may schedule out two weeks. One needs to think ahead when scheduling. Farriers prefer a two-week schedule so try to conform. Frequent cancellations may cause the loss of your place on the schedule. When making an appointment for a new horse, provide:
1. Complete shoeing history of the horse
Confirm with the farrier the number of horses to be shod. Do not expect to be able to add more once they arrive.
If your horse is boarded, try arranging several horses from multiple owners for the farrier to make the visit most efficient. Ideally, these horses would be on the farrier’s regular schedule.
While some farriers may bring their own assistant, they may expect you to provide a holder for the horse. The holder should be a good horseperson and familiar with the temperament of the horse. Have the horses caught or in a pen close to the shoeing site to improve the efficiency of the visit. A properly fitting halter and lead are important to have on hand.
The farrier tends to prefer a level spot on firm ground or pavement. Accommodate the farrier by taking into account weather conditions and provide shade in the summer and protection from inclement weather.
The main concern is safety for the farrier, the holder, and the horse. Most horses tolerate the procedure with little resistance. Some horses, particularly first timers may need additional restraint or tranquilization.
Zylkene® is a new product available to farriers to help the horse learn to cope with the challenge of the visit. Check with your veterinarian for more details on how this nutritional supplement may be used to support your horse before and during the farrier visit.
The Barn Blog
The dry air associated with cold temperatures may cause your skin to be a bit itchy this winter. With all this scratching, you might wonder if your horse is susceptible to any seasonal dermatologic issues. Here are a few to keep a look out for. As always, if you notice any abnormality with your animal, it is always best to consult with your veterinarian for appropriate diagnostic and treatment recommendations.