Quo vadis natural hoof trimmers, bare hoof trimmers, booters, farriers, blacksmiths, hoof care merchants?
I have been fortunate enough to have had great mentors when I started farrier work over 20 years ago. My mentors were farriers who were open minded, letting the horses in their care go bare for long stretches of the year to "allow the hoof to relax" for a while, as they always said. Bare hoof trims were nothing fancy or new, whenever a horse had some time off, the shoes were pulled and that was it. Bare hoof riding was a way of life for many horses already many years ago.
Now Barefoot Trimming and Natural Hoof Care have gone mainstream. Natural Hoof Trims and Hoof Boots are in the lime light now, we all talking about it and more and more horse owners are taking it upon themselves to learn and study and doing it themselves.
I have been conducting hoof care clinics all over the Northamerican Continent and Europe. I attend farriers clinics, am a member of the American Farriers Association (AFA) and have ample opportunity to speak and interact with farriers from many countries all the time. Interesting to hear their take on Natural Hoof Trimming and the usage of protective horse boots. Here are some of the comments:
- "It's a fad".
- "It doesn't work"
- "Horses cannot go bare"
- "Steel shoes have always worked"
- "Don't change anything if it is not broken"
- "I'm a professional, I work hard"
None of these statements have any substance, they are hollow, mean absolutely nothing and are only excuses. But for what? Just a few days ago, I heard a new one, which I liked the best so far:
"It is a conspiracy!"
Is this horse a conspirator?
Now I was interested, who are the conspirators? He explained to me that the objective of "them" is to push the farriers out of business.
Conspirators at work.
The Kodak Company came to my mind. When they filed Chapter 11, did they think it was a conspiracy of the digital camera manufacturers and the various software companies to push Kodak into the abyss? Were typewriter manufacturers victims of a conspiracy?
Life is ever evolving. So are our jobs and professions. If we think we know it all, are lazy, resting and stagnant, we are getting steam rolled. More now so than ever before.
I had to thank this farrier for giving me the opportunity to show him that he will only be out of business if he refuses to educate himself and adapt. The new hoof care findings and new hoof protection product lines offer an amazing opportunity for farriers to participate in the future by providing a complete Hoof Care Service for their customers. Adding new skills to the art of blacksmithing, like barefoot trimming, Easyboot Glue-On applications, Vettec hoof protection; selling and providing Polyurethane horse shoes like Equiflex and the new upcoming Easyshoe, Easyboot Backcountry, Glove, Epic, Trail, etc, etc; any farrier can participate in this conspiracy and benefit immensely economically through it.
From the past, we move to the future through learning and by being open-minded.
A polyurethane horse shoe made by the Bootmeister with Vettec Superfast.
A protoype of the new EasyShoe.
Jump on board, Farriers, let the journey begin!
Brought to you by Christoph Schork, The Bootmeister.