Harden Up

Harden Up

At the age of 27yrs I decided to stop shoeing horses and go into full time youth work, something that I’d been doing on a part time basis, it was a complete change in career and for 23yrs really enjoyed what I was doing. Then, at the age of 50yrs, having become frustrated with the politics of youth work I became disillusioned, resigned from my job and decided to return to my trade as a farrier.

Having been out of physical work for over 20yrs, my hands were soft and for a while I had blisters until after a few weeks my hands hardened, and I was able to cope with the work. I haven’t had a blister since.

So it is with horse’s feet. Whilst they are wearing shoes, the soles of the hooves become soft as they are being raised off the ground. When the shoe is removed to trim the hoof, you will notice that the farrier will scrape out a whole load of what we call false sole, this powdery white stuff in the natural state would have hardened to prevent sore feet.

This is what takes time in going from a shod horse to a barefoot horse and you need to have the patience to let this happen and it can take up to three months depending on the terrain and use of the horse

In the same way that I had to go through some pain in order for my skin to harden and therefore do my job, the horse’s hoof must do the same thing. Once this has happened, you will see hooves like you have never seen before. Don’t give up, harden up.

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