Good Reads for Farriers

Good Reads for Farriers

The weather outside is frightful. And none of your clients want to stand outside in it. So while you have some free time and a good reason to stay indoors with a hot beverage, crack a book and get caught up on your reading list. In case you’ve never had a list, here are a few suggestions to get you going (just the tip of the iceberg, actually, in terms of worthwhile reads for farriers):

Doug Butler, Shoeing in Your Right Mind. 1998. From the description at “You’ve learned the mechanics of shoeing; how to make a shoe appropriate for the horse, and apply it correctly. Now is the time to scrutinize how you do this, and learn to work with utmost efficiency and accuracy. This rather cerebral title covers all aspects of the mental part of horseshoeing. Not so you can shoe more horses in a day – so you can finish earlier, and make more money for the time you spend. Who wouldn’t want to give themselves a raise!?”

Doug Butler and Jacob Butler, The Principles of Horseshoeing (P3). 2004. From the description at “One of the sharpest tools in the hands of aspiring and experienced farriers. An up-to-date revision of the farrier industry’s most-used textbook – Principles of Horseshoeing II, it’s a book people will want to read and reread over and over again.”

Simon Curtis. Farriery: Foal to Racehorse. 1999. From Stockhoff’s: “Follow the development of the horse’s foot from birth to retirement in this exciting new color guide to foot care and problems. Designed as a resource for trainers and breeding farms, and as a reference for farriers and veterinarians, this book does not teach how to shoe, but rather when and why a particular shoe or treatment may be needed. More than 50 pages to address tendon, club foot and skeletal problems in foals and yearlings.”

Chris Gregory, Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery. 2011. From the Heartland Horseshoeing School: “Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery is an incomparable step-by-step handbook on the farrier’s craft and a valuable resource if you are involved in any way with the noble horse. Gregory’s Textbook of Farriery is the knowledge put to paper of one of the farrier industry’s most durable educators. This textbook was written as a teaching tool, so it is ideal for any course on farriery, equine husbandry, veterinary school, or even the one-on-one apprenticeship situation. Created by a skilled farrier instructor, this book is like having Chris right next to you, guiding your hands and looking over your shoulder. Whether you are a veteran of the farrier profession, a novice, or just an interested horseman, this book should be part of your library. You will find yourself referring to it over and over.”

Ramey, Pete, ed. Care and Rehabilitation of the Equine Foot. 2011. From the publisher: “Hoof Rehabilitation Specialist Pete Ramey has teamed up with contributing authors Robert M. Bowker, VMD, PhD, Hilary M. Clayton, BVMS, PhD, DACVSMR,MRCVS, Brian Hampson, PhD, Eleanor Kellon, VMD, Kerry Ridgway, DVM, Debra Taylor, DVM, MS, DACVIM, Kathryn Watts, BS. Together they have detailed countless aspects of the veterinary care, hoof maintenance, internal development, nutrition, biomechanics, property management, and husbandry needed to optimize the equine foot and to treat many of the problems common to horses everywhere.”

Good Reads for Farriers

James Rooney. The Lame Horse. 1998. From Amazon: “This updated and expanded edition is packed with the knowledge about lameness Dr. Rooney has accumulated since he wrote the first edition in 1974. He explains the function and mechanics of the front and hind legs, and discusses what happens when things go wrong. He covers fractures, injuries to tendons and ligaments, muscles, the nervous system and much more. Dr. Rooney discusses the causes of lameness, how to diagnose every condition and the state-of-the-art methods of treatment. The book is full of illustrations and actual X-rays to help you understand what went wrong and what to do about it. Also featured are sections on gait analysis, biomechanics, and the horse’s response to training to help you avoid problems.”

Ted.S. Stashak. Adams’ Lameness in Horses. 2002. From Amazon: “This fifth edition represents a detailed review of the development, cause, diagnosis, and treatment of lameness in horses. The book includes descriptions of the anatomy, physical features and radiographic examination procedures, as well as nutrition, and the development of diseases.”

Rob Van Nassau. Hoof Problems. 2007. From Farrier Shop: “With the aid of over 1000 photographs, internationally renowned expert Rob van Nassau looks at every aspect of hoof care, and describes in detail more than fifty common foot problems. The first part of the book looks at the foot from inside and out. It describes how to recognise good and faulty hoof care, explains the mechanics of the foot in motion, discusses foot balance, illustrates the anatomy of the foot and limb alignment and offers advice on how to keep the hooves healthy. The second part of the book takes an in-depth look at the common ailments and conditions that affect hoof care. Each problem is clearly illustrated and accompanied by a straightforward description of the problem, its cause and treatment. Highly recommended for professionals as well as horse owners who have a keen interest in hoof care.”

Christy West, ed. The “How-To” Horseshoeing Book. 2000. From the American Farriers Journal: “Focusing on the very best techniques gleaned from more than 1,800 articles appearing in American Farriers Journal, this is the most comprehensive book of practical horseshoeing tips ever published. With these highly practical shoeing and hoof-care ideas from legends in the shoeing industry, you’ll learn plenty of new ideas that really work with all disciplines, shapes and sizes of horses, mules and even zoo animals! This highly powerful 144-page book delivers all the essential ABCs of caring for the feet of and shoeing.”

Gail Williams and Martin Deacon. No Foot, No Horse: Foot Balance: The Key to Soundness and Performance. 1999. From the Forge & Farrier: “Widely acclaimed by farriers and vets, this groundbreaking manual explains how foot balance crucially affects both performance and soundness. It explains what to look for, and how skilled farriery can give the very best chance to stay sound.”

Some classic, some contemporary, we hope there’s something in this list for novice and expert farrier alike. Happy reading!

By: Cindy McMann

image 1: Emma; image 2: imageafter 


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  • Unknown
    Unknown July 8, 2021 at 5:43 AM

    I really like "The Essential Hoof Book", which I've found to be a great resource!

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