Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Professional Horseshoers

I was pleased to meet Dusty Franklin of Five Star Horse Shoeing School when my horseshoer, Vince Vesely of Diamond Bar V Horseshoeing, brought Dusty with him to my appointment. Dusty was in nearby Las Cruces to do a Horse Shoeing clinic on one day then on the next day did testing for Certified Journeyman Farrier certification.  Photo:  R - Dusty, Vince - L.

It took them no time at all to knock out 6 horses and provide a class in conformation along the way.

Both these farriers do a lot to professionalize the Horse Shoeing trade, which is often misrepresented by ill trained, shade tree horseshoers who hang a shingle out.  When I ran a large horse barn for five years, I would see a dozen different shoers every couple months, probably the worst being a horse owner who took a two week school then shoed a couple horses cutting them too short where thy bled. 

And with the saying "No Foot, No Horse" being as valid now as it was before, it pays to have the best shoer you can find.   I can't remember how many times I get calls asking for a referral to a horseshoer and when I ask "what happened to your old shoer?", I get answers like "He didn't show up", "I can't get him on the phone", or "It's about time I had my horse's trimmed, it's been 15 weeks and I got to find  somebody." I tell people to go to the American Farriers Association (AFA) website and use the locate a farrier tool and try to find someone with a CJF - Certified Journeyman Farrier next to their name.  There are other certifications and endorsements for AFA Farriers, go to their site and get familiar with the AFA.   

Vince has been shoeing our horses for going on 12 years now. We appreciate the fact that he not only has kept our horses sound footed, healed one of our horses with a broken coffin bone, cut out white line in others, but he drives over 2 hours one way to get to us - never missing an appointment. When he says he'll be here at 8:00 am, you can count on seeing his truck pull through the east gate at 8:00am.  I am glad I'm a lot older than he is, so I have a good chance on dying and not needing a good shoer anymore before he quits shoeing. 

Dusty owns and operates Five Star Horseshoeing School, housing students at his school and offering four different courses, from a 6 week Introduction to Horseshoeing to the 24 week Journeyman Farrier Course. Dusty offers a huge price break for the longer course towards his goal of producing farriers who are professional and will represent the trade well.  He is also on the American Farriers Association certification committee.

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