Farrier facts for kids
At one time, a farrier and blacksmith had almost the same job, which can be seen by the etymology of the word: farrier comes from Middle French: ferrier ("blacksmith"), from the Latin word ferrum ("iron"). Today, farriers usually specialize in horseshoeing, and on the care of the horse's hoof. For this reason farriers and blacksmiths are now known to be different jobs.
A farrier's routine work is primarily hoof trimming and shoeing. In ordinary cases, it is important to trim each hoof so it retains its proper orientation to the ground. If the animal has a heavy work load, works on abrasive footing, needs additional traction, or has pathological changes in the hoof, then shoes may be required.
Additional tasks for the farrier include dealing with injured or diseased hooves and application of special shoes for racing, training or "cosmetic" purposes. Horses with certain diseases or injuries may need remedial procedures for their hooves, or need special shoes.
As a service-based industry, farriers must combine technical competence with horsemanship and the ability to deal with clients. Self-employed farriers and those in partnerships may also require skill in running a small business.
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Farrier Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.