5 Red Flags Of A Bad Farrier


Healthy hooves are the base of a solid horse. Most have heard the saying, “no hoof, no horse.” Routine hoof care is essential to keeping your horse’s feet in great condition. Having a skilled farrier is so important! Poor trimming and shoeing can effect the soundness of your horse. Make sure you watch out for these red flags when trying a new farrier.

Signs of a Bad Farrier

  1. Lack of qualifications: Ideally, your farrier has received formal training and education with a recognized organization. This trade isn’t something that you can pick up on overnight. It takes years of dedication and exposure to become skilled in all areas of hoof care.
  2. They didn’t perform a hoof assessment: If your farrier is rushed, they may skip this essential step. A comprehensive exam should be performed where they look for imbalances, cracks, abscesses, thrush, etc… They should have a plan on how to address these issues.
  3. Poor shoeing: Not every farrier can apply shoes correctly. Keep a look out for poorly-fitted shoes and hoof imbalances. Your horse shouldn’t be uncomfortable or sore after a visit.
  4. Bad communication: They should keep you in the loop. If your farrier notices an issue, then they should let you know about it and how they plan to address the situation. They should also be willing to work with other professionals like your equine vet.
  5. Poor-quality tools: Very worn or cheap tools can result in bad trims and shoeing jobs.
farrier red flag COWGIRL magazine
Hot shoeing. Photo by Martin Bennie.

Trust your gut! If you doubt the work of your farrier, then consider getting a second opinion on your horse’s hooves.

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