Jessie, being older, arthritic and a quarter horse, was diagnosed as having tendencies towards navicular. Her former farrier was doing an adequate job but due to his preferences for traveling far distances where the big bucks are, he forgot his 'starter clients', decided not to return calls thus leaving my horses' hooves long, unhealthy and often times with a pulled shoe! The final straw was when he referred me to another farrier who trimmed Jess so poorly that she ended up a lucrative client of Dr. Scott Morrison, Vet Podiatrist at Rood and Riddle in Lexington, KY. The very next day (she was trimmed late that previous evening) I had to bute her to get her out of the field! She could barely walk back to the barn and her hooves were burning hot! It was in February (the winter was so mild then), I had been riding her regularly and she was doing so well. I just shake my head in disgust remembering all of this.
I found Mark through a referral from a good friend but I hesitated, being burnt before, so I researched online to see if he was a member of the American Farrier's Association and he was....awesome. None of the others we had been using are members and I since learned that the test is tough but not so bad if you know what you are doing and are educated! I also learned that just because a fancy barn uses a farrier, it doesn't mean that he knows what he is doing either! So be careful if you are in this same predicament.
So, it is with much relief that the ponies now have excellent hoof care especially with my 25-year old Jess who requires specialized knowledge and a good eye. She is now not in need of any special shoes, her frogs have widened back to normal and remains happy on plain steel shoes! Makes you wonder... were her issues a result of poor shoeing this whole time? I do not know. I just thank God that there are good decent people out there that want to perform their work ethically, without gouging the client, and hurting the horses! We have a fantastic farrier and all is well on the farm!!