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really is a good thing

I'm serious about helping horses, I make a major committment to my work as a farrier, but my lifelong love is education.

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"I enjoy writing about farriery almost as much as I enjoy the real work-a-day activity; in fact, depending on the weather, I suppose I sometimes enjoy the writing more....."



I‘ll keep writing and adding materials to this section, so check back often, and don't hesitate to drop me a note if you're interested in a particular topic. If you find any of these pieces worth printing and sharing, please be kind enough to leave my name attached.


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SmartPak Ask the Farrier: Q & A with Danvers Child, CJF

"Several riders at my barn use hoof supplements for their horses, while others swear by a particular farrier. When it comes to healthy hooves, what factor plays the biggest role?"

— BM from Washington D.C.


As a farrier, I’d love to claim that it’s all about me, but the truth is that healthy hooves result from overall good horsemanship and attendance to a complex web of concerns, including hoof care, nutrition, age, climate, environment, activity, and genetics. Since elements like age and genetics are beyond our control, we have to focus our caretaking on the areas we can realistically influence. The topics you mention—hoof care and supplementation—are our best opportunities to make a positive impact on hoof growth. Basically, we need a knowledgeable professional to maintain the external hoof, and we need a solid nutritional program to ensure that new growth is as healthy as possible.


Of course, I realize that’s easier said than done. Neither farriers nor supplements are created equally, and given all the choices available, choosing a farrier or a supplement can be daunting. When selecting a hoof care provider, you should look for exactly what you mention in your question, a “particular” farrier. Look for someone who takes pride in his/her work, who has experience and a foundation in the basics, and spends the time and effort to pursue continuing education.


When selecting a hoof supplement, you should look to products and manufacturers that attend to details in a similar, informed manner. While, in an ideal world, a complete and balanced diet should provide adequate nutrients to support healthy hooves, those other concerns (age, climate, activity, etc.) often result in a horse needing supplementation, and shopping with SmartPak will give you the peace of mind that you’re choosing from the best available options. Research has shown that a daily serving of 10–30 mg of biotin improves the growth rate and quality of hoof wall. A good hoof supplement should also provide some of the minerals and amino acids required for the production of healthy horn, such as zinc, copper, methionine, and lysine.


Ultimately, the factor that plays the biggest role in your horse’s hoof health is you. Fortunately, you’re asking the right questions to ensure you’re doing right by your horse. He’s lucky to have you!


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Latest news from Foxtail Forge & EquiDesis, LLC.

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Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event 2013

Danvers Child, CJF is serving as an RK3DE Official Farrier on 4.25.13 - 4.28.2013.


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Rolex Kentucky Three Day Event 2013

April Raine is serving as a RK3DE Credentialed Photographer on 4.25.2013 - 4.28.2013.


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