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Dominic Harrison Ltd
DIP WCF Registered Farrier
Work Placement Report
Introduction. The work placement was chosen because a wider understanding of the horses hoof was wanted and an idea of the different types of shoeing for each horse’s needs. As social skills lacked it was a good opportunity to improve them and to learn how to approach conversations. As many yards where visited there was a level of social and communicational skills required to be fully active when consulting a customer and it soon became easy to approach conversation. Commercial Information. The farrier focuses on all types of different shoeing including, remedial shoeing such as imprint glue on shoes. These are used on horses with foot disorders such as orthopaedic disorders or abnormal foot conformation. He shoes for all types of horses including top polo ponies, race horses, eventers, happy hackers and horses with severe hoof problems such as while line disease, pedal bone rotation and also deals with abscess formation He has a wide variety of customers including people who simply ride as a past time to people who depend on horses as an income. The main area of strength was the farriers understanding, knowledge and experience of having dealt with a wide range of different horses with different needs. Because of this he has been able to gain a good reputation and has many new clients offering him new jobs. Placement Description. One clients horses has severe white line decease, this is an anaerobic bacterial infection. It affects the soft area called the white line which is a soft joint space between the sole and the hoof wall. It tracts up through the white line and if left untreated can weaken the structure of the hoof wall. White line decease can be caused by the hoof being in constant wet and muddy conditions and the best way to eliminate it is by trying to keep hoof dry and using nail hole disinfectant which is very affected on anaerobic infection. It uses a state of the art penetrating fluid to carry special disinfecting agents into the horn and white line tissue surrounding the nail hole. It should be used to maintain the white line tissue in a healthy condition. Nail Hole Disinfectant was developed
Following requests from farriers and vets to find a disinfecting fluid capable of penetrating old nail holes, and able to permeate through surrounding tissue from the exit hole right through to the entry hole at the base of the hoof wall. Because most problems affecting the hoof capsule are initiated by either a breakdown in the structure, such as softening by urine or water, or intrusions exposing deeper otherwise enclosed tissue, it is essential to ensure that the whole hoof is kept free from bacteria and fungal spores. On another day a horse was treated that had a problem in which he would wear down the outside of his front right hoof, he did this as he twisted his foot outward when being exercised. As this horse was originally unshod it meant there was nothing to stop the hoof wearing down.
As you can see from the picture once the shoe was fitted it became clear just how much the hoof had been worn down. The reason why the shoe has been fitted in this way is that the hoof had been worn down to the sole and if the shoe was fitted to the sole it would make it very uncomfortable for the horse. The shoe is still fitted flat to the rest of the foot and is then filled with something called super fast.
The reason that it is filled is firstly to make the foot look a bit better but it also helps bond the shoe to the foot and gives it more chance of staying on. Super fast is a hard setting urethane formula, idealfor extensions and custom shoes. It is used to either build up the foot on horses that are unshod and as itis worn down additional layers can be added. It is also used to fill gaps between the hoof and shoe. It takes up to 30 seconds to set and is weight bearing with in two and a half to three minutes.!
Foal hoof extension is a procedure used to build up the hoof of a foal. This is to heal the foal with conformation problems. At another job there was a filly that wore down the inside of her front right hoof more than the outside. As the filly was splay footed if left untreated it would cause future conformational problems. This problem can be corrected with gradual trimming but as it had been worn down almost to the sole, trimming the rest of the foot could just make it uncomfortable. The procedure starts by thoroughly drying the hoof so that the super fast will hold. The area is then cleaned using surgical spray to ensure that the area is free from oil. The super fast is the applied and once applied is then rasped down to make the sure the hoof is balanced. This procedure helps even and protect the hoof so that new hoof is able to grow with out being continually worn.!
This horse is wearing an egg bar shoe because he snapped his suspensory ligament on his right hind leg about 19 months ago. As the ligament is almost recovered for the last part of the treatment involves having the egg barshoe helps give extra support and it helps slightly raise the heal, this helps the ligament finish recovering and knitting back together. At another job a client had a horse with severe cracks down the front of both front feet. This was caused by lack of good shoeing in the past and the cracks have been tracking up the hoof as it has been growing. Metal plates were fitted using super fast and tiny screws to try and help prevent them from tracing up any further.!
Operational Routine. There are many opportunities involved as a farrier. As there is a lot of technical skill required within the job there is a constant opportunity to learn and adapt technique when working with different horses. Because so many different yards are visited on a daily bases there is a lot of opportunity to meet a large variety of people. This can help create a good reputation through social skills and technical skills. As a career prospect farriery has its weaknesses such as, it can be hard to find good loyal customers as there is quite a lot of competition within the industry. To create a good customer base it is important to have good qualifications and a lot of experience within the field. To gain the experience working alongside an experienced reputable farrier can help gain knowledge that can also help widen the business opportunities. Conclusion. During this work placement a lot has been learnt about the variety and types of shoeing. A lot has also been learnt about the hoof and about many problems within the hoof. The social skills that are required within the job have also helped when starting conversations. This because a wide variety of yards where visited and it has helped the social skills required when talking to people from many different backgrounds. Overall this opportunity has helped master an understanding of the different types of problems that horses face and how they should be correctly dealt with. The work was hard but it was also very rewarding as it was good to see the changes in some of the horse’s feet before and after. As a better understanding was had though out the placement it was good to be able to understand more of what and why certain procedures where performed with horses with different requirements.
Figure 1:  Severe White Line Decease
Tel: 07759 230 753