Behind the Scenes with Haydn Price – Part Two

As part of a series of exclusive interviews with equestrian professionals, Dengie catches up with Haydn Price – Team GB Lead Farrier and Consultant Farrier to the BEF and WCP. In this interview Hayden talks to Dengie about his most memorable experiences as a farrier and tips on how Dengie followers can keep their horse sound and their feet in good health this summer.

What does your work entail?
Whilst the primary work is the practical aspect associated with shoeing horses, we also have a training element as part of our business, which requires some time spent ensuring that the knowledge is passed onto the next generation. I have apprentice farriers who spend time with me and also some more established names who are keen to expand their knowledge.

What has been the most memorial or inspirational experience with your career?
I suppose London 2012 has to be up there, as the dressage team was made up of my existing clients. It suddenly dawned on me after we had left Greenwich what we had all collectively achieved and I allowed myself a brief thought that I might just know how to shoe a competition horse after all.

What is your outlook for farriery advancements in the future?
We are witnessing something quite amazing with the development of more “evidence-based” research opportunities with existing institutions such as the Royal Veterinary College. With greater understanding in both veterinary medicine and practical farriery, we will be able to prevent more lameness issues as well as give equine athletes the support needed for top level competition.

Are you seeing any increases in certain ailments or diseases in your particular area?
Through better diagnostics we are now seeing an increase in a number of conditions such as Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Now we know about these issues through advancements in veterinary technologies, we can help owners to try and combat these diseases.

Any advice for horse owners on particular foot/hoof issues – how to avoid them?
With one of the wettest winters now well behind us, it is probable that the underfoot ground conditions will begin to change. If you are aware that your horse is likely to suffer from the hard ground, discuss it with your farrier so that the appropriate adjunct to shoeing can be administered before it becomes a performance-inhibiting situation.

Give us your top 5 tips for keeping your horse sound and keeping their feet in good overall health this summer.

  1. The obvious one is to have a regular shoeing schedule that is bespoke to the horse’s individual requirements, which may not necessarily be the textbook 5-6 week period. Hoof growth rates vary, so take your farrier’s advice once he has got to know your horse
  2. Discuss any performance issues with your farrier – there are cases where a change in shoeing style can benefit, depending on conformation and discipline.
  3. Don’t forget to introduce a proactive approach to shoeing if your horse requires protection from the hard summer ground conditions and introduce the appropriate support/protection before it becomes a problem.
  4. Encourage a good working relationship with all of your home team professionals, including your vet, farrier, physiotherapist and saddler. Whilst the information each one has on the individual horse may well be appropriate, sharing this information can often lead to a change or adjustment in treatment.
  5. Good nutrition is vital to hoof health. Some horses can benefit from specific supplements that promote and strengthen the horn and advice on the appropriate supplement should be sought from both your farrier and vet. Don’t forget that horses were designed to eat forage! With the onset of the spring and summer grass, combined with horses being turned out more, owners will naturally see an improvement in hoof, coat and skin.