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Farriers and the horse industry
Equine Feet
Tuesday 25th of September 2012 05:24 AM


According to the American Horse Council, the horse industry supports 1.4 million jobs and contributes $39 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy ($102 billion indirect impact).  The horse population in the U.S. is approximately 9.2 million. The National Economic Impact of the U.S. Horse Industry study broke the data down into the following:
Racing    844,531
Showing    2,718,954
Recreation    3,906,923
Other    1,752,439

Of the 4.6 million involved in the horse industry, 2 million are horse owners who are involved in the following:
Breeding    238,000
Competing    481,000
Other    1,100,000

Of these 2 million horse owners, more than 70 percent live in communities of 50,000 or less. There’s a great disparity among horse owners. Approximately 34 percent have an annual household income of less than $50,000, whereas 28 percent have an income of $100,000 or more. This wide disparity in income disproves the common belief that horse ownership is only for the wealthy.


The horse industry directly employs 701,946 people (full-time, part-time and seasonal), which equates to 453,612 full-time equivalent jobs. These direct full-time equivalent jobs are in the following segments of the horse industry:
Racing    146,625
Showing    99,051
Recreation    128,324
Other    79,612



Farrier statistics
There are more than 25,000 farriers in the U.S. In contrast, the UK, with a population one-fifth of the United States’ has one-tenth the number of farriers (2,500) because the government legislated registration process makes it legally mandatory for farriers to register before performing farriery work.


In general, countries where farriery is unregulated (anywhere but the UK), there will be more farriers. Though this statistic would suggest that farriers in the UK would be in much higher demand than in other countries, the answer is not so simple. Yes, UK farriers are in high demand because there aren’t so many of them and the certification process they went through acts as a stamp of approval, which makes horse owners more trusting of their services, but farriers in other countries are also in high demand if their experience and training proves them out.
Farriers work with all different horses—racing, showing, recreation, etc.—all across the country, wherever people own horses. Using the statistics for the U.S. as an example, of the 700,000 who are employed in the horse industry, farriers represent 3.5 percent of the total population.

Employment for farriers:

Good farriers are in high demand. According to the American Farriers Journal 2012 Media Information and Marketing Guide, most of the nine-million-plus horses in the U.S. have to be trimmed and shod multiple times a year, and all but a few owners choose to do the job themselves, which makes for one large industry to tap into. Since farriery is primarily a self-employed occupation, if you have the experience and training, you can charge whatever the market will bear, potentially making it quite a lucrative line of work. Salary, however, is also determined by a number of other factors: how well you market yourself, manage your finances, follow through on the jobs you get, your clients—as with any self-employed occupation.


U.S. farrier salarie:


These are broad generalizations, but in general, working on race and show horses pays much more than working on pleasure horses. Standard 8-hour days in urban/rural environments can yield much less than $100,000 year, whereas working on race or show horses can get you much more than $100,000 plus per year. In some cases the wage gap can be as great as $40,000 for pleasure horses to $200,000 or more for race and show horses.

An American Farriers Journal survey in 2012 found that the average annual salary for full-time farriers in the U.S. was reported to be $92,623 per year and for part-timers, $21,153. This amount is an average and varies according to experience level, training, etc.
A 2010 survey found that gross income for both full-time and part-time farriers averaged $73,108, a 16 percent increase from 2008, which backs up the figures from the previous survey when averaging out both full-time and part-time salaries.


UK farrier salaries:


In the UK, another massive market for farriers after the U.S., pay rates work a little differently due to government regulations. The Farrier Registration Council sets apprentices wages according to a set guideline that’s based on the minimum wage. Apprentices aged 16 to 20 are exempt from the minimum wage and get paid according a wage matrix that starts at 52 percent of minimum wage for 16-year-old first year apprentices (£3.22 per hour) and goes up to a maximum of £6.19 in year four for 19 to 20 year olds, or for those 21 and older the maximum wage starts at age 21. A typical annual salary for apprentices comes out to less than £10,000 a year.
But that rate can jump up quickly. Miles Williamson-Noble, registrar at the Farriers Registration Council, states that annual salaries of £25,000-£30,000 are possible not long after qualification and, like the U.S., rates go up from there based on experience.


Anywhere in the world, salaries will fluctuate based on experience level, full-time vs. part-time (which usually relates to the level of experience), distance travelled to the job site, gas prices, insurance and other typical factors that self-employed workers have to take into account.
It’s all these expenses that determine the net amount farriers wind up with at the end of the year. So making money as a self-employed farrier is not just about how much you charge or how many clients you have, it has a lot to do with how good you are with your finances.

Keith Templeton writes about farrier schools and employment at The Farrier Guide.


Horse Thrush Treatments
Equine Feet
Sunday 14th of August 2011 11:22 PM

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Perfectly Healthy Frog
(Above)
 
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 This is what a cross cut of a sound frog is supposed to look like.
(Above)
 
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When the frog suffers thrush it´s protective capabilities become impaired and the nerves in the digital cushion become exposed and irritated.
(Above)
 
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This is what frogs usually looks like. The frog is diminished to a spongy tissue with no protective capabilities.
(Above)
 

As you have discovered, there are many treatments that are supposed to clear up thrush, but don't. That's because there's a critical part of the treatment that most owners do not recognize: Cleaning up the affected area before you treat the problem. Here's a quote from Michael Wildenstein, American Farrier's Association, Certified Journeyman Farrier, resident farrier at Cornell University's large animal hospital: "Thrush is the most common bacterial infection (of the hoof); it reduces the protection by the insensitive frog. Thrush that invades the central sulcus of the frog can enter the digital cushion, causing inflammation of the sensitive tissue. Treatment of thrush includes daily cleaning of the infected area with a brush (stiff enough to scrape out the debris). Then, and only then, treat the area with a suitable antibiotic preparation.

1. Thrush relief gel usually kills the thrush-causing organisms overnight. Just remember to keep the horse’s environment clean and dry to prevent reoccurrence.

2. Equine Relief Body Wash can be used for horse hoof problems like thrush. Follow this wash with thrush relief spray and repeat up to three times in one day. This, too, can usually cure thrush overnight.

3. If you use a home-remedy horse thrush treatment like iodine or betadine, be advised that you will have to treat the affected hoof for at least a week and that, in many cases, the thrush comes back.

4. You can avoid equine veterinarians by using things like chlorine bleach and hydrogen peroxide, but keep in mind that these agents may stain or irritate your horse’s healthy skin.

5. Treatment for horses with thrush includes twice daily picking of the feet, taking special care to clean out the two collateral grooves and the central sulcus. The feet may then be scrubbed clean using a detergent and/or disinfectant and warm water, before the frog is coated with a commercial thrush-treatment product, or with iodine solution, which may be soaked into cotton balls and packed into the clefts. There are also several home remedies, such as a hoof packing of sugardine (a combination of sugar and betadine), powdered aspirin, borax, or diluted bleach. It is best, however, to speak with the horse's veterinarian, to be sure that these home remedies are effective and, more importantly, safe for use on horses.

Horses with thrush, or those at risk for contracting it, are best kept in a dry, clean environment. Daily cleaning of the hooves also contributes to the prevention of thrush. In general, thrush is relatively easy to treat, although it can easily return and it can take up to a year for a fully healthy frog to regrow after a severe infection.


Response 1
Wednesday 23rd of April 2014 04:43:28 PM
Submitted by: Terry Whitman
If I may introduce myself to you. My name is Terry Whitman. I am a farrier and lameness specialist. I am very interested in educating the horse owner about the Natural Balance trimming and shoeing. This is a completely unique procedure for the equine foot. I am a member of the Equine lameness prevention organization (ELPO) in Colorado. I have a power point presentation that we offer to the public. This is a must see for any horse owner, farrier and even vet. If you are interested please go to our website and click on the contact us or respond to this email. You also can call Terry-817 597 8782 or Rebecca- 337 309 3890. Thank you so much for your time. Terry Whitman & Rebecca Attales Whitman Farrier Service, LLC. whitmanfarrier@icloud.com

Pros and Cons of Horseshoeing
Equine Feet
Thursday 31st of January 2008 05:19 AM

Proper horseshoeing is in my opinion not to be overlooked the slightest. The truth is very small deviations in what is "Correct" shoeing can and will lead to lameness and too many times it's a permanent lameness. When horse owners become lulled into a false sense of security feeling or thinking "well my horse has been fine all these years" it can often times be the recipe for disaster. The repetitive motion and the amount of use can build up to a lameness at "any" time. All horses are different and all have different levels of being prone to lameness issues or not. A small deviation in what should be done to a horses foot over the years can add up to wear and tear on joints and ligaments and seemingly overnight a horse can come up permanently lame.

So what would you prefer- a Farrier that has a track record of working on lame horses or a Farrier that has a track record of not having one single lame horse due to his or her style and method of shoeing? Doesn’t it all seem all too convenient that a Farrier works with lame horses? At the risk of cynicism isn’t it convenient for the Farrier to be able to charge more for treatment of lameness but not know how to prevent lameness? It’s somewhat like creating his own market for his specialty- as in not preventing the lameness in the first place then getting to charge more in the future to treat the lameness.

Hot shoeing does not hurt the horse in usual circumstances. There are occasions where it the hoof has been trimmed quite short then the hot shoe is applied the heat transfers into the sensitive tissue of the foot and the horse can feel the heat. Sometimes the horse will not want to put his foot down as it’s too hot; however this is a very temporary condition and rarely ever has hot shoeing caused lameness.

Horses that are not hot shod can have shoes that fit very tightly just as well. And being cold shod the shoe will still separate from the hoof wall while the horse walks and runs just as a hot fit shoe will. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that a horse that was cold shod has ever caused lameness of any kind from being cold shod.

Preventing lameness is about shoe placement, bone alignment, bone angles, length of toe, and direction of foot in relation to knees and pastern bones as well as quite a few other issues with foot care and horse shoeing practices.

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Response 1
Friday 1st of February 2008 05:40:18 PM
Submitted by: Shirley Alexandra
The horseshoe was never meant for the horse. It was meant for the human. When demographics changed and horses had to be brought in from fields and live in villages in town and had to stand in their own mess,the horn or hoof-wall would start to fray.Most barefoot enthusiasts concede that not all horses are candidates for going barefoot,most horses could live without shoes if given proper nutrition,regular trimmings and plenty of room to move around.A six-month-or-more transition is usually necessary for hooves to "toughen up." As the hoof begins to grow more strongly,horses can usually do much of the same activity as they would with shoes.P.S.I think barefoot is a very good idea but it has to be based on the individual situation.There are certainly a lot of horses who can go barefoot and a lot of horses who can't.Well enough said on this topic.Respectfully,Shirley Alexandra

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