Farrier James Gilchrist - What Changes He's Seen In The Last Twenty Years
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Posted by Betsy LaBelle
In talking about what changes he’s seen in the last twenty years, he said, “What has changed in the farrier industry in the 20 years is the technology and the footing. It’s unbelievable. We all use different types of shoes than we did back then because of the new footing that everybody uses in these dressage rings. It really affects the way we shoe these horses. We can use the technology to make the shoeing better."
"Still, a lot of people don’t understand the importance of the footing yet, but it’s coming when everyone will understand. We are going with lighter shoes, and taking weight out of the heavier shoes on dressage horses. We hardly ever use bar shoes anymore. Twenty years ago, every horse had bar shoes at the Grand Prix level and lots of Small Tour horses. Everybody wanted them. Now, no one is doing that anymore. The footing makes all the difference. All the top dressage riders know. The dressage horses more than any other discipline work best on this new footing,” he stated.
Gilchrist likes to keep things simple and basic, he said, “As far as what I’m doing on dressage horses, I try to keep it as simple as possible, do what’s best for the horse, and maintain a biomechanical, functional hoof. The horses stay sounder longer. When we alternate and change things on these horses, that’s when we get into trouble.”
“My best advice to any rider from a show horse farrier is to just take your time with these young horses. Save them, don’t push them too hard. Bring them up the ranks as slow as you can, take good care of their bodies, their feet, and their minds. I’ve seen it both ways, the push hard and the taking time method. Take your time,” he advised.
James Gilchrist supports the American Association of Professional Farriers and the Canadian Association of Professional Farriers. It’s important to know that your Farrier works in the industry with a community of supporting Farriers. The organization established a respective Accreditation platform to the profession and in areas of farrier specialty.
1313 Washington St Unit 5
Shelbyville, KY 40065
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