How long have you been shoeing?
Dixie’s Farrier Service was started in September of 2008. I began pursuing shoeing late in 2006.
Why hot fit?
There are several reasons for fitting shoes hot. First, it gives us a more exact fit than cold shoeing. In addition, hot fitting will kill the bacteria and fungi that are on the bottom of the horse’s foot, as well as seal the horn tubules which is extremely important in wet climates like Indiana. Clips should also be fit hot as it is difficult to get a good clip fit cold. There are also benefits to hot fitting from a farrier’s perspective, shaping shoes hot is easier on our hands and arms and quieter than cold shoeing, thus saving our hearing.
There are many good machine made shoes on the market now and I do use some of them; however, there are several benefits to using or being able to use handmades. We can build a shoe that is the best for the individual horse instead of compromising or relying on a manufacturer to make what the individual horse needs. In addition by keeping a small inventory of shoes and making the rest, I am able to keep inventory in the trailer to a minimum while still being able to have the shoe that is right for each horse, this means that overhead costs are kept low and we are able to pass that savings on to the costumer.
How long do you plan to do this?
The idea right now is to continue working as a farrier until I retire. We will see what God has in store for me as He has changed my plans many times before, but the goal is for Dixie’s to become a multi-farrier practice and to still be operating even after I retire.
How often should I schedule?
Each horse should be evaluated by the farrier to determine the best schedule for that horse but in general I have found that anything beyond 6 weeks you start to just attempt to do damage control. 5 weeks seems to be about right for most horses. Check out our previous post on scheduling here.
What is your favorite kind of horse to shoe?
The ones that stand still. No really, I enjoy working with most breeds and disciplines, I started this company with the idea that every horse, no matter if it is a top competitor at the Kentucky 3 day or a backyard companion, needs and deserves the same quality care. With that said, I especially love the challenge of eventers and jumpers. Keeping their feet together while under hard work combined with having to shoe to meet the needs of various arena footings and events can be difficult but rewarding.
Doesn’t your back hurt?
Not typically. If I have a horse that pulls and tugs a lot or if I try to do too much in one day then yes, my body, including my back, will be pretty tired and sore but generally I don’t have any trouble. For me it is more my wrists and hands that have a harder time. Check out the earlier post on staying comfortable here.