The knowledge base of farriers spans centuries (there is some evidence for nailed horseshoes from as early as the 5th century AD). Originally, 'farrier' may have referred to a general blacksmith ('iron' in Latin is ferrum) who made weapons, household objects and also made and fitted horseshoes.
Today we draw on these centuries of accumulated knowledge. A modern farrier, however, is much more than a blacksmith, employing highly specialized forging techniques and a broad and detailed knowledge of horse behavior, conformation and biomechanics. A horse's performance is based on healthy, functional feet ('no foot, no horse, no fun'), and to keep your horse comfortable, sound, and performing correctly, a thorough understanding of anatomy, medical issues and the latest hoof-management techniques is required.
It has never been a more exciting time to be a farrier, for the simple reason that there are so many education opportunities afforded to beginners and veterans alike. Though most farriers get their education either through an established program or an in-the-field apprenticeship, or both, it takes years to build up the combination of knowledge and experience that make a truly great farrier. Thanks to modern communication and travel, we have an advantage in this. There are a number of professional farriers' organizations which hold regular clinics and conferences where farriers can meet, discuss current issues and techniques and generally exchange experiences, which helps the entire profession benefit from the education of its individual members.
Since it is part of the farrier's job to continue their education independently, Philip a member of, and pursuing certification through, the American Farriers' Association.
Philip offers complete service at your home or stable. Please see the service area and appointment pages for more information.
It is Philip's goal to offer the best in modern hoof care. This means treatment and management of not only sound feet but of acute & chronic lameness due to injury, illness & conformational issues. Farriers usually do not 'fix' problems - they manage it to the best of their abilities, with the help of the owner and if necessary a veterinarian, so that the horse stays as comfortable as possible. Philip will work with you to evaluate your horse and establish an individual trimming or shoeing program. Once begun, your horse will be kept on a regular schedule, usually a 5-week cycle, depending on the weather and other factors.
Philip also aims to provide professional service - this means respect for the horse and respect for the client. Promptness, preparedness and communication are key to a good client-provider relationship. Your horse will be treated with care and compassion - they are expected to behave, and a little gentleness and courtesy go a long way to help them meet that expectation.