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Advice on Equine Podiotherapy course
 Moderated by: DrDeb  
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Shelly Forceville

Joined: Mon Jun 27th, 2011
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 47
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Aug 16th, 2011 05:46 am
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Hi all,

I have been looking at doing an 'Equine Podiotherapy' diploma course that is running here in Australia and would appreciate a second opinion from those on the forum that have more knowledge than I, as to the possible merits of doing such a course.

Information on the course and it's curriculum can be found on the Internet.

My reason for considering the diploma is that I am looking for a way to earn a living in a job that is outdoors, active and makes the most of my boundless interest in studying the horse and his care (something my current office job does not allow), and I'd like to do so while I am still young and fit.

Of the little I have learnt so far regarding equine hoof function, care and pathology I have found it fascinating stuff, and the role of the hoof care professional appears to offer both great rewards and great challenges, as well as the opportunity (or rather necessity) to develop a sound understanding of the whole horse.

The course commences next year, and I will need to submit a deposit soon if I am to get a place, so I would greatly appreciate some educated input on my decision before I go ahead and sink the money.

Before finding this forum I was pretty happy to just go ahead and do the course, but now that I have realised just how much I don't know, I figured it might be good to get a second opinion from those who do.

Please let me know if you need any more information.

Thanks and regards,


Last edited on Tue Aug 16th, 2011 08:00 am by DrDeb

Super Moderator

Joined: Fri Mar 30th, 2007
Posts: 3232
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Aug 16th, 2011 07:59 am
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Shelly -- if the "diploma" you're considering is offered by an ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY, it will be OK. If not, it will be a fad or a scam.

So you check very carefully before you send them any checks for money.

There is no such thing, absolutely no such thing, as "barefoot only". Unless your course proposes to teach you how to make and apply horseshoes, and other appliances (which are all orthotics), as well as how to trim, you will have simply wasted your time and money. In the end, if that's the way it is, you'll just be another ineffective female trying to mother horses and schmooze the airheads you will have for clientele. What you will NOT be is a farrier.

But a farrier is what every horse needs -- someone who knows the whole science and art (and a great science and art farriery is, too).

If you really want to go into a profession that involves as much hard work as horseshoeing does, and as much danger from clients' unbroke, unmannered animals -- as well as allowing you to work independently and outdoors -- if you have a man's strength in your hands and arms, knees of steel, and a lower back like a stevedore -- if you have really thought this through -- then the very best thing you can do to begin with is to latch onto the best farrier currently practicing in your area, and travel with him or her for a week or a month.

Then, what you do is you latch onto the second-best one and do the same again.

And you do this two or three more times, until you have seen quite a bit of each man's or woman's style of work and their different types of clientele (i.e. reiners, cutters, Western Pleasure, stock and station horses, dressage, jumpers, and so on). Most farriers specialize, though some maintain a "general pleasure" practice.

The single most useful type of farrier for you to travel with will be the man who shoes the trotters at the harness track. This guy has to know more about appliance design and methods of manufacture, more about ways of keeping the shoes on, and how to use trim and shoe design and application to alter gait and way of going than any other human being alive. There is no person who will be of more use to you -- whether in the end you decide you want to hot-shoe, cold-shoe, or refer horses that need shoes to another farrier. You do not need to agree with this guy to appreciate what he knows, is what I'm telling you.

And of course -- you latch onto people who will talk to you, show you what they know, and answer your questions. What you do NOT do is tell them your beliefs, your theories, or what you think they should do nor not do. You keep your lip buttoned, because as a matter of fact, your opinions aren't worth much at this time.

Doing all of this will give you the necessary perspective to make a good, sound decision as to whether a career as a farrier is the life for you.

It probably won't be -- but if someone gives you any other advice, Shelley, they will be lying to you.

And one other thing: if the outfit you're thinking of studying with (if and when they learn to spell 'podiatry') is NOT an ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY -- then Shelley, if you want to go to school, then that is also where you go: to an ACCREDITED COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY. This is what 'accreditation' is for: to ensure that the student gets their money's worth, that the teachers are really qualified, that the library and other resources are of the first class, and that they will enforce standards which ensure that you flunk out if you don't buckle down to study.

You go get your degree in accounting, engineering, computer science, nursing, or the like, and then you'll be able to hire the farrier instead of farm yourself out as one. -- Dr. Deb

Shelly Forceville

Joined: Mon Jun 27th, 2011
Location: Canberra, Australia
Posts: 47
Status:  Offline
 Posted: Tue Aug 16th, 2011 08:39 am
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Thanks Dr. Deb,

There is nothing quite like being told straight, and it's not often you can find someone to tell it that way. I appreciate what you're saying.

I'll have a good old think about it, and perhaps do some of that thinking out loud with my close friends and family.

Thanks so much,


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