Comfort is something that I have tried to strive for throughout my entire farrier career. It makes for happy horses as well as horses that learn fast and want to learn more. Plus once they are comfortable it makes everyone’s lives much more enjoyable.
Comfort is nothing more than a by-product of a good job when being concerned about total balance throughout the entire horse and allowing them to perform to their highest level of achievement. It comes from caring and compassion for the animals that you are interacting with; it creates a much greater bond between the farrier and the horse because there is trust that is built by treating the horse as an equal.
So comfort is a major building block in the entire concept of working with the horse and so is the aspect of balance. That is true since you cannot have one without the other. I have seen too many horses that were lame or suffered from some sort of other discomforts simply due to the lack of balance. I know that I stress balance more than any other point in my posts, but the factor of balance is the one true point of a solid foundation that allows horses to perform well into their golden years by allowing comfort through the use of balance.
In most cases when I have been called in to look at specific lameness issues it is located to be nothing more than joint soreness, and that specific soreness comes from the alignment of the body to being out of balance. Set the horse back on the track to being balanced and the pain or lameness disappears. This again comes down to conformation and the proper understanding of how conformation will affect the movement of the horse as well as what will cause the horse pain if conformation faults are tried to be made into something that they are not. If the horse has a conformation fault, leave it alone, don’t try to fix it you will only cause more pain and discomfort for the horse; in addition, you will then also throughout the natural balance of that horse.
Understanding that balance and comfort go hand-in-hand is something that every horse owner should take the time to understand, you don’t have to become a farrier, but you do have to understand what is right for your own specific horse and what they require. Give it some thought.
Until next time…”Ride for the Brand” -- Bob Burdekin