Greg Lucas started as a farrier’s apprentice in 1996. Learning from an old-timer, he put his experience riding horses together with his engineering experience and spent the next 23 years successfully trimming, shoeing, and experimenting with problem feet. Greg is constantly ‘sharpening the saw’ by educating himself about your needs and latest information.
As a lifetime horse rider, Greg understands the biomechanics of how a horse travels and the natural shape and growth of the individual horses’s bones and hoof walls. He believes in proper, natural trimming of foals to promote healthy, sound hooves as they grow by doing regular trims at 4-6 week intervals. Maintenance of mature horses should go no longer than 6 weeks, sometimes 8 weeks after daylight savings time changes as lack of light slows the growth.
Common mistakes people make is to wait 8-10- or 12- weeks between trims. Even though your naked eye can’t see a problem developing, the length of your horses’ hoof walls effects every movement – every ligament, muscle and bone. We see so many problems with abscessing, tendon and muscle strains that could be avoided by proper, regular trimming. The photo here is a yearling’s feet. Notice how the hoof angle is out of alignment with the fetlock. It is so very important to keep a growing horse’s feet trimmed and at the proper angles – this helps the bones grow correctly, and keeps problems from arising later in life. You can start trimming your foals feet at about a month old, and you should keep them on about a 4-week schedule until your farrier tells you different. Growing bones need proper angles to develop correctly. That is your responsibility as a horse-owner.
Shoeing your horse is a question of what type of riding you do – and where you do it. If you are a Hunter Jumper, you need a good base for your horse to lift off and land on. If you are a dressage rider, your horse needs to be specifically balanced for the level he is at. If you trail ride on dirt roads or over rocks, you need to protect your horse’s feet from stone bruises or tendon/ligament problems from long rides over rough terrain. And speaking of training/riding, your horses’ feet angles and shapes change as their muscles change and grow, so maintaining regular trims can greatly affect your horses’ way of going and avoid sore, achy body parts.
For you barefoot riders, Greg does a natural, balanced trim that will best suit your horse’s structure and minimize abscesses and stone bruising.
When you call Greg, make sure you keep your appointments as his book fills up quickly. It helps if you can give your horse a workout or some exercise first so it stands still – A quiet horse ensures the best work. Have your horses out and tied, brushed, fly sprayed and ready to be worked on so Greg can get to his next appointment on time. Your courteousness in this area is what keeps Greg on time and will be to your benefit in the future.
Greg Lucas is a top Grass Lake, MI farrier on NewHorse.com!