Q&A – Harry Priestley Farrier

Q&A – Harry Priestley, Farrier

Sophie Watmuff Associates

Chasemore Farm relies upon the services of Harry Priestley of Ridgeway Farriers for all elements of hoof care for our horses. Harry provides a highly professional service in all aspects of farriery, including shoeing and specialist remedial care. We asked him a few questions about his job.
How often do the horses at Chasemore Farm need to be seen by you?
The majority of the horses are seen once a month, with the exception of some of the foals and yearlings, which are seen fortnightly if we’re working on any angular limb deformities.
We all know that foot care is important with horses in training, but it’s also important for broodmares and youngstock. Can you explain how?

Absolutely. Broodmares are the foundation of any racehorse, so it is paramount they are comfortable throughout their pregnancy. Foals change so quickly that it’s very important they are trimmed regularly. One missed trim, leaving them just a few millimetres out of balance, can lead to lifelong conformation defects.

What sort of conformational issues in growing horses can be remedied by farriery?
The majority of the horses are seen once a month, with the exception of some of the foals and yearlings, which are seen fortnightly if we’re working on any angular limb deformities.
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The horses at Chasemore Farm are wonderfully well cared for, but what are the most common mistakes you have seen other horse owners make with foot care throughout your career?

Horses, not being seen by the farrier on the correct shoeing or trimming cycle. Horses need regular podiatry care but often they are left too long, which can lead to a number of issues.

How can a horse's nutrition and/or environment improve a horse's hoof health?

What a horse eats can have a direct impact on their feet, so it’s important they get the right levels of nutrition to aid healthy hoof growth. As does the environment they’re kept in.

How did you get into farriery?

I grew up on a farm and we always had horses. I don't think my parents wanted me to get into farming and a family friend was a farrier. He suggested I did a couple of weeks of work experience and after that I was hooked! 

What advice would you give to young people thinking of getting into farriery work?
The majority of the horses are seen once a month, with the exception of some of the foals and yearlings, which are seen fortnightly if we’re working on any angular limb deformities.
Give us a Chasemore Farm horse who you've worked with to follow!
The majority of the horses are seen once a month, with the exception of some of the foals and yearlings, which are seen fortnightly if we’re working on any angular limb deformities.