The idea for Shoeing the Modern Horse: The Horse Owner’s Guide to Farriery and Hoof Care took shape after I spent a day working in a farrier’s forge alongside Trafalgar Square Books Managing Editor Rebecca Didier. We gained an insider’s perspective on the decisions farriers make when working on client horses, and we heated (and pounded) a horseshoe into a hoof pick/bottle opener combo.
Knowing that Trafalgar Square Books had a burning desire to publish a highly illustrated guide featuring advances in horseshoeing and hoof maintenance, I recommended Steven Kraus, CJF. His 50+ year career includes his recent position as Head of Farrier Services at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and Cornell Farrier School Instructor.
A 2016 inductee into the International Farriers Hall of Fame, Steve has earned a position in his industry that has left him uniquely qualified to drill deep into the challenges and solutions faced by farriers concerning the shoeing, soundness, and performance issues of modern four-legged athletes.
We worked closely over two years to co-create the book with multiple emails, phone calls, and exchanges of track-changed documents. The result is a comprehensive guide that offers an unparalleled look at advances in horseshoeing and hoof maintenance to help owners understand the “whys” of certain choices and the shoeing options available to them as confident and conscientious consumers of horseshoeing services and products. Steve wrote while I provided developmental guidance and editing to complete the manuscript.
The book is peppered with anecdotal stories reminiscent of the late author and British veterinary surgeon James Herriott, as Steve draws from adventures and lessons learned on the road, shoeing horses professionally for 40 years in central New York. Topics cover the top trends in hoof care, including whether to shoe or not to shoe, 3D printing and the future of farriery, how and why shoe loss happens, and understanding the relationship between shoeing and equine conformation.
Throughout my 20+ year writing career, I unexpectedly developed a specialty for covering hoof care and the farrier industry. Each article and source behind those stories forged this unique opportunity. I am grateful beyond words to Rebecca for entrusting me to spearhead this project and to Steve for sharing his expertise and unparalleled experience to make this book possible.