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Josh Pounders: Farrier at Pony Camp
“I showed the kids what a farrier does,” Josh explained, since many of the kids did not have experience around horses. “I spent time showing them how to handle horses safely so as not to get hurt. I showed them how to pick out a horse’s feet and how to put on hoof dressing.”
Josh emphasized how important it is when a farrier is working on the horse for the horse holder to keep the horse’s attention, keep the horse’s head straight, and always be alert for anything that could startle or spook the horse. The handler should be able to hold the horse safely and control the horse sufficiently to prevent the farrier from getting hurt.
He showed the campers how to handle a horse safely, and taught them one main rule: always have a way out. Don’t get caught between the horse and a wall. Make sure you can step away from the horse if you need to.
“One of the first things that kids want to do, those who have not been around horses, is to treat the horse like a 4-wheeler,” Josh said. He explained to them that this is a living breathing animal with its own mind and must be treated with caution and respect. “I have to explain to them that it’s not safe to sit on the ground next to the horse. Always stay on your feet, because you can’t always anticipate what can happen.”
Josh also emphasized the importance of a clean, clutter-free work area. “Anytime you working around the horse, whether shoeing, picking out the feet, or whatever, have a clean, safe working area all around the horse. You don’t want feed sacks, buckets, etc. cluttering the area.
For more information about Federal Farms, please contact Michelle Walters or visit: www.federalfarm.com. To contact Josh Pounders, call 901-268-9733.
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