Cole Henderson Farrier Services
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New Article Posted April 2016

Cole Henderson Farrier Service

My name is Cole Henderson and my farrier service is based in Southern Vancouver Island. This website is here as a source of information for horseowners in that area(check out the Links page) and as an introduction to my business. Regarding this website all the information and advice here is free and, in most cases, given people way smarter than me and I can only hope some of it is useful. Remember nothing on the web is a substitute for consulting your farrier or veterinarian with any problem or concerns.

I always believe that the long term soundness and usefulness of your horse largely depends on the quality of the hoof care your horse receives over its lifetime. Every horse benefits from being on a regular trimming or shoeing schedule and not from waiting until a shoe eventually falls off or a hoof chips off before seeking help. Increasing periods between trims or shoes can be a false economy as it often results in some expensive repair further down the line.

My family records go back as far as 1710 through eight consecutive generations of Journeymen Farriers and Blacksmiths (the family turned to blacksmithing when the horse population of North East Scotland was wiped out by “grass disease” in the early 1900’s). I can't claim this makes me any better a farrier, I just have less excuse not to be.

I guarantee I will try to shoe or trim every horse better than the person who did it last time, especially if that person was me.

My promise is to always treat your horse as I would my own personal horses. Every horse, regardless of age, use or price, has an inherent dignity and is worthy of the very best care and respect. I do work with, and through your local veterinarian and encourage you to call them as required. A farrier may have horse knowledge but I am not a veterinarian. I always try to continue my farrier education through conferences and clinics.

Being Scottish I try to give value for money. You won’t find me the cheapest farrier in town but I am in no way the most expensive. My prices are based on the AFA published rates. If you want cheaper there are plenty of part-timers and newly trained people around calling themselves farriers who will charge you less while they learn the trade by working on your horses. If that’s what you want it’s your choice. I don’t need to practice my trimming or shoeing on your horses.

Similarly you will see other farriers charging well above my rates. There are people who think if they pay more for something it must be better. Sadly that is not always the case. I never claim to be the best farrier in town but neither are those who do claim to be. All I can say for myself is I have plenty of testimonials from happy clients who like what I do. See my Rates page for details of services offered.

If you check out my Article pages they will probably give you a good insight as to what my practice consists of. Nowadays my business is about 40% shoeing and 60% “natural trimming”, I really hate that term and prefer barefoot trims but the public seem to like the former. Always makes me wonder if there is such a thing as “unnatural trimming”, bit like “Is there unnatural horsemanship”???

As to shoeing, I don’t routinely shoe every horse with the same type of shoe and prefer to use appropriate shoes for whatever use your horse is being put to. I’m also not a great believer in refitting worn shoes.

For my “natural trimming” practice I’ve taken training from various names, some methods I just could not get any success with, but I’ve been following the advice of Pete Ramey simply because what he says seems to work. If you want to keep a barefoot horse I suggest you read his and Jaime Jackson’s books for an idea of what its all about.

I work from North Saanich to Sooke to Duncan and everywhere between. Prices shown on the site are for work in those areas. I don’t work on draft horses but I’m happy to take on everything else from miniatures upwards.