Jenny takes pride in her extensive education and her versatility. Her specialty is consistent, high quality work and customer service. She chooses to care for a diverse clientele, allowing her to work in a relatively local area. She is equipped to service competitive horses of many breeds and disciplines. She has experience shoeing hunters and jumpers, eventers and dressage horses. She likes to work on gaited horses, whether they are used for trails and leisure or in the show ring. She had a lengthy apprenticeship in the midwest in which she worked on competitive Morgans, Hackney ponies, Saddlebreds and Arabians. A few disciplines those horses show in are saddleseat, huntseat, fine harness, pleasure, trail and reining classes. While she has most riding and shoeing experience with English horses, she also works on Western horses. Jenny's favorite horses have excellent manners and fun personalities. Her specialty is in delivering great results through intentional trimming and shoeing, with above average customer service. She enjoys building lasting relationships with horses and their people.
What exactly does the horse that's right in front of me need, now? I want the best results possible, every time. I prefer to work on healthy, well maintained feet and sound horses, and I do my best to help that happen. I gather information about what the horse is being asked to do, their history and the goals of the owner and trainer. I formulate a plan as I am gathering and organizing information, even if I'm not verbalizing every step as I go through this process. I communicate my plan as simply and clearly as possible. I try to work efficiently and deliver uncompromising quality. I use measurements, notes, photos and videos in client records to help deliver consistent service that's tailored to each horse. This helps me keep things the same or change them as is necessary and appropriate.
How I trim and shoe is a result of my education and experience. I start with the trim, creating the healthiest structure with what I have to work with at the time. I want a trim that will result in the best possible weight bearing for the horse, which will lead to a better looking and more functional hoof. I've spent hours, weeks, months at clinics, in school, in apprenticeships and on the job learning anatomy and how physics affect the hoof and horse, and many techniques for dealing with lameness, pathologies of the hoof and gait faults. Also very important is how to maintain sound horses for a longer, healthier life. I can tell you that while there are different ways to accomplish things, I always aim for a well balanced trim first. A proper fit is essential for health and functionality. Poorly fit shoes do no justice to the health of the hoof, or to the welfare of the horse. I shape and fit shoes hot when possible, for many good reasons. I'm also quite comfortable cold fitting light shoes and aluminum when appropriate. Shoe type and application are chosen to help the horse perform well and stay comfortable while accounting for their conformation and other limitations. When a horse walks away from me, I expect that they're walking off better than they walked in. I am happy to work with veterinarians and trainers as a team, it's best for the horse that way. I have experience with chronic cases and understand that sometimes progress is slow, and I approach those situations with patience and understanding. Change is constant. I watch how hooves change over time and adapt my plan as necessary. When shoeing, it's very important that I know where the horse lives and what they are asked to do. I want my shoes to stay secured, so they can support, protect and help as intended. Horses present us with many challenges, and I do my best to help where I can.
I use traditional and modern materials. I incorporate blacksmithing skills. I adapt and explore options; I am willing to try new things. I integrate new knowledge and experience as it comes my way. I want more tools to use, so I continue my education. I want to retain and add sole depth through intentional trimming. Balance can be as simple or mysterious as you want it to be. Consider the hairline, the heel bulbs and the bony alignment. Consider the conformation, the horse in motion and the elastic properties of the hoof capsule. Taking the time to observe a horse's stance and movement is of great value. Breakover is only one part of the equation. A horse has more than a toe, they have heels and internal structures. If they don't need shoes, that's great. If they need shoes, let's get the greatest possible benefit from their application. For more information, let's have an evaluation and talk in person.
Yes, if we have an appointment at 11:00, I intend to start working at that time. I likely have an appointment before and after that, and punctuality helps my day run smoothly. Established clients know and appreciate this. I do my best to accommodate scheduling preferences, and expect both myself and my clients to be ready at the time of our appointment. It's best when everyone is prepared, on time, and communicates if there is a delay or need to reschedule, in a timely manner. Of course we are human and make mistakes, and simple courtesy and communication go a long way.
I’m so glad you asked! Hooves are foundational. The best thing you can do is to look at your horse’s hooves every time you see them. Pay attention, and notice their shape and quality. Use a good hoof pick and really get them clean before and after each ride. Use a wire brush to be sure all debris, rocks and gravel are removed. Check the health of the frog; is the central sulcus deep? I can apply treatment, and you or your groom can help with more frequent applications. Does the white line look strong and even? Accidents happen and you can help minimize their effects by being proactive. Don’t wait until hooves are long, flared, chipping and cracking to get them trimmed. It takes time for damage to happen, and to recover from it. When your horse is moving, pay attention to their movement. Do they look comfortable? How do their hooves look just after a trim, and at the end of the cycle before the next? If shod, clinches should still be snug against the hoof and the hoof should not have overgrown the shoe. Learn a little anatomy, and what healthy versus unhealthy looks like. Changes in weather and season cause changes in feet. Summer can be very hard on hooves. Due to changes in moisture, more activity, and stomping at mosquitos and flies, most horses need to be on a shorter schedule from about April to October. If your horse goes 8 weeks between trimming and shoeing in winter months, you may want to shorten to 6. If your horse is used heavily, you may move from a 6-7 week winter interval, to 4-5 week cycles in the summer. Therapeutic shoeing must be done in a timely manner to be effective. This is not only for the health of their hooves, but also for their bodies. Overgrown hooves can place unnecessary strain on tendons and ligaments, potentially leading to injuries that could have been prevented. We can prevent excess stress by trimming and shoeing before they grow out of balance, as most will do over time. All horses are different and we have to work with the conformation they have. Routine handling allows your horses to remain relaxed for the farrier. Scheduling appointments in advance, at appropriate intervals, does so much good for your horse’s health. Ask your farrier questions; most of us are happy to share our education. Turn to educated professionals instead of browsing through opinions and trends online. Let me know which products get results for you. Clients have used supplements and hoof products and some have really seen benefits with consistent use. I would be happy to share their experiences with you. Remember as weather changes, hooves need to adapt. They are amazing structures, and together we can help maintain their health for the animals they're attached to.
Yes, if your animals are safe to work on, I am happy to care for their hooves. Some time spent handling a new animal will help our visits go smoothly without unnecessary stress on the animals and us. Please consult with a trainer and veterinarian if needed. Draft horses must be extremely well behaved and I reserve the right to charge more for my time, materials costs and the additional strain on my body.
My everything hurts when you ask me that. This is an obviously demanding career choice, both physically and mentally. Yes, I get fatigued after working on many horses. Horses that are flexible and stand still allow me to work longer, less painful days. Pain isn't a joke, and yes, I've been kicked in the head and I still have a passion for helping horses. I work hard to keep my body and mind sharp and strong, so I can do my best work. I appreciate when clients go the extra mile with new and young horses, to get them up to speed for shoeing. Horses experiencing discomfort or lack of training can have a better trimming and shoeing experience with the help of sedation. I do not work on dangerous horses, it is never "worth it." When I am presented with a calm horse, in a flat, well lit area, I am able to do my best work. I understand that not everyone boards in a shimmering palace, but to me thoughtful preparation by you is most appreciated. You can keep me coming back by showing me that you care about your horses and my ability to work on them safely and efficiently.
I will tell you, but they're going to change. I raise my base prices to reflect rising costs of living and doing business. If you're selecting your farrier based on pricing, you may not need my services. Consider that built into my pricing is the investment in continuing education I have made and continue to make. I do this in service to you and your horses, and because I enjoy the challenges and growth. It would not make sense to charge what I did in 2010 when I graduated from the MN School of Horseshoeing. I did my best then, but my best is much better now!
I will try to update this section. I am in Maplewood and most of my clients are in the east metro, concentrated in Washington County. I am often in Stillwater, Hugo, Grant, Lake Elmo, Afton, Cottage Grove. I cross the river for clients in the Hudson and River Falls areas. Staying local helps me provide excellent service to my established clients through focus and efficiency. Large accounts outside my service area may call me to discuss options. Sometimes I service the west metro as well. If you're 45-60 minutes away from me, it helps to have multiple horses and please understand that I try to schedule regionally. As of December 2018, I am making trips to Plato, Zimmerman and New Prague for groups of horses.