Farrier Shop Part of Many Wellness Services Available at UC Davis

Lily the horse with UC Davis mascot Gunrock
During her visit to the farrier shop, Lily was visited by UC Davis mascot Gunrock.

Farrier Shop Part of Many Wellness Services Available at UC Davis

Watch UC Davis farrier Shane Westman, APF, in action. Watch Now

November 30, 2017

Lily, a 15-year-old registered Brabant mare (Belgian draft horse), has seen many of the wellness services at the UC Davis veterinary hospital’s Large Animal Clinic. Thankfully, all of her visits to the hospital over the past year since Keysha Scarfone bought her have been for wellness services. Perhaps her favorite of these is the farrier shop.

Ms. Scarfone and Lily’s relationship began at UC Davis almost a year ago when she met Lily’s former owner at the hospital for a pre-purchase examination. Dr. Scott Katzman of the Equine Surgery and Lameness Service performed that examination, which included radiographs of her lower legs and hooves. He noticed that Lily’s hooves were unbalanced and suggested to Ms. Scarfone that the hospital’s farrier Shane Westman could correct her balance. He also suggested updating Lily’s vaccinations, as well as a teeth float with the Equine Internal Medicine and Dentistry Service. Overall, however, Lily was a healthy horse so Ms. Scarfone decided to buy her.

“I completed the purchasing paperwork for Lily right there in the parking lot of the Large Animal Clinic,” said Ms. Scarfone.

After agreeing to purchase Lily, Ms. Scarfone was able to have all of Lily’s needs taken care of on the same day.

 “It was so convenient to have all that done in one day at the same place,” said Ms. Scarfone. “UC Davis took great care of Lily, and I was soon on my way home with a new horse.”

Lily has returned many times to visit Westman in the farrier shop about every six weeks. Ms. Scarfone enjoys Mr. Westman’s approach to shoeing.

“Shane is great because he has a wonderful way of explaining to owners what he’s seeing based on what the owner uses the horse for, what their living environment is, and what they’re doing on a daily basis. Based upon that evaluation, he gives a direction of what’s best for the horse’s shoeing.”

After Mr. Westman corrected Lily’s unbalanced hooves at the pre-purchase exam, Ms. Scarfone left Lily barefoot for three months. Eventually, though, the trails they liked to venture on were making Lily’s feet sore. Mr. Westman and Ms. Scarfone discussed several different shoeing options, and Ms. Scarfone decided to try glue-on shoes. After contacting the manufacturer, though, Mr. Westman discovered that glue-on shoes were not an option due to the size and shape of Lily’s hooves. Instead, he custom made a set of steel shoes for Lily.

“It was a huge difference, and she’s been in those shoes ever since,” Ms. Scarfone said. “She’s like a different horse with those shoes.”

Lily is now a “regular” at the farrier shop and seems right at home with Mr. Westman.

“Shane has done things in his shoeing process—to make sure Lily is balanced and make sure she is correct—that I’ve never seen in 30 years of riding,” Ms. Scarfone added.

“I really appreciate Shane’s thoroughness in determining what he wants the end result to be with Lily,” said Ms. Scarfone. “He always asks the right questions in order to come up with the right methodology to help my horse.”

Ms. Scarfone and Lily go trail riding about three times per week all over the Bay Area. She particularly likes to take Lily to the Slacker Ridge Trail in the Marin Headlands.

“It overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and the city,” said Ms. Scarfone. “It’s just beautiful, and Lily takes it all in stride.”

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