Friday, October 22, 2010

Books for Your Reference Shelf: "Principles of Farriery" by Colles and Ware

Welcome to Principles of Farriery by Chris Colles and Ron Ware. Published September 2010 in UK, November 2010 in USA. Shoe examples handmade by Billy Crothers. Specifications: 400+ pages, 8.5 x 11", full color throughout, hard cover with dust jacket, fully indexed. Price: $125 each plus post. Order by email or call 978 281 3222. Fax orders to 978 283 8755. Full order details below.

Principles of Farriery by Colles and Ware is the first completely new farrier textbook and reference to be published in recent years. This major book is a timeless guide to the traditional practice of professional farriery and to the actual craft of shoeing horses. It describes hoofcare and horseshoeing in its bare-bones form: this book will work just as well in a third-world country as in an upscale hunter/jumper barn because it does not prescribe any special tools, products or procedures. It simply and elegantly describes the horse's foot and explains how a professional farrier would go about shoeing it--within various hoof balance or lameness scenarios--by using only the most straightforward tools and either common factory-made shoes or specific handmade shoes.

Horseshoes in the book were specially made by world champion Billy Crothers and were photographed to show both the ground surface and the foot surface. This open-toed bar shoe was used to show the difference in nail hole position between it and using a normal shoe backwards.
The book is written by two of the most accomplished and respected experts in Great Britain: a lameness-specialist veterinarian who is deeply involved in farrier education, and a hoof balance specialist farrier who is fascinated by the horse's foot and limb conformation.

An announcement has finally been made, and it looks like Principles of Farriery is on its way to the USA. Beginning today, Hoofcare + Lameness is accepting reservations for the first shipment of books, expected the second week of November. Update: As of 9 November, the first books are in stock and ready to be shipped!
I have been looking forward to this book for years. Colles and Ware worked together for many years; Colles brought the concept of hoof balance to the attention of the veterinary world in his papers on treating navicular disease back in the 1980s.  He is currently a senior partner in Avonvale Veterinary Practice, UK, specializing in equine orthopaedics.

Colles (shown right, courtesy of Avonvale Vet Practice) is recognized by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons as a Specialist in Equine Orthopaedic Surgery. He and Dr Chris Pollitt are the only two veterinarians I've ever heard of who have received the honorary Fellowship of the Worshipful Company of Farriers. Dr. Colles is also co-author with Sue Dyson of Clinical Radiology of the Horse and the useful booklet, Functional Anatomy of the Horse.

Ron Ware paused in his work at the Animal Health Trust forge in 1985 (or so) for this photo. Yes, he is very tall.
Ron Ware's Fellowship thesis on hoof balance for this FWCF qualification in the Worshipful Company of Farriers was the landmark paper for its time and one of the most important publications of the last 50 years in farriery.  He has always been one of the most highly respected farriers in Great Britain, although you've never seen him lined up at a contest and his name is not a household word. He is a farrier's farrier. He was for many years the resident consulting farrier at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, England, and also has had a relationship with the Hong Kong Jockey Club as a farrier adviser there.

Ron, in my opinion, is a sort of Zen master of farriery; he is someone who has thought very deeply and always shared his knowledge, yet he always focuses on the foot itself and the importance of limb conformation and his shoeing methods appear to be very simple and straightforward because he primarily addresses the foot, not the shoe. His reputation is above reproach in Great Britain, although he has been retired for several years.

I believe that this will be the first farriery book with a vet and farrier as co-authors.

The 400-page book is described by the publisher in this blurb: "The coverage starts with a brief history of farriery, then looks at the legalities of the job and how to control equines for trimming and shoeing. The authors describe the care and maintenance of the forge and farriery tools, as well as the anatomy and function of the horse, especially the lower limbs, the principles of foot balance, and the practice of shoeing. Shoe making, surgical shoes, lameness and shoeing are dealt with in detail, and the book is embellished with hundreds of specially taken photos, and explanatory line drawings."

The book is beautifully designed. Examples of shoes are made by world champion farrier Billy Crothers and are, as one would expect, suitable for framing! Comments about traditional (i.e. somewhat archaic) designs of British shoes are re-examined and critiqued in gentle retrospect of the 21st century, with explanations of why they were developed in the past, but their use on today's horses (assuming one has the skill to make these shoes) is evaluated in candid commentary.

What this book does not have: No Equilox, no Vettec products, no impression material, no glue-ons. This book could have been written in the past; it can stand the test of time and will still be relevant in the future as commercial trends change. I believe that this was done intentionally; I also believe that the authors' philosophy is to concentrate on the foot and keep the shoeing simple. Modern balance theories are not discussed or compared.
A sample page from the beautifully laid out and referenced Principles of Farriery by Colles and Ware; reserve your copy now!

For this reason, I also think that some people may be disappointed initially because the feet in the book do not look like they are shod in state-of-the-art products. All you see is hoof and simple steel and nails. That book on high-tech farriery is yet to be written, and look to Hoofcare and Lameness to keep you up to date on trends and new ideas in the meantime. Look to Principles of Farriery to be an anchor of a reference on axial hoof balance and core farriery wisdom.

Please place your order now. Quantities in the USA will be limited. Shipping is expected to begin by mid-November.

HOW TO ORDER: $125 per book plus $10 shipping in USA, $20 shipping to Canada, $25 shipping to other countries. Price subject to change without notice. Payment by cash (in person), check (by mail), or PayPal (by Internet, using button below). Email inquiries to Fax to 978 283 8775. Mail orders to Hoofcare Books, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930. All orders must be prepaid. Please include email address or phone number on all orders so we can confirm order and notify you when book has been shipped. Allow three weeks from ship date in USA (should be quicker) and longer to other countries.

Note: this is a heavy book. Postage rates are based on an estimated weight. We reserve the right to change the postage rates if the book is heavier than estimated.

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