Sunday, October 28, 2012

New Zealand Farrier Stuart Muir Joins Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Podiatry Center in Kentucky

New Zealand farrier Stuart Muir is now in the USA working at the Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital Podiatry Center in Lexington, Kentucky (image by Fran Jurga © Hoofcare Publishing)
New Zealand farrier Stuart Muir has crossed the Pacific and joined the staff at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital's innovative Podiatry Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

Muir has been working at the clinic for about six months, but this weekend he took the stage at his first farrier-vet seminar with podiatry center director Scott Morrison DVM. The team traveled to New York to share their expertise at the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft near Albany. The clinic hosts a vet-farrier podiatry seminar each October and invited Morrison back for the second year in a row.

Muir is a native of Christchurch, on the south island of New Zealand, and a 14-year veteran of the farrier profession. In New Zealand, he shod sport and race horses; he is a rider and had taken up Western riding before he and his wife made the decision to move.

How do you prepare for a high-profile job like staff farrier at Rood and Riddle? Muir is a certified farrier through the New Zealand national system and said that, like so many others, he acquired the skills needed for his position at Rood and Riddle by independently pursuing ways to further his education. He traveled to Australia to attend farrier education events with icons like Chris Pollitt and Grant Moon, as well as events at home in New Zealand, but in 2010 won a grant from the Equine Research Fund of New Zealand that financed a trip to the United States.

At the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft, farrier Stuart Muir worked on a pair of front shoes that illustrated two different ways to achieve asymmetric collateral ligament support  for the front hooves of a barrel racing horse. And then he nailed them on. (image by Fran Jurga © Hoofcare Publishing)

As part of that trip, Stuart spent a week doing an externship at Rood and Riddle, which was followed by a second externship in 2011. When fellow New Zealand farrier Rodney King left Rood and Riddle to return home, Stuart was looking into what it would take to fill the vacancy.

Stuart and American Jeff Henderson are currently the two farriers who work fulltime for Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. The Podiatry Center employs five veterinarians, including Dr. Morrison, and numerous technicians with equine podiatry support expertise.

--written by Fran Jurga

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To learn more:
Gateway page to the New Zealand government definition of a "farrier" and explanation of the national farriery training and certification program there.

New Zealand government horse careers interview on farriery as a career with Stuart Muir 

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