A Farrier’s Thoughts on Observing and Problem-Solving

Steve Teichman of Chester County Farrier Associates is one of the most respected farriers in the nation, with more than 40 years of hands-on horseshoeing experience in all facets of the farrier business and over 25 years of working with the US Equestrian Team. He is a true artist when it comes to shoeing horses and equine soundness. Thank you to Steve for writing!

Steve Teichman in Rio at the 2016 Olympic Games.

The serv in observing has Latin roots meaning to “watch over.” Looking at horses is a very detailed act, and we need to teach ourselves to “watch over.”

First of all, when we observe we are meant to discern what is being revealed by the horse, his relationship to the pain and discomfort. As farriers and vets, your intentions to “fix” or “heal” can and do get in the way of “fixing or healing.”

Watching or observing is really more of a homeopathic act and distinctly not allopathic; it’s part of caring to do the right job. Sometimes by doing less we are able to do more. When doing less more can actually accomplished.

It’s not so easy to observe closely. You have to rely on every bit of learning, every scrap of common sense — have years of experience, read everything you can get your hands on, and study! All this in order to bring intelligence and imagination to your work.

This action through non-action has to be quite simple … and flexible. Intelligence and education are required to bring you to the “edge,” leaving you open for insight. This is a point were your mind, and its purpose, are empty. This is were I solve problems.