Spreading good skills to local farriers in Ethiopia
In September 2015, SPANA’s Veterinary Programme Advisor, Cecilia Gath, organised a workshop to improve the skills of local farriers in Ethiopia. She explains how a little training can go a long way.
Poor farriery can lead to a great deal of lameness in working animals. So we invited 15 local farriers from the towns where SPANA operates to a workshop at our centre in Debre Zeit with Karn Herbert, an expert farrier from the UK.
We started by discussing the anatomy of the foot and the importance of good foot balance to ensure better productivity using a simple game that helped drive this concept home. Then, following practical demonstrations by Karn, we let the farriers get stuck in trimming and shoeing horses with a range of foot imbalances, using a set of tools that SPANA donated to each farrier.
By the end of the workshop, the local farriers’ technique and confidence had improved significantly. Karn reported good to excellent results on almost every horse they trimmed.
It’s great news because, once these farriers return to their own towns with their new farriery kits, they will be able to utilise their new knowledge and skills to improve the feet of many working horses across the region.
As one of the farriers said:
‘This will be a permanent mark in my mind, and every time I shoe a horse I will think of this day.’