Barriers To Successful Farriery Interventions In India

Farriery (hoof care) is important for maintaining equine (horse, mule and donkey) foot health. Lameness is one of the most common health problems in working equids; therefore, appropriate foot care is essential for all working equids. However, in low- and middle-income countries there are often many challenges associated with owners gaining good farriery for their animals.

Farriery as a profession is often underdeveloped in low- and middle-income nations. In India, there are approximately 1.1 million equids. Brooke India has undertaken many initiatives aimed at improving farriery services, including technical training and engagement with communities. These interventions have had various levels of success. This study therefore aimed to investigate the reasons for varying outcomes following Brooke India farriery interventions. 

What Our Research Involved

Data was collected in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. Brooke India research staff conducted focus group discussions with local farriers, with the primary aim of exploring factors which prevent farriers from putting their increased technical knowledge into practice and to also explore additional challenges they face.

What We Discovered

The results from the study show that farriers working with equids in Uttar Pradesh are likely to have competing priorities that affect their ability to do their jobs and improve their technical skills. Clear differences were seen between the two districts, demonstrating that factors which influence farriery services are highly context-specific. Farriery is a highly skilled profession that requires intensive training; however, this was not reflected in interactions farriers describe with their clients. It became apparent there is a demand from equid owners for a quick, rather than quality farriery service. The study demonstrates the importance of listening to the challenges faced by the participants, to help make improvements. Farriery systems are context-specific and this must be taken into consideration during intervention design.

Read the full published report here:

Mohite, D. S., Sheikh, C. S., Singh, S., Kalita, J., Williams, S., & Compston, P. C. (2019). Using Qualitative Methods to Explore Farrier-Related Barriers to Successful Farriery Interventions for Equine Welfare in India. Animals, 9(5), 252.