Indian Fields Farrier Service, Inc. founded in 1996, services a large area of Virginia and northeast North Carolina. We are a full service farrier practice, with the knowledge to work on minis to draft horses, backyard pets to national show horses. We work on “normal” trims to therapeutic animals that require close work with a veterinarian.
The guiding motto at Indian Fields is “Teamwork”. We truly believe that it takes a Team to keep a horse sound. The owner, rider, trainer, farrier and veterinarian all need to work together to keep a horse happy, healthy and sound. We work closely with many different veterinarians in the region and outside this region (NC State).
Our practice keeps up with new and innovative products that come out. We go to continuing education classes, including over 250 hours of Continuing Education last year. Through the American Farriers Association (AFA) and the ONTRACK Zone we are able to contact and have input from many different sources. We also use state of the art technology, in the form of ONTRACK.
Once a year we give a seminar on “The Team Approach to Hoof Care”. It is open to anyone that would like to listen. Darren Owen, CF, of Indian Fields, gives the farriers aspect of hoof care. There are guest lectures that cover areas of concern for your horse. Watch our website to sign up for this one day seminar.
DARREN OWEN, CF
Darren Owen, a certified farrier in the American Farrier's Association (AFA), is the founder of Indian Fields Farrier Service, Inc. Darren has been a professional farrier since graduating from Kentucky Horseshoeing School (KHS), located in Mount Eden, Kentucky, in 1996. It was there that Darren studied under a premier clinician and educator, Mitch Taylor, CJF. Graduating number 1 in his class at KHS, Darren continues to strive for knowledge which will be beneficial to his clients and their horses. Recognized throughout southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina, Darren works with several equine veterinarian practices, applying the team approach concept to his therapeutic shoeing of horses. The team approach allows the veterinarian, farrier and horse owner to work together in the best interest of the horse. Darren continues his education with his attendance at clinics, seminars and conventions presented by such professional associations as the AFA and the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP). Dedicated to sharing his knowledge, Darren educates his clients, local 4-H groups, community college classes and businesses. Indian Fields presents an annual seminar educating horse owners about farriery and the team approach. Darren is currently involved in the AFA certification process, working on the highest level of certification, Certified Journeyman Farrier.
Gambler's Leading Lady
By Pat Carlson
Since 2001 I have shown Gambler’s Leading Lady, aka Sissy, in carriage driving shows, arena driving trials and combined driving events from North Carolina to Pennsylvania. She is a registered hackney pony who loves the cones and marathon sessions and tolerates the ring classes. In September of 2005, when she was 22, I returned from a 3 day horse show late one Sunday evening to find her in extreme distress. As I hurried to call the vet, only one diagnosis was obvious – it was laminitis. I could only hope that we would be in time to save her. Luckily, the vet arrived promptly, confirmed laminitis, took x-rays and began a DMSO treatment. He applied lily pads and prescribed bute and isoxuprine. His call the next day was not hopeful. Sissy had foundered in both front feet and the prognosis was grim- I should seriously consider euthanasia. She had another DMSO treatment that day and continued on the medications.
My next call was to Darren Owen at Indian Fields Farrier Service, Inc., who had just recently become my farrier. Since Sissy was in tremendous pain and down more than up he decided to stay with the lily pads and we would wait for some improvement. At this point, I have to explain that I have known this mare since a friend of mine bought her in 1991. She is the gamest horse I have ever known and I was not about to give up on her until she told me it was time. For the next few weeks she was stall bound and on the meds, but then things began to improve. Over the next few months Darren was able to shoe her with pads to relieve the pressure in her feet. By January of 2006 she was walking sound. We dealt with some abscesses over the next few months, but by the summer she was completely sound. In September 2006 she suffered another bout with laminitis, but it resolved quickly and I was able to resume showing her in the spring of 2007. Darren has reset her shoes every six weeks, and we were even able to leave her barefoot over the winter of 2007-2008. She went back to work in April of 2008 and I showed her through the beginning of August. Then, another bout with laminitis and the vet ran the test for Cushing’s disease because of her history and symptoms. Results showed severe Cushing’s and insulin resistance. Sissy was started on Pergolide immediately. The vet thought she would be done for the year, but once again she surprised us all and was back showing in October. We finished the 2008 year at the North Carolina State Fair where at the age of 25, she won the reserve championship in the carriage driving division and the grand championship in the open driving division. I don’t know what the next few years will hold for Sissy. I do know she would not be sound and healthy without Darren Owen and all the people at Indian Fields Farrier Service, Inc.
By Wendy Snyder of Thunderhorse Farm
It was late winter in the early months of 2005 when I drove by a quaint horse farm with a beautiful bay mare out front with all the chrome that would catch any equine enthusiast’s eye. I mention how striking she was to a friend and how I wondered if she was for sale. As luck has it, my friend knows the owners of the horse. Of course, she contacts them and the visit to their farm is scheduled with no mention of me wanting to buy that mare.
We arrive only to find out the mare isn’t for sale but the gentleman insisted on giving the grand tour of the place…you know how it goes….walking by every stall, every field, learn every horse’s name, who their sire and dam is, and why each horse was so important in their life. But it was the last field that housed three stallions that got my attention as they galloped to the gate with the thought of a treat nearby. The smallest of them, nothing more than a large pony, caught my eye. He quickly lowered his head and began licking my feet. I fell in love. The owner quickly stated the colt’s name was Half Pint, an unbroken 4 year old that no one could figure why he was so small.. The owner then threw in those horrible words…”he’s for sale” ….but I certainly had no interest in owning a stud. “One thousand dollars…” he says. Okay…it was a heck of a deal, but not interested. I head home only to think of that chunky little guy that had tiny ears, chipmunk cheeks, and resembled what one special person calls him today “Bulldog.” “He could be registered as a Paint..” the owner says. Okay…that opened the door a little since I own a barn full of Paints.
Months go by since that visit and I’ve been out to their farm twice more. Still battling with myself over that little cutie that licked my feet. It’s now late June. I’ve received several more calls from the gentleman trying his best to sell. He’s down to $900. Still…just don’t need a stud.
I’m now sitting in the grandstands in Fort Worth, Texas watching some classes at the Paint World Championship Show. I turn to my boyfriend Tim and said…”that’s it…I’m gonna buy that little guy. I can geld him..maybe even turn him into a fancy hunter pony with the way he moves…or maybe he could be my son’s toy.” Tim smiles as if he recognizes I’m looking for an excuse to buy him.
The day after returning from Texas, I call the gentleman knowing I’m about to make his day. I offer $500. He takes it. I quickly load up the trailer and head over to pick up what, in a short amount of time, turns into my best friend. After bringing him home and a few days pass, I am astonished at how quiet this stud is. With no stud behavior, anybody can handle him, and the absolute sweetest personality, I thought maybe he shouldn’t be gelded if he could pass along his conformation and attitude. I’m a firm believer that there are way too many studs in this world ….but this one is special. So much for the idea of him being my son’s toy.
After a year or so of breeding him, and spending over a thousand dollars to get him registered with the Paint and Pinto associations as TF TEXAN (I thought ‘Half Pint’ was cute but just not a name for a stud that I was breeding,) I decided to sit down with my farrier, Darren Owen at Indian Fields Farrier Service. I wanted to take him to the world championship show that next year. Knowing it would take a ‘TEAM EFFORT’ to get him there, I knew my work was cut out for me to get him fit AND keep him sound while doing it. It was five days a week of disciplined, hard work. Knowing this type of work would definitely put a toll on his hooves with no shoes (we are showing in halter classes where they typically don’t have shoes on) and not to mention, a scar that ran down his back hoof that had to be dealt with and he was slightly toed out in the front. Per Darren’s suggestion, I start Tex on Farrier’s Formula to give his hooves that extra boost needed. Every 3 weeks, Darren was at my farm checking for any slightest change, dealing with that scar, and keeping his legs as straight as he could keep them.
That day came when I loaded Tex up in the trailer, and 26 hours later, with a stop for the night in Nashville, we arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma for a 12 day stay. Nervous? HA! I could barely breathe. I’d hired a good friend to come along to work Tex every day, bathe him, feed…you know the routine. This allowed me time to relax and check out the competition. We gave Tex a full day of rest before starting him back to work before his classes. He slept the entire time. Tex’s attitude never changed…still the same ol’ licky-toes kinda pony he was that first day.
It’s show day. The competition looks good, Tex looks great. His game was on…and he was SOUND throughout it all.
And how do I end this story? I take a deep breath, look at Tex as the Paddock Master announces our arrival to the 6 judges waiting for our grand entrance, and say…”you get me through this and you can retire and breed the rest of your life.” We enter the ring…he was perfect in every way..and he showed like he knew it. We’re done….I breathe….the crowd cheers us as we line up for the big announcement.
The announcer says “INTRODUCING YOUR 2007 WORLD CHAMPION PONY STALLION……TF TEXAN !!!” I almost passed out.
The judges walk over to me….they all tip their hats as they approach….”Maam, we’ve never seen anything like him.”
My first phone call was to Darren Owen thanking him for all he had done and announcing his ‘Bulldog” had just won. I couldn’t have done it without him. My second phone call was to the sweet gentleman that insisted I buy Tex.
What’s Tex doing now? As I promised…he’s retired and breeding for that next world champion.