'It's their soundness that makes me happy.'

Derek Poupard started trimming when he was 14 years in South Africa and 18 when he started his apprenticeship. He worked on race horses and built his business working with five people for him. But it was in 1995, when he went to the American Farrier's Convention in America he was really blown away by the educational approach of horseshoeing. It was the completly different way and approach of working that inspired him. Since that moment he started to travel around the world to work in the USA, Dubai and United Kingdom on some of the best horses in the world. But what remained his entire career was - and still is - the need to help horses, the soundness of the animal. It has been a drive in his work and fueled his need to invent and do more. 'The drive in my job has always been the horses. I've been around them, ridden them since I was five years old. It is really their soundness that makes me happy.'

Derek Poupard - kleur strook

"You can see a lot just by watching."

The first thing Derek does when he starts to shoe is to get to know the horse. 'You can see a lot about how comfortable the horse is just by watching. Watch them walk towards you and talk to the owner or designated holder.' When Derek starts his trim, he hardly uses a knife. I'm really good at not using my knife. I probably have the bluntest knife in the world.'  In Derek's opinion a good trim consists of cleaning up the hoof and making sure not to take off the horse's natural protection. He trims in the sense that if it can't be cut out with your nippers you should leave it, because then it is not ready to come out. Each shoeing Derek does ends again by watching the horse walk away. 'Watch the horse walk away from you when you shod it, watch the way they stand, the way they behave.'

The achievement of an idea...

The story of the 3D Pad-invention started with a lot of designing during an eighteen hours flight, lots of measuring the Alu Kings Extra Sound Race Plate to get the best shape, testing and asking feedback of friend farriers. A simple 3D printer brought the vision to live, the ultimate drive for sound happy horses. 'In the end, all I have done is 3D printed the idea in my mind to emulate the horse hoof in its natural state of being barefoot.'
The basics of the 3D pads allow you to create positive pressure that changes the whole hemodynamics of the horse. The pads are ideal for horses who suffer from heel pains. It stops the pain immediately, also on hard surface. 'You see the whole horse change, the stride length, the willingness to go forward, it absolutely changes everything.'  But it is more than orthopedic help for the horse, indicates Derek. It is important to always look at the horse's environment. Does it stand on hard ground long and often? Then the horse can use the support of a 3D pad. Does it often stand in softer sand or a soft paddock, then it is not too much of a problem. 'Everything is about getting that frog to the ground and taking away and preventing pain.'



Derek's favourites

Extra Sound Race Plate

Kerckhaert Alu Kings Extra Sound

Derek's favourite Kerckhaert race plate is the Kerckhaert Alu Kings Extra Sound.
'The shape of this race plate is perfect for race horses. The width of stock, the thickness. I like the way that each side has got a different thickness. The nail pitch and nail positioning is great. And you just can't beat the way it's been bevelled off. There's little work you need to do to put it on and that's a fact.'



Derek uses the Hoofjack all the time and really appreciates the benefits of it.
'To me the Hoofjack is the best stand out there. Its lightweight, the magnet on the side holds the tools for you and it is very very stable. It can't be knocked over easily and if it does it can't hurt the horse.'

Carrera secure CU

Liberty CU Carrera Secure 

Derek is a big fan of the Liberty Carrera Secure and uses the Cu variant of the nail. 
'It is a great nail. It nails perfectly and it doesn't move. I use the Cu nail, because I am convinced that if you can do something to eliminate a problem, you use it. If it saves one horse out of thousand, it is worth the use.'

Diamond SP12 - Shoe Puller

Diamond SP12

Derek started using the Diamond SP12 since the beginning and still uses the puller today.
'The Diamond SP12 is still the best puller in the world. That's been mine for over 35 years. It was the first I ever used and I still use and love them today.'