The Farriers Registration Council - Policy Guidance
Regulatory Policy Guidance - Couping
The FRC issues this regulatory guidance with the purpose of achieving the best possible welfare for horses that may be shod in the style of couping. The FRC notes that such practise may cause changes to the gait of a horse, may make the load on a horse’s hindlimbs asymmetric and may make a horse pre-disposed to arthritis.
The shoeing practise known as couping is not approved by the FRC as such style of shoeing may result in injury or animal welfare issues in the short or long term. Registered Farriers are strongly discouraged from this practise and the Council notes that the practising of couping is at variance with farriery best practice taught during training. Registered Farriers should be aware that injury or other welfare matters caused to a horse by use of the couping style of shoeing may, upon receipt of a complaint, result in statutory proceedings.
This advice is for Registered Farriers and those responsible for planning and delivery of competitions, shows and similar events for heavy horses, and those responsible forjudging or stewarding at such events.
The Worshipful Company of Farriers fully supports the FRC's position.