Do farriers refuse service because the horse doesn't stand well? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 39 Old 06-07-2014, 10:25 PM
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Years ago, my farrier used to go into the pasture and catch the horses that had been unhandled and train them to stand while he trimmed them. We (his clients & friends) were like "WHAAAAT???" A little while ago, I asked him if he still did that, he said no, he has dropped all clients with young, untrained horses and ones with bad mannered ones, he said he's getting to old for that nonsense. Get this-a horse kicked him while he was shoeing it, broke his leg, he finished the horse before he went to the hospital!

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post #22 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Again, yes, I agree that the degree of problem can vary, and any farrier's reaction will depend on that degree.

My horses will fidget a bit. But I've had farriers that arrive, yank up a hoof, and hold them in an uncomfortable position, and expect them to stand without complaint. I've had to tell some farriers, "Hey, they're not used to standing so long with that leg yanked up tight. I'm betting she/he will cooperate if we give them a quick break." And sure enough, they let the foot down, give them 5 seconds, and they're much more cooperative afterwards. I had a vet student try to "cowboy" one of our mare's by yanking her back leg clear up to check her hoof (I don't think he wanted to lean over, so he hitched it clear up). She was a dream to handle, and her feet were no exception. She clearly wasn't being respected though, and took offense. Couldn't say I blamed her. Once I corrected him, she acted fine.
One of the best farrier's I've had takes a minute to just pet and love on the horse before doing anything with their feet. It really makes a difference.

I was mainly referring to horses that fidget a bit. Nothing dangerous like kicking, biting, bucking, rearing, etc. We have a gelding that kicked out one time at a farrier appointment. He was being a complete a**. The farrier immediately said, "I think I'll just do his front feet." We just said, "No, you'll leave him. We don't want you getting hurt." And we apologized. We don't want anyone getting hurt either.

Definitely agree that it's not the farrier's job to train the horse. Other than that misbehaved gelding, I haven't seen many horses that were truly bad with a farrier. Our 1-year-old filly moves around some, but she's a baby and has trouble keeping her balance, so it's understandable.
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post #23 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 07:35 AM
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Most good farriers have a pretty full schedule already and legitimately don't need to take on more, especially the dangerous ones.
Why would they? It's literally back breaking work!
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post #24 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 08:47 AM
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Farriers around here will absolutely refuse a horse if they don't think it stands well enough. I am very good friends with 3 farriers (my former supervisor, a good friend from another town, and my brother). 2 of them won't work with anything they consider dangerous; kicking, pawing, setting back, snatching their feet, etc but will take the time for young or lame horses who are a little fidgety.

The other will not work with any horse that doesn't stand calmly. All 3 of them have enough people calling them to come shoe their horses, it's not like they don't have enough business. The one who lives in Amarillo has a waiting list that is months long to get on with him as a regular customer. For someone who can pick and choose exactly which horses they work on....why would they choose to deal with ill mannered monsters when they can pick and choose the easiest horses to work with?
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post #25 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 09:27 AM
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I trim my own mostly and I don't like it when a horse leans on me, pulls their feet away, or moves around a lot when I'm underneath them. Why would I ask someone else to deal with that.
My trimmer was out of commission for almost a month this spring because a horse pulled his foot back, causing him to lose his balance, and hurt his back.
So yes -they have a right to refuse service.
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post #26 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 09:57 AM
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I have been through 5 farriers in almost 30 years. Most quit the profession . from fighting horses that misbehaved. I sought out and found an younger Amish farrier. (We live one hour from an Amish community.) I figured that he wouldn't quit. My older, well behaved horses gave him no trouble. My younger geldings weren't the best, but he didn't want ME to train them. He preferred to discipline them bc they recognize him and treat him as one of their two trainers, now.
Honestly, though, if your children misbehave, the teacher isn't going to be able to teach them as well, so spend quality foot training time with your horses and give your farrier a break. Most of them also end up with bad backs. My little Amish farrier has been trimming/hot shoeing for me for 8 years, now. =D

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post #27 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 05:05 PM
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I am thankful that my brother does my horses. He handles horses almost exactly like I do so I don't have to worry about "Is the farrier going to overcorrect an issue and terrorize a horse if I'm not right there watching??".

The other reason I'm glad for this is because my 3 youngest horses (2 of whom are draft crosses ) had never had their feet handled by anyone other than me so they were naturally a bit skittish at first with this big strange guy and all these tools and stands and things around them. I can stand there holding a foot up for eternity and bend it every which way without them misbehaving, but it can be a whole other ball game for a strange person working with them. Jason is a horseman so he can tell the difference between a horse that's misbehaving because they're nervous and a horse that's misbehaving because they're obnoxious (I have one of those and he gets a whipping about every 3rd visit ).

This is my now 2 year old filly on one of her first farrier visits last year. She had been completely unhandled when I got her at about 10 months. For some reason, her RH has always been her worst foot. He could see that and was taking a minute to scratch on her and talk to her before trying to pick it up.

And, because he was patient, she gave him not an ounce of trouble.
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post #28 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 05:24 PM
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I have never heard of a farrier, in my area, that has refused to do someones horses. Even if they are the craziest thing ever, and they have to rope them down to trim them. It is their job, they know what do to in most cases. It may be largely inconvenient but like I said, I have never heard of one denying to trim or shoe.

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post #29 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 06:01 PM
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I have never heard of a farrier, in my area, that has refused to do someones horses. Even if they are the craziest thing ever, and they have to rope them down to trim them.
Then they are either inexperienced, bad farriers who are desperate for business, or just stupid.
It is their job,
No it isn't. Doing the best job they can on the hooves is their job, and that can only be done on a horse who cooperates so the proper job can be done. Trimming or banging bad cowboy shoes onto some poor ill behaved beast while it is roped down, twitched, or having its legs physically restrained is not good farrier work. It is foolishness that does not help the horse learn how to be better the next time and it CREATES farrier hating horses instead if better horses. Wrestling ill behaved pukes is not the farriers job .
Any so called farrier who does that kind of matcho cowboy stuff now days is considered in the industry to be an idiot. And usually, they are also usually the cheapest "iron hangers" around and do generally mediocre to bad shoeing even on the good horses, to boot.

The willingness to work on ill trained bad horses has always seemed to go hand in hand with poor shoeing skills, a bad reputation among the better horse barns, and a need for a constant stream of new clients because no one who actually cares about the quality of work will hire them, WE have a couple of those kind of " backyard shoers" here. The get $65 a horse for a shoeing, the rest of us get over $100 and get only GOOD horses to work on. GOOD shoers don't HAVE to take on those kind of clients to make a good living..... see where smart comes in here?
they know what do to in most cases.
Knowing what to do means knowing when to tell the owner to train the horse. Training is NOT part of the real PROFESSIONAL farrier's job if the have half a brain.

If they are stupid enough to risk their lives, risk harming a horse, insure the horse is going to hate farriers them even more the next time, then they tie bad horses down to trim them. .
It may be largely inconvenient but like I said, I have never heard of one denying to trim or shoe.
it is a LOT MORE than "inconvenient'. It is a huge liability to everyone including the horse and the farrier.

In some countries where animal welfare laws are stronger (the UK) it is ILLEGAL for a farrier to discipline the horse in any way.
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post #30 of 39 Old 06-08-2014, 06:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Patty Stiller View Post
In some countries where animal welfare laws are stronger (the UK) it is ILLEGAL for a farrier to discipline the horse in any way.
Patty, I agree with your statement entirely, but am curious about the last sentence. What does that cover, in practical terms?

Does it mean that a farrier can't even tell a fussy or fidgety horse no? Or just that they can't lay hands (or tools) on the horse? What about swatting them on the shoulder for leaning? I guess I don't really know how someone would even handle a horse safely without being able to discipline them... I see a big difference between normal discipline (no, you can't invade my space, back up, etc) and handling and abuse certainly, I'm not saying folks should run around whipping horses, but your statement intrigues me.
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