Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: South Range, WI
Any doubt I have stems from the fact that my mom can be prone to exaggeration. She also thinks the ponies are her “babies” and even calm training can be “mean” in her eyes.
I do believe the farrier was cussing/yelling, though, and IMO that’s just not the way to handle horses, particularly youngstock. I also see no reason she had to make him run backwards or why she couldn’t calmly clip the leadrope to them rather than making a violent grab for the halter.
There really are not a lot of farriers in the area, unfortunately. I have asked the farrier I use for my other horse for recommendations for farriers that are willing to travel to that area on a regular basis.
Here’s been my experience with farriers:
Farrier 1: Traveled approximately 1 hour to do trims, had several clients in the area so he’d try to do them all in one day. Rarely returned calls, was hours late if he bothered to show at all. At one point he had cancelled several times and my horse was basically wearing skis for an upcoming show. I called and BEGGED him to trim him before the show, but he was too busy and said he’d be at that particular show and would trim him there. I wasn’t sure it was such a good idea to be trimming a horse at a busy show, but had no other options.
Farrier 1 shows up, obviously in a hurry. Rushes up to my horse (Cody), without even letting him see who was coming and tried to pick up a leg. Cody shifted nervously and looked around to see who the heck was there. Farrier smashed him in the belly with the rasp. I’m talking full out whack… not a tap for attention. 16 year old me said, “Get the *$% away from my horse, you’re never touching him again.” He looked at me like, “Yeah right, kid” and was going to hit my horse again. Crowd had gathered by then and a fellow exhibitor told him I wasn’t kidding, and to leave the grounds immediately or he’d call the police.
Farrier 1 mysteriously stopped getting clients in my area.
Farrier 2: Every trim involved him telling me how I knew nothing about horses, I was too young, he was awesome, he knew everything. I could’ve put up with it if he’d been a decent farrier but he wasn’t that great. He also was old and out of shape, and always sounded like he was going to keel over and die by the time he got to the third horse. Couldn’t trim the rears on my Arab because he was difficult, but charged me full price despite that. Retired about the time I was ready to get rid of him.
Me: I started trimming my own horses. How difficult can it be??? Found out why Farrier 2 always sounded like he was going to die by the third horse. My poor aching back and shaking legs. Had to ask my dad (afraid of horses) to help me squeeze the (cheap) hoof nippers together because I wasn’t strong enough. (I have an awesome dad!) Had no idea how to trim my laminitis and abscess prone gelding. Rejoiced when new farrier was finally found.
Farrier 3: Rejoice!!! A farrier has been found! A wonderful, awesome, AMAZING farrier!!! He is even able to trim Royale’s rear! Nice guy, very good with horses, very calm and great at what he does (also attractive, LOL).
Farrier 3 moves to Montana. *cries*
Me: Welcome back, pain and frustration. By this time I had a SIL with a horse who helped squeeze the clippers. (Lots of laughter involved in those trimming sessions). That also meant one more horse to trim (why oh why did we have so many horses!).
Farrier 4: Found one 2.5 hours away willing to come trim the horses for extra $$$ for mileage. A pretty good farrier, not many complaints. First $10 extra per horse for mileage… then $20…. then $30… then he wouldn’t come at all, because he had enough clients in his own area to keep him busy.
Farrier 5: The current farrier as discussed in my first two posts.