So I have a very tiny, nearly mini mule. He was completely untrained with regards to his feet when I got him, and it took a long time for his to trust me, and then for him to stop trying to kick the crap out of me. He is now however, so good at picking up his feet for me, that he doesnt even need to be tied up, or be restrained in any way.
Problem is my farrier... I don't like telling someone what to do, especially when it is their career, and I know nothing about it really, but when he picks up my mule's feet, he does it the 'regular' way, which even he admits is probably uncomfortable or painful for the animal. Because he is so small, and the foot is being lifted so high. So, the mule reacts... violently... every single time. No matter how much I work with him, he is experiencing pain or discomfort, and distrusts the farrier, and will not coo-operate.
I do not blame him in a way.
I do not want to fire my farrier, as he is good in every other way. I just don't think he knows what to do with a small animal like that. How to hold their legs, how to trim them comfortably, etc. He now suggests we sedate him every time. Which I don't think is good or necessary.
Sooooo.... Maybe I can run this past you? I was wondering if perhaps if I took some time to learn the basics, whether I could do the feet myself, and then just have him check them every 5 weeks. I know I would be able to: the mule trusts me, and another farrier, (not in this country) told me of several ways he would trim a small animal, since he does that a lot. And the mule is only a companion, not being worked at all.
Any advice for me? Please help!