Mule vs Farrier...Dont know what to do. - Page 2

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Mule vs Farrier...Dont know what to do.

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    12-06-2012, 10:24 PM
Would there be any way to build a ramp or something to get the mule up higher instead of the farrier lower?
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    12-06-2012, 10:50 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
^ I actually do this. We have a little 'bridge' that stands about a foot off of the ground that I've trained my 11 week old miniature mule to walk onto. She is only about 20" tall and has very tiny hooves, so even then she is fairly low on the ground and my farrier has to kneel. If you had a 40-50" mule or so, I would think it would be feasable to have him trimmed comfortably with the farrier standing.
    12-08-2012, 11:49 AM
I trim them fine but another farrier in our area who is good has a bad back and can't get that low. If he does he said it takes him 3 days or so to get feeling better. So I would be all for you doing it yourself. They really are not that hard you just gotta get down there.

And a rasp is really all you would need. Plus a mules foot is a lot more forgiving to mistakes than a horses. So I think you would do fine. Plus it will help you become more knowledgeable with your animals feet in the long run.

Just take it upon yourself to learn and if you get in a bind with some pictures I am sure there are some on here that would be more than happy to help you. Then when you get the hang of it you'll teach the rest of us something new.
    12-08-2012, 07:39 PM
Green Broke
I bend to accommodate my old 11 hand pony's stretch. I don't make her bend or stretch much.

Doesn't do wonders for my back but I can wander in and take a mouthful of Motrin. She can't.

Sitting on a milk crate with her foot in my lap is the best for both of use but she isn't always so cooperative. Love it when she is.
    12-10-2012, 04:22 AM
Thanks for all your advice and comments!

Yes my farrier friend, from another continent, descibed to me all the methods of holding the foot of a smaller animal, about kneeling or crouching, but to be honest, I think at this point the relationship between mule and farrier is so long gone, that the farrier would probably rather quit than go down on his knees next to the mule, fearing having his head kicked in.

I really think the best recourse is for me to do it myself, and him to teach me/check it every five weeks.

On the weekend, I was seriously concerned about the length of toe he had on his rear hooves, and the angle is was throwing his pasterns into, so I decided to just trim the walls that are obviously overgrown, and sticking out far beyond the sole myself. I just couldnt wait any longer.

I thought it would be easy as the mule trusts me, but he was clearly so fed up with farriery of any kind, that it took a lot of groundwork for him to accept it. However, I can now kneel down next to him confidently and rasp the fronts, and managed to nip down/rasp the hinds. I don't feel as threatened by him kicking as the farrier does, as I obviously know him better, we trust each other more, and I know how to react when he does threaten. So I felt as safe as one possibly could, while still being aware.

So.... i'm sure I didnt do the best job, but i'm sure he is more comfortable nonetheless.

And afterwards, in a gesture to show he has forgiven me for all, as I sat down on a feedbin, quite exhausted, he came up to me and rested his chin on my shoulder and fell asleep.

I am so sure I am doing the right thing here, even if it will be a bit of a journey, and quite hard for me to master at first.

Thanks again for all your support.
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    12-10-2012, 09:30 PM
In my opinon I would find a farrier who does well with small animals. I would not fire him, if he does well with your other horses, I would just find someone else to do the mule or take a few classes on doing feet yourself.
    12-10-2012, 10:30 PM
Why don't you tell him how to hold his legs? I told my farrier my pony doesn't like jerking movements and pulling too high, he listened.
Of course, I do my own trims now, lack of $ drove me to learn.
I do my mare and large pony on my knees if I can't stand long enough.
    12-11-2012, 06:08 AM
Originally Posted by secuono    
Why don't you tell him how to hold his legs? I told my farrier my pony doesn't like jerking movements and pulling too high, he listened.
Of course, I do my own trims now, lack of $ drove me to learn.
I do my mare and large pony on my knees if I can't stand long enough.
Yes, I guess I could insist he kneel down, but as I said, the relationship between them has broken down over a long time, where he would come for a trim, it would be a fight, then I would try to do groundwork in between, till the next trim... mule would be perfect for me... then trim comes, and its a fight again.

I think mule has made up his mind about this chap, and only time could fix
That, which maybe it will, and then i'm happy to let the farrier do him again.

But for right now, the least stressful for all involved, is for me to learn how to do the hooves with supervision... the mule trusts me, so he would find it so much less stressful, and through the process, perhaps he will become an angel for a farrier, once he learns its not as unpleasant as he thinks.
    12-11-2012, 10:08 AM
Green Broke
I used to have a donkey. The first couple years I had him the farrier would do him. No real problems. He did like to put his foot down and take a break here and there. Then one day my farrier blew a gasket on the donkey and beat him with a rasp. I intervened and was able to smell alcohol. The farrier was fired on the spot. I tried a few other local farriers and they were idiots. Out of sheer frustration I learned to trim myself.

The donkey... he was pretty much ruined as far as standing for a trim. He wasn't about to forget or forgive. For 25 more years I worked, pleaded, bribed the donk to get even a small amount of trimming done. A few times I had a vet knock him out cold. Even totally drugged up he fought it. It took a dose of drugs that would have dropped a draft horse and he still would come up fighting. Not good for him. I had hobble and miles of soft rope and still he fought. I could pick his feet out fine. I could lift and tap and poke. I even doctored several pretty good cuts on his ankles with no problems. Farrier tools? Forget it. It got so no farrier within 100 miles would come and touch him. His reputation as a stinker had traveled far. So for 25 years I did the best that I could. I really miss the little bugger but I do think my back and neck are loaded with arthritis because of the constant battle.

Do yourself a big favor and trim him yourself while he still trusts. Donkeys and mules don't forgive.
    12-11-2012, 12:47 PM
SueNH, wow, you comment really resonated with me. That is exactly how I feel... My mule recognises and despises the farrier, and at the last (attempted) trim, the farrier lost his cool, and gave the mule an almighty smack, which I immediately knew was the last nail in the coffin regarding that relationship. Mules and donkeys don't react the way a horse would to such behaviour... They take it deeper into themselves.
Thanks so much for the support, I really appreciate hearing this from you.
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