Need help speaking to farrier/trimmer - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Need help speaking to farrier/trimmer

I like my farrier. He is a great guy, my horses like him, they've never taken a lame step. He comes out when I call, he will come out in an emergency, and he has even come over when my husband accidentally freed our horses while I was at work and helped him round them up. He is a country boy, and, really, it is hard to understand him sometimes, but he really cares and loves horses. That all being said, I feel like my mare's heels are a little high. I don't want to tell him how to do his job, because he's been a farrier probably since right around the time he could walk, so he knows much more than I do about horses and horses feet. But I just feel like her heels need to come down a bit. I don't know if he's been keeping up with "Farrier Times" or whatever science journals about hooves ... my initial thought is most likely not and maybe he doesn't know of the 'mustang roll' and more barefoot techniques. I don't think he's much of a reader, though, and I would feel incredibly stupid handing him a video. I feel like an idiot trying to bring this up, because I don't want to seem ungrateful or questioning. But her heels seem high to me, and I want to fit her for Renegade boots, and I think she needs a lower heel.

So ... what do I say that is nice, not sounding stupid and/or condescending?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 08:28 PM
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Be straight with him. You're not questioning his ability by asking for him to take more off the heel. You're paying for his services so asking if he could take off a little more heel so you could fit her to a boot sounds reasonable to me.

My farrier is an amazing man also. He once dropped me home after our session ended in a storm. Yet I have no issues in asking him to take a little more off. Usually he asks if the mare is in work and then shapes accordingly. I can only imagine if you mentioned about the boots and her heels he'd only be too happy to take a little more off - granted if that's what she needs. No harm in talking it out!
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 08:33 PM
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I would discuss with him if her angles are right and tell him what you think. He will have a closer look and tell you if he can safely lower them without messing up the proper angulation. After all, just as with us, the shoe should fit the foot, not the foot made fit the shoe
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 10:46 PM
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I agree with deserthorsewoman. Ask him if he can show you what you've read regarding pastern angle and hoof angle. Questions are a much better way to not ruin the relationship you have with your farrier. He sounds like a gem.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 11:04 PM
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"What would happen if.....? Simple, non offensive question.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-03-2012, 11:42 PM
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Try learning a bit from him. I’d be willing to bet that if he is doing a good job, and you have never had a lame horse etc, he is doing something right and has good reasons for doing things how he does it. Tell him that you are wondering about how he decides to shape the hoof the way he does, how he decides how the heels should be for example, you’ll probably find it’s not just personal preference but that he has good reasons for doing it, what’s more you will learn a bit about shoeing horses. Could be a good reason for not making the heels lower.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-04-2012, 12:45 AM
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Agree with Andrew & Desert. If at the end of that you feel you know better than him, perhaps you could tell him about the boots & suggest experimenting with shorter heels to see how it goes.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-04-2012, 06:32 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Thanks for the really great suggestions! I will definitely ask him to show me his trim technique and how he balances a hoof. I will also show him the boots and the fit page on the Renegade site and see what he thinks. He likes that I am trying to use boots, so that might help the conversation. :)
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-08-2012, 10:59 AM
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yes the renegades page does have an area explaining the type of trim that they go along with best. So that would be where I would start. Sounds like it will be fine to me. On a side note with the renegades a mustang roll is very important to not damaging the boot, but a little heel is okay because they are quite adjustable. I actually don't like removing the heels too much for that fact that when the boots are taken off the horse could still benefit from having some heel. However really high heels are not going to work either.
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