Should I consider using a proper farrier?

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Should I consider using a proper farrier?

This is a discussion on Should I consider using a proper farrier? within the Hoof Care forums, part of the Horse Health category

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    03-31-2012, 10:44 PM
Should I consider using a proper farrier?

I have a question to ask about my horses shoeing and wondered if anyone could help me. I have recently purchased a horse and I know the guy that did his feet previously. I am very lucky in that he is happy to keep to doing his feet and seemingly free of charge (he has only done them once so far and didnt mention money so I will probably just get him a gift to say thanks). He taught himself to shoe horses and has been doing it for a long time and seems to do a good job although I know very little about shoeing . He did his feet yesterday, he is only shod on his front feet. When he was putting one of the shoes back on he hammered a nail in that looked to me like it came out quite high through the top of the hoof and it started bleeding. He said that it was probably a stone bruise but as the blood was very red and he pulled that nail out and put a new one through in a different place. Is this what happens with stone bruises or would it be a case of the nail being placed too far back from the edge of the hoof? If not a stone bruise then is it a common mistake farriers can make? He seems fine on that leg today but I wondered if I would be safer to use a trained farrier, it is great that I don't have to pay (except for any new shoes as I wouldnt expect him to pay for those). I really don't want to come across as ungrateful as I very much appreciate him taking the time to come and do it free of charge but I want my horse to have the best hooves possible. Any information anyone can offer would be much appreciated. I can add some photos of his newly shod hooves if that would help?
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    03-31-2012, 10:57 PM
Hooves make the horse so I would be extremely hesitant to allow anyone that taught himself to shoe one of my horses. Him doing it free of charge makes me even more uneasy about the whole deal. The fact he made your horse bleed would be the final straw and he wouldn't be coming back to my barn again, even if he paid me.
    03-31-2012, 11:00 PM
Green Broke
Photos would definitely help.
    03-31-2012, 11:08 PM
The nail 'quicked' the hoof. It went into live, blood-supplied tissue and had to come out. Watch it for signs of lameness - it went into the blood supply and the 'hole' that the nail made goes from the bottom of the hoof upward, a route for infection. Since he has a shoe on, the chances of getting something stuck in there for infection are less, but that creeps me out.

Self-taught farriers can cut hooves and hammer nails, but that doesn't mean they are properly 'shoeing' the horse. The science of farriery is different than painting a house, you can't just see it and do it. The fact that he didn't have the guts or integrity to tell you that he quicked the horse is not a good sign - everybody knows about quicking, it's easy to do and even professional and trained farriers will do it on occasion, esp if the horse moves during that first strike of the hammer. Since he gave you a poofy story about stone bruises I wouldn't trust him. I have never heard of a stone bruise on the TOP of a hoof. Stone bruises are generally on the bottom or sole of the hoof. If your horse is lamed by him, you'll be out a lot more money than a good farrier would cost.
    03-31-2012, 11:27 PM
I wouldnt be using a self taught farrier that's asking for trouble get a trained farrier before you endup with a lame horse. And keep a close eye on that hoof for signs of infection like heat and limping. Best of luck.
    04-01-2012, 12:12 AM
Green Broke
The money you save on your non farrier shoeing you will quickly spend on vet bills. I think you should read your own post. The answer is pretty obvious.
    04-01-2012, 04:13 AM
Thanks for the advice, I think I will speak with my neighbour about getting in touch with her farrier and seeing if he has the time to add another horse to his schedule. I really just wanted to know about the 'stone bruise' comment as it didnt seem right to me given that the blood was fresh and my horse wouldnt let him start on the other hoof and bear weight on that leg until he had taken the nail out as it was obviously hurting him. And the money definitely isnt a factor although it is always nicer when you don't have to pay for something! I would much rather be paying someone to do it and avoid any issues with lameness.

Now I just need to work out how switch to someone else without offending him - I work with him and he has always been really generous with taking me out for rides with him (I don't have a trailer and have limited options for riding around my property) and lending me things. The other option I guess is to just get him to take the shoes off and let him do trims only as we are going into winter now and he wont really need shoes for much longer anyway.
    04-01-2012, 05:42 AM
I don't believe that just because someone is self taught or not 'officially' qualified means that they are incompetent, but it depends on how they were 'self taught', etc, etc. I also don't believe that just because someone's qualified necessarily means they're competent either for that matter.

But this farrier pricked(quicked) your horse & made a lame excuse about it for one & secondly, you admittedly know little about hooves, so you have no basis for judging his work. Therefore I'd be asking around & going with someone tried & tested for now at least - whatever their official qualifications - & in the meantime, learn what you can so that you can make more informed choices about your horse's management. To start you off, you may find the thread link in my signature helpful.
    04-01-2012, 09:34 PM
Thanks Loosie, that's really helpful.
    04-01-2012, 09:44 PM
In short: yes. Just based of the title that was my initial response. Your horse's livelihood is based on its ability to stand and move around on its feet for the majority of the day and night. I wouldnt risk my horse's feet using someone who you don't know if they know what their doing. At the very least get a second or even third opinion on your horse's feet and the shoeing this guy has done on your horse. From what you described though I would say you should definitely look around for another farrier.
I hope your horse is okay! Good luck.

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