What's the hardest breed to shoe? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Horseman56 View Post

On the other hand, present a horse intended to chase cans with a toe-out conformation, carpus valgus, poor behavior and owned by someone whose equine experience is limited to the last issue of Horse & Rider magazine and I'll show you a farrier that would rather be a Walmart greeter for the day!

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post #12 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 08:47 PM Thread Starter
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Mark's right. But I was curious to hear about breeds that I haven't worked on. And maybe some interesting stories about quirks or behavioral tendencies of different breeds.
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post #13 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 08:59 PM
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My farrier refuses to work on drafts, especially shires. Says their too feisty!
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post #14 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 10:32 PM
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Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
Mark's right. But I was curious to hear about breeds that I haven't worked on. And maybe some interesting stories about quirks or behavioral tendencies of different breeds.
Fair enough. As MissMarie has already suggested, drafts probably rank high on the least desirable to work with. The reason is simple. It's dangerous by an order of magnitude as compared to working light horses.

The big heavies are just that. Tremendous mass and even more muscle to match. A farrier can be seriously injured when a draft does things that we better tolerate from lighter breeds. Pulling a leg back or suddenly dropping a foot isn't that big a deal on the light breeds. When a draft does it, the results can mean a trip to the chiropractor.

The drafts tend to get handled less and are often shod via use of stocks to avoid the risk and hassle of training. In my view, this serves to make things even worse, particularly when stocks aren't available.

Had a 19 hand mare fall on me a year ago. I'm usually pretty quick at spinning out from under them but this one caught me off guard. A trip to the hospital to assure my back wasn't fractured; 3 months of chiro work and I'm still not 100%. Probably never will be again. All that for a $65 trim.

Most farriers charge considerably more to trim/shoe a draft horse. Even then, it's rarely worth the risk, effort and materials involved. Where I can shoe a quarter horse in under 2 hours, a draft may easily require 3-4 hours to do the job right.

As to risk, work and expense, the heavies get my vote for most difficult.

Donks are probably a close second.

Cheers,
Mark
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post #15 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 10:37 PM
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If all things being equal in terms of dead broke, properly trained, well behaved horses, I would say minis. I have never put shoes on anything but have trimmed a variety of horses, minis killed my back, even when I was on my knees. No, I have never trimmed a draft horse's hooves, so I don't know about the super big dudes.
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post #16 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 10:44 PM
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Most farriers in my area don't get much work with drafts. Mainly because there just aren't very many drafts to be had, but also because most who own drafts just let their feet break off on their own and never have them trimmed.

My brother dislikes working on mini's and shetlands, especially if they are ill-tempered, just because it's so close to the ground for him. Being 6'1, he has to get down on his knees to work on them and if they are bad-tempered, then he usually ends up getting trampled at least once because he is stuck in one position and can't move with them to keep hold of the foot the way he can with a standard horse when he's on his feet. It doesn't hurt him, but he says it does get frustrating.

Just because I get a laugh when I watch him work on a tiny critter like that....
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post #17 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 10:55 PM
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Aside from horses, my farrier trims llamas hooves. He says they sit down & tuck their feet under themselve & refuse to budge. He says that makes him grateful to work on horses again, lol.
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post #18 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 11:12 PM
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I would say that it is not so much the breed, as the discipline and level that the horse competes at.

My horse is a high level dressage horse. He also has mild hi/lo which needs to be carefully managed because at the level he is at, it affects him. My farrier measures and shapes his shoes to the millimeter that they are fit to the hoof exactly as he wants them. Every trim we discuss how the horse is going in training, what I am feeling and would like to change and he gives the horse a once over to see how he is developing, how his legs and the angles of his feet are responding to the shoe job from 4 weeks ago. He also logs all the hoof angles on the bare hooves every trim.
From pulling the shoes to putting on the hoof conditioner at the end of the job it is about 3 hours for him.
Understandably the horse does get a bit anxious, but I try to ride him and let him pee before every shoe job to make it easier for my farrier.

So, I would say that my horse, although he stands well and has "average" or "above average" hooves, is probably more difficult to do than the pasture puff with mild navicular that takes him 45 minutes from start to finish..

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post #19 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 11:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
He also has mild hi/lo which needs to be carefully managed because at the level he is at, it affects him.
can you explain this? Are you talking about a club foot?
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post #20 of 36 Old 02-13-2012, 11:36 PM
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The untrained kind.

Few farriers will work with draft horses because it's so labor intensive. That's understandable. I just pick my draft's hooves, and my back is shot! I can't imagine trimming and shoeing them for a living.

My farrier specializes in draft horses, so I make a point of treating him like a king. It's an absolute nightmare finding a good one that does drafts.

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