Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck
That's a tough one. Knee jerk reaction is to say, nobody should be hitting your horse. Farriers though have to work in a very dangerous area and it's not their job to train the horse. While she might not be using the best method to keep the horse from pulling back, she sounds like she's doing what's necessary to keep herself from getting kicked.
Like you said, a good farrier is hard to come by. I finally found one worth his weight in gold, and my horse chose his first visit to act like a butthead. He repeatedly pulled his hind legs back and really ticked him off. I spent the next six weeks working with him on ground manners. Everyday I would pick up his back legs and just hold them. I didn't put them down until he was completely relaxed. I also did some other respect related things such as yielding his hind quarters, sending him through tight spaces and backing up all on a longe line. Next time my farrier came out, he stood like a champ.
My point is, meet her half way. Try to provide her with a more compliant horse next time around. If you absolutely object to her hitting him, maybe ask that she simply hold the leg until he relaxes it. If you do the exercises in advance, you're horse should respond to it quickly and maybe she'll be good with that compromise. That's all I've got.
This is my opinion. Farriers are literally in danger of dying when working under a horse. It is dangerous, and they will often correct a horse if it gets to be too much. If you don't want her correcting your horse, train it to stand properly.. especially if it is kicking out or acting like it might. I'm not sure if you mentioned kicking out because your horse does it or just for opinions.. but a horse kicking out when the farrier has his or her head down there could seriously injure or kill them, if not end their career. They aren't going to want to risk that, and you aren't paying them to train your horse for you, you're paying them to trim/shoe properly.. so if your horse is acting up, work with him, and perhaps discuss it with your farrier.. he or she -might- be willing to work with your horse as well for an additional fee.