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Farriers Using Twitches

This is a discussion on Farriers Using Twitches within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Twitches for horses

 
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    01-08-2009, 11:34 AM
  #71
Yearling
I think that twitches are a useful tool, but only when used properly, of course. Once, one of or ex ex farriers used a twitch on our paint mare that is already touchy about her feet and hates being tied. So,she likes to already rear back if she doesnt like the person handling her feet. We were trying the guy out, and the first and second time he came out he did fine with our horses, but then he just seemed to get really impatient and when she didnt want to stand still, he got p****d and went right for the twitch without even asking us. I was really angry when I heard about it (only my mom was there) Luckily, my mom said to stop, of course. We stopped using him after that.

So, what I bealive is this: the person that owns the horse should know it just as well as the farrier. When to use the twitch, when not to. If the horse can't handle it, then don't push it. Work with your horse if it becomes dangerous with the farrier, so a twich isnt needed. I don't think it should be used everytime. Once or twice, but no more then that. If there is a situation where the twitch is required, then you should know that your horse has some issues to be worked on when it comes to handling having it's feet trimmed and shod even. Just my two cents
     
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    01-08-2009, 11:43 AM
  #72
Yearling
I didn't read the whole topic...but here's my 2 cents...

Every situation needs to be looked at seperately to see if the farrier is being abusive BUT IN GENERAL...I'd rather put a little pressure on a horse's nose and let the farrier do his job...then have the farrier wrestle with a horse...nip him to close and have the horse lame for months
     
    01-09-2009, 11:09 AM
  #73
Foal
I know this is an old post, but being a farrier I feel a need to reply.
As many of the posters have said, it's NOT the farrier's job to train your horse.
It's not the farrier's job to risk their lives.
If a horse is upset it should NOT be in crossties, the owner (or someone who knows the horse) should be holding it.
If the horse is too upset, I may suggest twitching or putting on a "Stableizer" ( The Stableizer ) or some sort of war bridle, or sedation if available.
It is up to the horse owner have their horse trained and be able to control their horse.
I personally have charged full price and not completed a job when the horse esculates to the point of being dangerous. One reason I will charge full price is because I don't want to come back to work on a dangerous horse, especially if the owner isn't cooperating with the training or restraining of the animal.

Have you ever seen a farrier with their knee blown out from a kick?
Have you ever seen a farrier with a broken arm or leg from a kick?
Have you ever seen a farrier with their face kicked in?
Have you ever seen a farrier being thrown 30 feet from a hind leg kick?
I have seen all of these, it's not pretty, there is no reason NOT to do everything you possibly can to keep the farrier safe.
     
    01-10-2009, 02:01 AM
  #74
Foal
Yup- if he wasn't going to use the proper equipment, it's not worth the risk of possibly ruining your horses future farrier experiences... good choice!! I would have paid full price instead, also
     
    01-10-2009, 02:40 AM
  #75
Yearling
I haven't finished reading this conversation, but thought I'd put in my 2 cents ;)

I have a mare who I have to twitch to have injections in her neck and sedated to have her teeth done. She is fine when I come out with a syringe and put it on her neck, even if the vet does the same... but she becomes a complete and utter mess with a real needle... you can't leave that down to manners or my not trying everything out to fix this problem cos that's not the case at all. She has very good ground manners for the vet in every other way, just injections and her teeth. For the benefit and safety of everyone in the situation, I will gladly twitch or sedate her. Why risk someone's life? It takes only one kick to kill sometimes, and I certainly don't want that on my conscience.

As for asking for the horse to be twitched if it was playing up to be shod, again if the farrier has tried and just can't do a GOOD ENOUGH JOB, then I'd gladly twitch... he's dealing with their feet, and the first thing a horse, as a flight/fight animal will attempt to flee... if it can't it will use it's feet. I can understand the logic... I also don't want to be paying for a job done poorly because my horse won't behave itself. (Not that I've ever had to twitch for feet, but I would if asked).

I do not however believe in using anything but a twitch (or man made one with a handle and twine) to twitch a horse. I am glad you stopped that from happening. Sucks that you paid full price also. But I can see the logic in twitching.

Hope you can find another farrier who is more suitable to your mare.
x
     
    01-13-2009, 12:41 PM
  #76
Foal
Twitching, in my opinion, is perfectly fine. It does not hurt the horse if done properly. While it is not my first choice, it is sometimes a needed tool. It is a way to keep your farrier safe while he is trying to take care of your horse's feet. If you are against the idea of the twitch, work with your horse's feet to desenitize them (lifting them, tapping or slapping your palm against them, etc.) before your next farrier appointment. You might want to work on some ground manners with her as well, if that seems to be the problem. If you belive that the farrier was causing the problem (if he was treating her roughly for example), I would look for another one. I hope this helps!
     
    02-14-2009, 07:02 AM
  #77
Foal
I would get a new farrier. If he gave up without trying different things to get her to stand, means he's got a short temper. When my horse was shod, he fell over and was stiff in his knee, and couldn't stand for that long on it (with the other leg up of course)

Our horses would go in a small yard, with their halters on the gate, and his money under the rock next to the water trough.

I came home one day, with small sores on Taffy's stifle, that were bleeding. Even though it wasn't much, it was still noticeable.

My farrier had whacked my horse with the rasp every time he tried to put his foot down because he was hurting.

We got rid of that farrier quick smart.

I don't like using twitches, and Taffy had a twitch used on him for the first time last year - he got a grass seed in his eye, and it scratched his retina, so we had to take him to the vet. I though that using the twitch was unnecessary, seeing as he was obviously in pain. And it made things worse. The vet eventually had to sedate him, numb his eye, and get him to lay on the grass so he could look at it.

I could have just lugged his ear, but obviously that was to easy.

To lug an ear, grab it and squeeze it, and sorta pull it down. It seems horrible, but all it does is make them think about something else other than what's going on. Or, you could give her small pinches on her neck, and give her big praise when it's over.
     
    02-15-2009, 10:11 PM
  #78
Yearling
I don't like twitches and would do any other resort before using them but I know Samson had to be twitched when we first started getting him trimmed. His previous owners always had him sedated because it was faster and less of a hassle I suppose. So, the first time we had him trimmed w/o sedation he freaked out. He ended rearing up and caught the farrier in the back. The guy we used was very professional though, and did his best to calm him down before using the twitch.
     
    02-15-2009, 10:36 PM
  #79
Weanling
I think it comes down to safety myself. To me it is more important to keep your farrier safe by putting a little pressure on the horse then so be it. It is not fair to the farrier to put himself at risk because you don't want to twitch your horse so get another farrier that has more time or deal with his rules....... they are the choices that you ultimately have.......
     
    02-15-2009, 10:58 PM
  #80
Foal
My horse was twitched last time he got shoes, hadnt the few times before but he was behaving badly and he straightened right up after, so it worked out well, but I wasnt there to see the whole deal and when I first heard about it I was pissed(got over it) but I trust the farrier to do what is appropriate and safe for all.It may take the one twitch experience to settle my horse down or a few.We'll see but I really don't want to search for another guy now.He knows our horses and they know him.
     

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