Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Wow, I'm sorry you had that horrible experience with your horse! I've had one too...
The first farrier I ever used was an older 'set in his way' guy... He wouldn't listen to anything and did my mares hooves his way. I had no say in it at the time because my uncle was paying for the shoeing... Literally, whatever K wanted to do, he did. He messed up one of my mares hooves because she needed (and still needs) to be trimmed and/or shod on that hoof a certain way and he wouldn't see reason. He used a twitch on my girl nearly every time he came out because she had a habit of jerking her hoof away (that's now worked through) and he would reprimand her harshly (which wasn't a way to get her to cooperate, as she's had a hard life before I got her and was afraid of men back then). The final straw came when my mare was around ten months pregnant... we had him out to shoe her since her hooves were cracking slightly and she was moody... the farrier wanted to throw her to shoe her, but both my uncle and me said 'no'. Instead, he decided to tie her leg up to shoe her, and when she panicked, he hit her hard in the stomach with his rasp. I went off on him and really went ballistic... in the end, he finished the shoeing job and left without being paid (there was no way I was paying him after that). I had an argument with my uncle and got myself a new farrier.
My experience with my new (and current and actually certified) farrier has been great. When I called him to come out the first time, he asked all the right questions... how many horses did I have, what were their ages and temperaments, what were their previous experiences with other farriers, how were they used to being treated, did I prefer tieing them or holding them for shoeing, was there anything to not do, was there anything specific he should know about my horses, what type of riding did I do and what types of shoes did I prefer, etcetera... (at the time, I had my mare who had been terrified by my previous farrier and my gelding, who, at the time, was just a few months old and had never had his hooves rasped). When Wiley came out, he talked to me for a while with my horses standing around, letting them get used to him, and he told me where he'd gone to school to learn to shoe and trim and he told me about his own horses and what he did with them (roping). When it was time to start working on their hooves, he took the time to pet, brush, and scratch my horses and really let them both get to know him and he was really slow with them and when he could tell that my mare was going to pull away or my gelding was getting agitated or anything, he stopped, set the leg down, backed up and waited for a few minutes. By the time he was done, we’d gotten through the whole ordeal without any problems at all, even though he’d spent over two hours at the house.
Now, my horses both love Wiley and neither are a problem with him. They trust him... even when he had to shoe my gelding for the first time ever in the rain, everything went fine. I love having a farrier who my horses trust and who teaches me a little bit each time he comes down and who is willing to put time into getting to know me and my horses. Wiley is like an uncle to me, a person who is always happy to talk to me and help me understand things and doesn’t get angry or upset when I ask the same question more than once.
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)