Farrier is booked, thoughts on sedation?

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Farrier is booked, thoughts on sedation?

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  • Ace drug horse farrier
  • Horse sedation

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    05-29-2011, 02:24 PM
Farrier is booked, thoughts on sedation?

A red letter day is approaching, my $200 rescue big, opinionated, stroppy, loveable, bitchy, did I mention BIG mare, now has her first foot trimming in 9 years booked. It has taken me a while to get to this point with her, I've been so tempted to give up a number of times, but there is just something about her that makes me carry on, even though I know that I was in over my head to start with.

I can now pick up and handle all her feet, she is fantastic with the fronts, a little more touchy with the hinds, but coming along quickly. I have got brave and booked my farrier, who knows her and her issues, to come and trim her, 10 days to D day.

The big question is, although she is good with me, I don't know what she'll be like with him, and being here on my own I haven't got random people on hand to practice with, so should I use Ace on her? I've never had to use it before, and I read that it can make some horses worse, so I'm wondering if I should do a 'test run' with it, I'm not keen on that idea, I dislike giving any sort of medication if not needed.

If I use it just for the trimming then I run the risk of it not working, or turning her crazier than she maybe without it. I also read that it works better to keep a calm horse calm, rather than trying to get an already wound up horse back under control.

What is the best way to approach this?
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    05-29-2011, 02:54 PM
My limited experience of Ace is that if you give it while the horse is calm it works, however if you wait until the horse is worked up, it has little to no effect.

I'd keep working with the horse as you have 10 days yet, and see how long you can hold each hoof as you get nearer to the time.
    05-29-2011, 03:40 PM
LOL Alex, I'm going to take advantage of my 10 days believe me
    05-29-2011, 03:47 PM
Is the farrier coming to do other horses too? If so, I would just go for it. Don't drug her, just see what she does.

I've never had a good experience with a horse drugged, I always worry about them. My friends horse who had to be aced to get his feet done, he would still fight terrible...he just didn't have the power to rear and strike (his usual MO).

Warn your farrier that you have been working with her and that while she requires some patience, you want her to be able to be trimmed.
    05-29-2011, 03:48 PM
Yep, I agree with making the most of your 10 days. If it was me, I think I would see what the farrier can do before sedating her. You know, let him take his time and try to work on her but the first sign of her getting agitated, do something else before she truly gets worked up.

I know a lot of people don't agree with them, but my brother (who is also a farrier) uses a stabilizer on difficult horses. It helps quite a bit on most horses and they still maintain all their mental facilities and can still learn when it is being used, unlike most sedatives. He used one on a little sorrel mare that I am riding that had never had her feet handled and, other than trying to pull away a handful of times and succeeding once, the entire shoeing experience was rather uneventful.
    05-29-2011, 03:51 PM
I would love to read up on those things smrobs. Do you know what the main complaint is about them? They look pretty harmless to me. Much less so than a twitch or a lip chain.
    05-29-2011, 04:07 PM
The only thing I have heard bad about them is that sometimes you will get a horse that will freak out when it's put on, but those seem to be fairly rare.

Other than that, most of the naysayers are PETA fanatics that believe all bits, spurs, and everything else is evil. Just from my limited experience, they seem to be a much better deal than a twitch even though they work the same way. At least with these, the farrier doesn't have to depend on someone else who may not really know how to handle a twitch. With this, you just put it on and go to work.
    05-29-2011, 04:21 PM
Corinowalk, Yup I have others to do when he comes, so that maybe the best bet, he knows about this mare and her issues, so I'm hoping that it goes well. The only potential issue, he may just be a bit strong for her. He usually adapts well, he was very strong and firm with G Man when he first came, on the theory he should know better, but he has always been very gentle and patient with Fancy who is nervous.

We disagree a little over Bert, he thinks she is just bolshy, but I know she only over reacts of she is worried. I have to let him try her, he has done a great job with all the issues we have had through here, so I didn't want to use anyone else. If they don't click on this visit I will consider using another farrier.

Smrobs, I've never seen the stabilizer before, I need to do some research on that one, it may be a useful tool to have available around here.
    05-29-2011, 04:28 PM
Well, I think if she has waited a while, whats another 6 weeks of practice! *laugh* If he tries and she fails, its just another 6 weeks to give it another go. The often surprise us.

It took my friend being too broke to afford the ace before she finally got Izzy to get his feet done without the drugs. Low and behold, a little bit of work with him before and working around his issues, he made it through with a little patience on the farriers part. Now, he is like a pro.
    05-29-2011, 05:32 PM
Originally Posted by corinowalk    
Well, I think if she has waited a while, whats another 6 weeks of practice! *laugh* If he tries and she fails, its just another 6 weeks to give it another go. The often surprise us.
Well that is true, it's hardly a life threatening condition in her case, her feet are horrible, but she has coped OK up until now, it's me who is worried about getting them done, she doesn't care less

If we get the fronts done at all I'll call it a victory, and get the backs dine later.

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