My farrier hit my horse.... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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My farrier hit my horse....

today the farrier was here. my horse hank is a 8 year old paint/draft gelding. he is a little stubern and doesn't always stand perfectly. since he's a draft and knows he's strong he likes to pull his foot away from you. anyways, the farrier was almost done! was just filing the last hoof. and all of a sudden he yelled at hank and smacked him on the belly with his file. This spooked my horse which caused him to jump and land RIGHT on my foot. the farrier noticed he landed on my foot and hurd me say OUCH! and all he said was "oh, did he get you?" I WANTED TO SMACK HIM AND BE LIKE "OH, DID I GET YOU?!?" so now im pretty sure i have a broken foot. Does anyone think this behavior is a little extreme and dangerous. should i find a new farrier? he also has a habbit of really fighting hank from putting down his foot which makes hank loose his balance and seems dangerous. i know i need to work on him standing better and we are in the process of finding a new trainer. but i need to know if i should find another farrier. PLEASE HELP NEW TO ALL THIS HORSE STUFF
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post #2 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:05 PM
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This is a tough one. If the horse is yanking his foot out of the farriers hands while he is putting on a shoe or working with his instruments he can really hurt himself and the farrier.

I dropped a farrier for hitting my horse with a rasp. One of my horses was a rescue (20 something years ago) and the one thing we never got past was shoeing. You can file his hooves but if you put shoes on him he'll go balistic and try to kill the farrier. He is dangerous but "beating him" was not going to make his dangerous behavior better. With my new farrier, I have NEVER had a behavioral incident with him.

My "new" farrier (I have had for several years now) is very patient. He has never hit any of my horses but if he were to, then it would be for good reason and I would never question him but I have total faith in him.

From the situation you described. I personally would either inform the farrier he is not to discipline my horse or get a new one.

Those are my thoughts.

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post #3 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:09 PM
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If you are not disciplining your horse and training your horse to behave for the farrier then someone has to do it. Being under a horse is very dangerous work. Your horse pulling his hoof away while the farrier works is actually a pretty serious issue not something to be made light of.

I have no problem with my farrier hitting my horse since he is the one who is under there. I also have no problem with him hitting my horse with the flat of the rasp on the belly if my horse does something that warrants it.

Thankfully he does not have to do these things since I do not allow my horses to act like fools when their feet are getting done.
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post #4 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:15 PM
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I agree with farmpony84, but I would have popped the farrier upside his head, too!
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post #5 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:23 PM
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To me it sounds like your horse deserved it. Plus, he's a draft, I'm sure he was more scared then hurt, which is how it should be.

And as for his "Oh did he get you" comment...the farrier probably gets stepped on a lot, so he is used to it, and probably didn't realize how bad he did get you.

From what you're saying I wouldn't get a new farrier, but you know him the best. So, if you feel like he's unsafe and not doing his job well, then get a new farrier.
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post #6 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:32 PM
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Sounds like your horse needs more manners put on him.

You got stepped on and noticed it hurt. How do you think the farrier feels when the horse rips the hoof out of his hands, leans on him, kicks, bites, or stomps him, and you as the owner are doing nothing to stop it? If you're not going to discipline your horse when he acts up, someone has to do it.

Hitting a horse on the belly with the flat of a rasp isn't the end of the world, and I don't blame the farrier one little bit. This is his livelihood, and if an owner allows an animal to misbehave, he might just get hurt badly enough that he can't work.

My farrier doesn't have to discipline my horses, as I'm right there doing it for him and making them behave.

Sorry OP, but this one is your fault. Teach your horse to behave, or you'll find you won't have any farriers willing to work with you.

You want the truth? You can't HANDLE the truth!

Last edited by Mike_Admin; 06-23-2011 at 04:36 PM.
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post #7 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 04:34 PM
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I think there are two sides to the argument, and I'm on the fence in what you should do.

I do agree with Alwaysbehind in the fact that what your horse is doing is fairly serious. He could end up hurting himself, your farrier, or you if you aren't careful. I don't own my own horse, so I am forced to work with other people's horses, and I'm not above smacking somebody else's horse if I feel my well-being is at stake with behavior a horse is presenting. Your farrier has a right to protect himself, especially when his income depends on his ability to work.

On the other hand, I agree with FarmPony84. Your farrier doesn't need to be overly agressive with your horse, especially if he is a bit antsy with the farrier. The agressive action may be adding to your horse's behavior with the farrier. If that is the case, you may want to look around for a new farrier. Or you need to tell your farreir that you don't want him being so agressive with your horse.

Either way, I think there are problems on both side of the issue that need to be worked on. I hope your foot gets better and you find a solution to your problem.
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post #8 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 05:30 PM
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I think you need to practice with your horse, and get him more used to standing for the farrier. Hold his foot up yourself for about as long as a farrier would, and do this often.

Did the farrier give a warning sound like an 'eh' first?
Was it the flat side of the rasp?

I think it is fairly normal for a farrier to discipline a horse if the owner is not doing it. If they get hurt, which they often do, they lose income for how ever many weeks. They often go back to work days not weeks after a broken bone, as if they don't work, they don't earn, and could lose clients for good.

My farrier is very important to me. He is the third most important person in my horses life, behind my barn owner and I. I do not want him to get hurt.

Edit to add - sorry about your foot - did you go and get xrays?
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post #9 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 06:28 PM
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As someone with a very large horse who dislikes having his feet done 80% of the time I can sympathize with the OP. Once they've been allowed to be antsy and know their size it can be very hard to overcome the farrier obstacle.

When I got my gelding his feet hadn't been done for nearly a year and the owner struggled to get shin boots on his legs. So I had a lot of work to do. And it requires patience and caution.

The first farrier I had couldn't get near him, even after some Ace (which I don't recommend). And he hit him with the rasp, etc. And no I don't blame the farrier one bit.

After a lot of work on my part and a new farrier (used to dealing with large horses/drafts) my gelding is getting better. I make a point to always handle his feet. If he's 'acting up' with his feet I've phoned the farrier and told him not to come and rebooked for a week later so I can work with his feet more.

I agree with the above posters - work with him more to minimize the bad behaviour. Good luck - I know it can be difficult. Also I'd add some farriers tend to pull the leg out sideways too much, which can cause the horses to pull back (my gelding).
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post #10 of 69 Old 06-23-2011, 06:56 PM
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Lots of good posts so far, and I think both sides of the situation have been touched on.

NO farrier is going to be okay with the horse yanking and pulling on him, or trying to put the foot down before he's done working.
If you no longer like or trust this guy, well, then you need to make a change. But the issues that created this problem won't go away - you'll need to address them with the next farrier.

Most farriers greatly prefer that the owner discipline the horse, and will only take it upon themselves if the owner is unobservant or unwilling. Since the farrier is working under the horse, and asking for a high degree of submission, he needs to be the "good guy." He should NOT be the disciplinarian.

Here's some things you can do to improve both the working relationship with the farrier and improve the results:

Discuss with the farrier beforehand what you think the horse's behavior problems are; and *ask how he would like you to react and/or handle them* Ask the farrier to educate you a little about how to stand and position yourself and the horse to make things easier for him. Continue the conversation while the farrier is working. You'll learn tons, and your horse will benefit.

Do a few simple things to make your horse more comfortable with being handled for the farrier. Make sure he's turned out or had exercis ebefore the farrier comes so he's not tense or stiff. If your horse has any arthritic issues, give him a gram of bute the evening or morning before the farrier visit - this alone cures many "behavior" problems that have physical causes. Do work with your horse *every* day about having his feet handled and do not tolerate him leaning on you or snatching his foot away.

From your post, it seems like the farrier was trimming the horse, not shoeing. IF the farrier was shoeing, and had driven the nail but not clinched it, that's an incredibly dangerous situation for the farrier, the horse and you. If the horse yanks away with the nail unclinched, he can rip the farrier's hand open, rip his opposite leg open - the farrier has a choice between those options, or having his back and knees wrenched and pummelled.

Last edited by maura; 06-23-2011 at 07:09 PM.
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