Does not take to farriers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 02-18-2012, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Does not take to farriers

My mare is relatively well mannered in all respects, except when it comes to having her feet trimmed. She is always barefoot (I use oldmacs). She doesn't like most strangers, which makes it worse to have a farrier trim her. A farrier can usually make it through the front feet, but w the hinds - it just becomes too dangerous. Since farriers can't make a living if injured, I don't blame them for not wanting to take her on. She yanks her foot away and cocks her hind in that aiming with a little motion "poised to strike if ya get any closer" position, and has struck. At least she "warns" them.
Well, I can handle her feet just fine. I have tried holding her hoof while the farrier trims...didn't work too well. So, alas, I have to do it - I just rasp them. I am a lazy person and not a professional farrier - and I would rather pay someone else do it. And, I recently injured my back for the first time in my life...which makes me really wish I could figure out a solution. Ace-ing her is out, farriers will not administer it around here.
So, if anyone has had a similar trial I would love to hear what your solution was and how you achieved it.
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post #2 of 37 Old 02-18-2012, 10:03 PM
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Do you always hold for them while they work? How would you characterize the manner in which they handle your horse? What does she do, and what do they do in response? What are you doing in response to those things?

Someone said that a horse's behavior tends more toward the logical than ours; if that's true then there should be a root cause of the behavior somewhere.
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post #3 of 37 Old 02-18-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Well, that certainly gives me something to think about. She never responds to strangers of any sort very well. I can't seem to fix that. I have only ever held her feet twice for a farrier, out of desperation. I am extremely picky about farriers - and I do not allow belly ties or twitches, or anything of the sort. She has responded all farriers (three, to date) identically. I know there is no magic pill, but I want to get started on the "long road" so I get there sooner.
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post #4 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 12:07 AM
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I applaud your efforts. You're trying to help and it'll benefit your horse and your farrier.

You say you've went through 3 farriers. Are you dismissing them, or are they quitting because you won't let them train on her?
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post #5 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 12:23 AM
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My mare is the same way, I can do whatever with her feet but a farrier, she turns evil.

When I had to switch farriers (moved away) it was a disaster until I found one that she will actually work for us. It wasn't the most perfect time but he had the least fuss out of her than any other farrier. He did take her away from me at one time to have some "one-on-one" discussions, but he was calm, fair and she was calmer afterwards. Yes he hit her, but she kicked out.

Its just finding one that will have the patience. And it probably wouldn't hurt to pick one and try and book weekly visits or bi-weekly until your mare is good with him/her. Going a longer time period between visits is probably not going to help at all in this situation, it'll be the same foot argument again and again as long as he is a stranger.
And jumping farrier to farrier probably wont help either. Its just a new stranger messing with her feet time after time.
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post #6 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 12:36 AM
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I know some farriers like for horses to be worked out right before they work on them. So maybe a lunge line session right before she gets her feet done? I don't have experience with this type of problem but I'm trying to help lol And maybe have the farrier do a meet and greet session instead of just going to her feet, hand her a few treats lol and few pats and just let them get comfortable. You need to find a farrier who is quiet, calm, and patient, but also knows his way around hooves.

Sully ~Sullivan's Fly Supply~ [17.1 TB] RIP 2/24/14
Rio ~Camperio~ [18.0 Oldenburg]
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post #7 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 12:40 AM
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Try a twitch or a lip chain. I don't usually advise those things but once you've tried all the nice stuff then sometimes you have to go "old school". You might try a scotch hobble to hold up the hind foot.
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post #8 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good advice. I think I will work her hard before the next "go around". I'll try anything within my "threshold". I am not familiar w a scotch hobble, but it sounds similar to a belly rope with one hind semi-suspended....the idea being they will fall if they resist. I just can't do that, or a twitch. I would gladdly "do chemicals" ... but farriers won't administer ace anymore. Where is the sanity!
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post #9 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 10:23 AM
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Aside from what has already been said, something else in your post has struck me- you state she doesn't like strangers. How have you been working to address that part of the issue? Addressing her aversion to strangers will help with that part of her aversion to the farrier. Many times, an owner will see that their horse is non-receptive to strange people and, rather than work towards socializing the horse and making them more comfortable with strangers they take the opposite approach and try to shield/"protect" their horse by avoiding exactly what is most needed - positive exposure to as many different people/situations as possible to help the horse learn to be comfortable.
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post #10 of 37 Old 02-19-2012, 10:28 AM
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are any of the farriers willing to do ground work with your mare ? Or plain strangers for that matter, to get her more comfortable with other people working with her.

As for the ace, if you want to ace her, why don't you do it yourself or have the vet come out and the same time as the farrier ?

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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