Be good for the farrier - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-09-2011, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Be good for the farrier

I new to the horse world. I rode some last year and was luck enough to be given a horse. She has been good for the farrier in the past but I had to use a different farrier because my usual one went MIA. To the point she was good until the final hoof then she acted a fool. He tried to control her with a rope around the neck tied to her rear hoof which turned into a mess she kicked and fell and end results were a rope burn around her neck a several cuts in her leg from falling into the fence. I wanted to stop him but I have always been told the worse thing to do is "let the horse win" once you start. Now she doesn't want me near her legs, which is making it difficult to treat her wounds. What can I do to get her back to where I can handle her hoofs again?
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-09-2011, 11:19 PM
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my first advice would be to go nowhere near this farrier again!

When you say acting like a fool what was she doing?

first advice is to try a friend or trainer with more knowledge if you feel you're in over your head.

You are correct in that its a good idea to not let the horse win but you can 'win' safely. If the horse is wary about you touching their legs don't see winning as being able to pick up the leg and shake it around. being able to hold your hand on their leg for 30 seconds could be a victory.

It might be that you want to try rubbing first the horses bum where its comfy then going a little bit of the way down the leg then come back up and go again.

this idiotic farrier has created you 2 problems, you now have a horse who doesn't want their legs touched, and you have wounds.

hosing can be quite effective in desensitizing legs, its a constant stream that you know wont hurt them and they can kick as hard as they like at it. however you do have to be careful using this tact. hosing also has the added benefit of cleaning the wounds, not as well as scrubbing but better then nothing!

I Hope you have some luck with this one!
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-09-2011, 11:21 PM
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Work with her hooves every day. Try things to distract her like a treat while someone is working on her hooves.
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-09-2011, 11:27 PM
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First things first, I'm not a professional by any means, but tying an antsy horse's feet at all doesn't seem like a good idea. I don't know who this guy is, but he sounds like an idiot (just my opinion-- I've dealt with idiot farriers in the past). While there can be any number of farriers in an area, finding one that a) knows what they're doing and b)doesn't treat you like an ass is hard to find.

Also, you should feel free to ask questions. If you thought what he was doing was a bad idea, you should express this concern. If he takes it personally, you don't want to be dealing with him. Just today I was asking my farrier why my horse's heel was so short, and what I could do about it. Asking questions just means you want to know what's best for you and your horse. Being a new horse owner, it's important to continually learn and expand your knowledge-- just like with everything else in life, you can never know all there is to know about horses (though it's possible to know a lot).

As for getting her trust back, that will be a little harder. The key is to take it slow. Start at her shoulders, just petting and rubbing and talking to her. It's important for her to know that, while you are in charge, you're not a threat. Eventually you can start working your way down her leg until she's confident that you're not going to try to tie her leg up again. Just like with people, it can sometimes take a while to gain back a horse's trust in you once it's gone.

As for the "letting the horse win" bit, that's true-- but don't try to be a hero. By losing her trust by trying to "win", you've ultimately lost (that makes sense in my head).

Just take things slow... and I'd recommend finding a new farrier if possible. If not (as is the case sometimes), be sure to express your concerns!

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post #5 of 12 Old 08-09-2011, 11:50 PM
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You've gotten some excellent advice about re-gaining her trust from previous posters and I can't really add much more to that. I just wanted to mention that tying a horse's leg up is a perfectly normal and often acceptable thing to do. It can be extremely effective with limited risk of injury...... IF... it is done at the right time by a person who knows how to effectively use the method and knows what horse will benefit and which ones won't.

There is also a particular type of rope that should be used that is very kind on the sensitive skin of their legs. Because of the reaction and result that you are describing in your mare (being fine for the first 3 feet, and the fact that he was so quick to jump right to tying a leg up, plus the burns and cuts tell me he was using the wrong kind of rope), I agree with others about not using him again.

I actually tied a horse's front feet up just this evening. He was completely fine with me touching all over them but he would resist picking them up and when he finally did, he would either jump away from me or jump over the top of me to get his foot loose. So, I put a rope on his leg and around his middle so that I could apply pressure to keep the leg up but remain at a safe distance.

There was about 20 seconds of jumping around, pawing, and fighting the rope but when he stood still and stopped trying to pull the foot away from the rope, I let it go so he could put it down. I repeated that several times on each side and within about 30 minutes, I could pick up either front foot, move them around, slap on them with my hand, and he would stand stock still with no resistance. I know we may have to go back 3 steps tomorrow, depending on his learning ability, but then again, I may be able to go out and pick up a front foot with no prep and no problem.

So, there is a way to do it properly where it can be a huge help, but it sounds like this farrier didn't know how to do it properly.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 07:59 AM
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You know, smorbs, now that I think back I do remember someone telling me to use a rope to teach an ornery pony how to pick up his back feet without kicking. There wasn't any tying involved, just looping it behind his leg and lifting while I held the rope.

I've also seen people use those ropes that almost look like shackles on the horse's feet to keep them from running off (used properly).

Still. Farrier should have known better.

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post #7 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 08:22 AM
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Wow. Sorry you had to deal with that. Good advice here. Question. Can you brush her all over? Butt, tail? If not, you will have to start over again.

What I would try is to take a long cotton rope and swing it over her. Then her butt. Then her back legs. She will move around but don't stop swinging it until she stops moving and relaxes. Continue doing this everyday until she is comfortable with the rope around her back legs. Then go to rubbing her. Head to butt. Make your way down those legs. If you find a spot that she is uncomfortable with go back up the leg and back down. Each time making your way further and further down the leg. Always end the session on a good note. Good luck stay safe and if you are at all uncomfortable with doing anything with her back legs get a professional in. Don't let this go.
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the Help

I wanted to thank everyone for their answers and advice. I started today rubbing now her legs and she is getting much more comfortable. I was actually able to get some dressings on her wounds. I can pick up her front hoofs( I could get all four before this) but she is still antsy about her hind legs. She kicks, stomps, or jumps as you get close to the bottom.
I do have another question. Will she be able to ride in this weekend oncoming trail ride? She is not limping but it does seems as if she is dragging it a little.
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by chtaylor3 View Post
I do have another question. Will she be able to ride in this weekend oncoming trail ride? She is not limping but it does seems as if she is dragging it a little.
If they were just minor cuts, she should be fine riding, but check for any swelling (e.g. around the fetlock, etc) in case something got sprained. If you can cold hose her leg, it never hurts to do so just in case.

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On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-10-2011, 09:50 PM
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I agree with the above-- double check for any swelling and, if you can get your hands there, any excessive heat coming from her joints or injuries.

Impressive Wild Angel- Ginger Happy Go Lucky- Duncan Little Boy Blue- MellowSweetwaters Eqyptian King- Sam
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