Sad, yes, but safe, no...time to get creative on how to get her to realize this is not something that is going to hurt her.
In a way, what a farrier does (shaping one shoe at a time), can actually make a 'fearful' reaction like this worse, because inadvertantly, each time he stops, while your horse is in this 'reactive state' she is rewarded. Nothing may have ever even happened to her, but if she reacted this way the first time she was shod, and no one thought, "hey, we need to pound a bit longer, until she stops reacting" they enabled her reaction to turn into what it is today. This could have been something that was easily 'fixed' before it got to be such a stressful thing for her.
So, now, you need to get creative, and BEFORE the farrier comes out again, you need to be finding something that sounds similar to the anvil, and have someone lightly (at first) pound\tap on it. Wait until she stops moving, then stop the pounding...that is her reward, but you cannot stop the pounding until she stops reacting; which is why you are going to start out 'lightly tapping' the anvil, not the hardcore pounding the farrier actually does to the shoe. As she becomes desensitized to the light sound of a hammer tapping an anvil, gradually bring up the sound, until she no longer reacts to it.
Unfortunately, unless you stop shoeing her, you HAVE to get her desensitized to the sound, because it's not feasable to lead her back to the barn, or somewhere out of earshot while the farrier works, because he needs the horse as he is working the shoe to shape. Start out light sounding, and get louder, and never stop while she is reacting. Just let her circle around you, until she figures out that the sound isn't hurting her. I don't know if you work her in one, but a rope halter may help keep her from leaning too much against the lead, so she isn't pulling you all over the place.
"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
Last edited by mom2pride; 08-23-2009 at 12:18 AM.