Problems when Farrier comes...

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Problems when Farrier comes...

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  • Farrier problems
  • My horse leans on farrier what can i do to fix this

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    06-24-2011, 03:52 PM
Problems when Farrier comes...

I bought a 2 year old QH filly this spring (April 22), she came as hardly been touched but she knew how to follow a person around if you could catch her. The biggest problem I had was catching her (this has been fixed and now she come to me right at the gate) and she now accepts being touched everywhere, leads perfectly, lunges great, has been saddled almost 10 times and is doing great.

When it comes to her feet she is doing great as well. She picks up her feet great and moves them forward and backward in all the positions a farrier would want. I don't have a file to practice with but I use a plastic curry comb and make as much noise and pressure as I can on her hooves and she is fine with everything. In the beginning when she would take her feet away I would growl a bit or say "hey" kind of gruffly and she would have a little heart attack and then get over it and listen. Just to clarify, I only did this when she already knew what I wanted and just got tired of it, not the first bunch of times when she had no clue what I wanted.

Anyway, she is perfect for ground manners and feet manners. The problem starts when the farrier comes. I live with my family on the farm (I'm 22 not a teenager) and absolutely no one else likes animals. My dad comes to watch me if I ask but he has no intention of doing anything with the horses. So because of this, I am the only person who has ever worked with my filly. So when the farrier starts to do her feet she will sort of tolerate the hoof picking and clipping but she will constantly yank her feet away when she starts filing. I know it is because she has never been worked with by anyone else other than me and I don't know what to do. It helps her to stay calm if I hold her head but she still yanks her feet away. What can I do to make this go smoother? I don't want to waste the farriers time but there is no one else confident enough to work with her and even my farrier gets worried. We started off by not making a huge fuss when she got her foot away but it only got worse so one time I smacked her and she got really worried and started flailing a bit. I calmed her down and grabbed the rasp and picked up her foot and filed a bit myself but because I have no idea how to correctly file her hoof I had to get the farrier back in the picture.

Right now the options I can think of are to get the farrier out for a bit longer and get her to lunge my filly for a bit first and get her listening before starting to work on her. My other option would be to find a strong male farrier who has no fear but who also has absolutely no temper until she is fine with other people. But I don't really want to stray from my farrier as she does a really good job (and there aren't many options close by), she just gets nervous when my filly goes crazy as the filly doesn't really think about what she is doing before she does it.

I am stumped by this and it is frustrating to go from a filly who listens perfectly to me to one that doesn't trust enough to let someone else pick up her feet.

Cookies to anyone who made it through that, and I hope I was clear. I tend to ramble and give way too much information. Please give me any suggestions you might have as the farrier is coming out again in a couple of weeks to trim up both horses again.
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    06-24-2011, 04:19 PM
Kate, if more people could handle her it would be the best way to go. But I do understand what you are saying: I got 2 unhandled yearlings myself and noone in family but me mess with them (and my friends are almost all non-horsey). So they are not extremely happy when it comes to farrier, vet, etc. They behave quite differently though. My qh tests farrier every single time (and she's been trimmed for number of years already). I usually treat her with the smack right away when she starts it, and she stops her "testing". My paint just doesn't like other people in general. So I usually keep her attention on me when he does her hoofs by talking to her, scratching her, etc. Some people suggest to use hay while trimming to keep horse's attention awat, but I personally didn't find it to be the best approach.
    06-24-2011, 04:28 PM
Ya with my 4 yr old filly, on the very rare occasion she tests all I have to do is look at her and she will smarten up but she has 110% respect for me and has never been one to be bad. With my horses in the past I would sometime have to give them a smack and they knew right away to smarten up. With the 2 yr old she gets extremely panicky if you smack her. It doesn't stop me as I am a firm believer that she needs to be 100% perfect for the farrier as I do not envy the farrier's job of being under a horse in an awkward position.
    06-24-2011, 11:25 PM
It actually takes quite a bit of time for some horses. So just keep working and again try to ask more people to help you out.
    06-24-2011, 11:46 PM
I agree that this is something that you just need to continue to work on every time your farrier is out. Every person/farrier/vet handles/touches/works a little differently and your horse just needs to get used to not try and change to suit the horse.
    06-24-2011, 11:47 PM
I understand where you're coming from (I have the same issue - great manners with me, but is bad with farriers). I hope someone has some helpful advice. My gelding is fearful of men and I don't have a supply of horse-savy confident guys to help me overcome this obstacle. I also never miss a 6 week appointment, even though my guy could go three months (I have to ride on a gravel road to the arena so it keeps them pretty good).

Just curious, as I have been thinking about this as my farrier appointment looms, do you always get the feet done in the same place/position? A 'safe' place? I have found that if his feet are done where he is groomed and against a fence, my gelding is much saner.
    06-24-2011, 11:54 PM
Sometimes horses can be telling you something the best way they know how. If she is mostly patient with you and only acts that way with him, try a different farrier once and see if its the same reaction.
I have a 6yo gelding that is crippled because I wasn't "listening" to him when he acted a fool with a temp farrier while mine was out of town. He normally stands perfectly still and picks his feet up for the farrier, but that day half way threw the first foot, he was pulling and trying to hop away, he even tried to kick the guy! I kept working him in circles then making him stand still because I thought it was just "someone new" making him nervous. It's been nearly a year, and I still cannot ride him due to all the tendon damage that guy caused by his shoty work...... if only I had listened to my horse.....
    06-25-2011, 10:12 AM
Totally agree with Heartprints. We tend to be very quick to assume it's a lack of patience. However often its not that simple.

Firstly to stand on three legs whilst one of them is held out at varying angles takes balance. Young horses especially often have very poor balance. Just like human teenagers their proprioception is poor. They can become gangly and clumsy because their limbs grow faster than the neurological system can adapt to until it catches up.

Secondly even small changes in how the farrier holds the leg will make a massive difference to the horse. I have trimmed many horses that supposedly rear and kick off for the farrier and yet they have been like puppies. The only difference has been my own body position and what I ask the horse to do. Even VERY simple things can make a huge difference. For example before I lift any leg I will ask the horse to balance itself. I will place the back of my hand at the top of the limb and apply just enough pressure that the horse stabilises it's feet. They will often widen their back stance and shift their weight across. Then when I lift the hoof they are ready and balanced. So many people just grab the leg and demand it's lifted when the horse is not in balance or is stood too narrow at the time etc.

Also do not forget that if your horse is shoes then generally carriers will remove all the shoes or at least two at a time first. (or perhaps that's just a Uk thing) however again when they do this it affects the horses balance and proprioception. It's a bit like us suddenly wearing just one shoe. Even if you cope with the balance issue it feels weird, and to a young horse that's something they have to get used to. Again, minor but all the little minors can add upto a major.

Ultimately there I no quick fix just time and patience, and try to make it as positive an experience as possible.
    06-25-2011, 10:23 AM
Green Broke
Heartprints took the words right out of my mouth. Sometimes horses are so sensitive that they just don't mesh with whomever is trying to work on them.

I once had a gelding that would rear straight up in the air when he saw the 6'6" ex-college football player-vet coming at him. That's also the vet that gelded him.

When that vet's very gentle and 5'8" vet-intern came to give shots, the horse had his shots before even I could blink, and he never even flicked an ear.

This horse (who was 3 at the time) was much more particular than my others, as to who handled him and who didn't. My 8 yr old nephew could do anything with him, but the 6'6" vet was on his s***list forever - lol

I also agree with the poster who leans their horse against something. However, if the horse has to be leaned to be comfortable, my next thought is to find a chiropractor because something might be out of place.
    06-25-2011, 10:37 PM
Originally Posted by writer23    
Just curious, as I have been thinking about this as my farrier appointment looms, do you always get the feet done in the same place/position? A 'safe' place? I have found that if his feet are done where he is groomed and against a fence, my gelding is much saner.
I either hoof pick her in the barn or outside. But as the horses are more relaxed in the barn (no distractions) that is where the farrier works.

Originally Posted by heartprints62    
Sometimes horses can be telling you something the best way they know how. If she is mostly patient with you and only acts that way with him, try a different farrier once and see if its the same reaction.
The reason I like this farrier is that she is alot like me. She won`t take any messing around but unless it is serious she is very relaxed and willing to let the horse think it through. Another thing I like is that my farrier is a lady and I would think that it would be an easier transition from me to a lady than to a man who could come across as more gruff which could panic my horse. My dad can`t even catch my horse in her stall and he is very relaxed, he is just alot more masculine than myself haha.

I will try and get more people to work with my horse but other than my "scary" dad and my friend who doesn't know anything about picking up feet I am at a standstill. I guess it is something that I will just have to hope goes better than last time.

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