I just got off the phone with my farrier. Heís going to call me back this coming Sunday to set an appointment for either Monday or Tuesday to get both my 15 year old mare and my 3 year old geldingís front hooves shod. I did talk to him, and he agreed that my gelding will probably benefit more with just front shoes instead of being shod all around since its his front hooves that give him slight problems on rocky areas and not his back and he agreed that my mare should be able to handle front shoes perfectly considering when I first got her we rode with just front shoes for a long while and she did fine.
Anyway, Iím not concerned with my mare, as sheís an old pro at shoeing... but my gelding has never been shod and the last time my farrier trimmed him was over a year ago (Iíve been doing his trimming and just having my farrier look at his hooves and instruct me on what to work on). Iíve been virtually the only person messing with his hooves. Heís perfect for me to trim and pick his hooves out... but Iíve never worked on getting him used to the sensations and vibrations that go along with shoeing.
My farrier asked me about this and when I told him that I hadnít really worked with him a lot on the shoeing aspect of it, he told me to get a hammer or a big rock and start working with him with it... picking up his hooves and holding them up for a few long minutes and get him used to the tapping of the rock/hammer on his hoof. He also said to get one of my mares old shoes and a hammer and once heís ok to tap his bare hoof with it, start tapping the hammer against the shoe.
What else can I do to make sure that my gelding behaves for shoeing? I adore my farrier (heís the best one Iíve ever used, heís funny, he gives training advice and will ride my horses to access their training, and heís relatively cheap... according to him, itíll be between $30 and $35 for front shoes per horse).