need thoughts on hoof trimming a difficult horse
i have an 8 yr old gelding who i need to get his hooves trimmed. ive never had his hooves trimmed yet since we have had him, he keeps them pretty well shaped and lengthened natrually with the gravel and sand around the area. but it is about that time now, anyways, he can be a pain in the BUTT. ive had a few bad accidents with horses and back ends, so i really have a hard time feeling safe picking up horses back feet and havent done it in awhile. so i have never even tried to pick up his back feet at all. i can get his front feet, sort of, lol.. he is really stubborn and will put all of his weight on whatever foot you are trying to pick up, and when you finally DO get his foot then he goes onto his front knees. so i try again and againa until i can pick up one of his feet and put it down myself, without him ripping it away from me after he deems necessary.
im worried about finding a ferrier who will want to put up with his stubborness, or maybe if he turns out to be a nut case when they are trying to trim his feet, like i said i havent seen his feet trimmed before.
the previous owner said he used to trim his hooves with a garden scissors (hes seriously like 80 yr old horse trainer, old school bla bla) and that they do fine, and all i know is he showed up with pretty feet and i dont know what the experience was like.
i dont know what to do for his first time with us, if he will behave or i shoudl tell the ferrier that i have never seen them done before so i dont know how he will react and then they might not want to do his hooves at all...
Tell the terrier before hand.
You can use a rope to pick them up at first if you don't feel safe back there
tell the farrier especially that you have never picked up his hind feet! Does the horse pick up his feet for others and just gives you a hard time or does he genuinely not know what is being asked of him? Just remember the farrier can't work if your horse hurts him/her so be prepared for them to tell you to call them back once he is trained or tranqued. It is not the farriers job to train your horse.
It's amazing how a horse's behaviour changes for a confident farrier from it's nervous owner. I hope the horse is accustomed to having his hooves picked out. If the farrier has to train your horse, expect to pay for for his additional time.
My farrier is a miracle worker. She was able to get my arab to stand nicely while she trimmed his rear feet in one visit. I had been working on it for months and didn't get even close to as far as she did in one try.
Last time she was out she trimmed the two nearly unhandled young ponies I'd just bought. Had the wilder one picking up his feet with just a verbal cue in about ten minutes.
A good farrier is worth their weight in gold. It might cost you a bit extra if your horse gives a lot of trouble, but it's worth it. Heck, if my farrier doesn't charge extra for training my horses to pick up their feet, I tip her extra anyway.
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We worked with a horse that would buckle and go down to his knees when his front feet got picked up. He'd lay on you, and then he'd buckle his knees. One of the other farriers started working on him because the other guy couldn't and he held his foot until he hit the ground and made him get back up. The gelding did it twice (once hitting his knees and once smacking his nose trying to get back up before he went all the way down) until he decided it was safer for himself to just let it be held. Obviously it was done on mats/sand/dirt and not anything too hard..no injury, just scared himself into behaving, lol.
I tend to hold on until they stop fighting or go down (only happens once or twice), and then they behave. I can't say for sure everyone wants that to be done with their horse, but it's worked for me/us.
Otherwise..if you can't work it out on your own, let your farrier know and I've him/her a tip :p
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My horse does this - he knows perfectly well how to pick up his feet, he just can't be bothered. Poor apprentice farriers have no fun at all. But when the master farrier comes along my horse picks his hooves up like a pro, no fuss at all. Let the farrier know that your gelding not the easiest and you've never picked up the back ones before - a good farrier will train the horse if he truly doesn't know how to pick up (for an additional cost obviously) or, and this is more likely, his/her confidence and experience will mean that your horse picks up fine (although perhaps with a little resistance at first).
tell your farrier, as a farriers daughter i know they get PISSED if they go to trim a horse and it doesn't know how to pick up its feet, but if you tell them and they are prepared to fight then they will attemt it (usually successful)
If you expect a farrier to work with your guy, warn him before he gets out there so he can schedule a longer appointment, and please for the love of all you hold dear, PAY him appropriately for helping train your horse!
I too have had to hold naughty horses and I will let them go ahead and fall over if that is what they want to try to do. It took one mare falling on her knee and face three times before she got the message that I wasn't going to take that crap. She still tried it with everyone else, but she would begrudgingly stand properly for me. So long as it keeps working (the leaning and falling getting them their foot back) they will keep doing it.
Yup, I agree with what's been posted. If you are not confident to train for this, then the farrier or a trainer will need to, but be very upfront about it. Another thought is that if the horse's feet haven't been looked after is so long, possibly he is having difficulty standing on one or other foot because its sore.
Please do discuss this with a farrier soon.
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