Why do so many farriers get their shorts in a knot instead of offering an explanation? They seem to want the work but their way of dealing with owners costs them business. It seems nowadays a person can take a 1 to 5 day course and hang out a shingle that they are in business. What is our recourse if the horse winds up so sore it can hardly walk?
All you can do is fire the farrier and look for a better one. Finding a good one is a needle in a haystack as you're finding out the hard way. It does suck, but they are out there. Took me 8 tries to find a good one. Learn all you can about what a good trim looks like, ask questions, and if they get mad at you for asking, then onto the next one you go.
I took the extra step of going to other barns, finding the horses who's feet looked the best balanced and then asked who did them. I was delighted to find the same names kept coming up on both the good trims and bad, so a pattern was quickly established on who to steer clear of.
Our farrier was recommended to us by our vet and we like him though he is a bit timid with our gelding for some reason. Atticus's feet had been neglected before we got him so he is still a little uncooperative. The farrier kept wanting us to sedate him but we have found--and I know many of y'all will think this is BAD--that just letting him shove his face in a bucket of feed keeps him busy so he barely notices his feet are getting worked on. I would rather have the farrier be too gentle than too rough. Ours clearly likes and respects horses and has been very helpful with any questions we have. I trust him.
Ask for recommendations from your vet and check to see if they are AFA certified.
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Certification means didly in my world. Show me the work. I have seen some highly decorated farriers who couldnt trim their way out of a box but sure could forge a shoe! Id do what Puck said. Proofs in the pudding. BUT that is assuming you know what you are looking at ;) Lots of ppl couldnt identify a truly healthy foot either.
Its taken me a while but I have the greatest farrier ever!
After being through farriers who can't keep shoes on, trim my horse with an 8-12 degree difference across his hooves, tell me that the quarter cracks are due to the shape of his feet, etc.. I actually ended up going back to a farrier I used almost 10 years ago and holy am I still impressed almost 2 years after switching.
I can ask him the most ridiculous amount of questions and he is always up for explaining the dynamics of the hoof. He works with a number of vet clinics in the area, is constantly going to seminars, doing lectures, auditing lectures, etc.. etc.. And my horses are all the best for it.
So now that I have the "perfect farrier" - I am totally ruined. I'm going to have to pay him to go with me wherever I am... Or clone him... or something. They do exist!! You just have to search for them, pay them well and on time and bring goodies!
I "had" the perfect farrier for 20 years. Last year, well, it's his last year with me, I don't know if his back is giving out, or he is too busy or what, but his work is not what it used to be. I have a new farrier, and his skills are impecciable as my previous farrier's used to be. *Sigh, I hate change, but I hate when vet's instructions are ignored and loose/lost shoes the morning of a show worse. Never get complacent, always check your farrier's work.
Many farriers suffer from a disorder called "OPTICAL RECTOSIS".
It means you've had yer ass up so long it gives you a sh!tyy outlook
I've gone through multiple farriers in just one year. I've now got a great farrier that was recommended to me by my vet and they worked together to have a game plan to get Henny's feet in better shape. He comes out when he says he will and does a great job handling Henny. Henny seems to like him just as much, too.
Also, I actually have to get Henny's feet trimmed every 2-3 weeks because his feet grow so dang fast. It's just ridiculous. So when I suggested I could rasp his feet when they're getting a little long, he actually agreed with me and told me what to do. He didn't even freak out when I told him I used to trim my pony's feet like my other farriers have. He's a great person to talk to and makes the whole experience enjoyable. I have definitely found a keeper. :)
I actually like customers who have trimmed before - they tend to have better understanding of why I would like you to train your horse to actually stand!
and yes Saddlebag they should be willing to at least try and give you a explanation - some people are not great verbal communicators but they should at least try
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