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PrettyBlueOverYou 10-05-2009 04:33 PM

Farrier Problems
Alright, my horse and the farrier do not see eye to eye. I will start from the begining and explain at the end.
When I first bought my horse she would move around and rear maybe once at the begining but then would calm down and he could finish his work,
After a few months of that show season started and my horse required shoes, she did her usually thing but with more rearing until she fell backwards after which she stood still. Each time came more rearing but by the end of show season she seemed to start to go back to the way she was when i first bought her.
Over last winter it was a struggle to clip her feet and at this point my dad had to take over holding her because she would lift me off the ground.
Now show season comes around again and she is horrible. To even get the farrier close to her without her shoving him over we had to tie her head to a post (with a quick release knot and a breakaway halter of course). At this point we used grain as a reward, everytime he put down her foot she got a reward, this worked for most of it but by the end she wouldn't even lift her foot. This whole farrier session took 2 and a half hours with breaks for him and her....
The last 2 or 3 times it has come to the point where she wont even stand in the hallway if she knows hes is there. Shell start rearing and trying to drag me down the hallway before anyone even gets close to her. For those last few sessions we have had to tranq her for the safety of our farrier (mind you this is not a permanent solution i realize that) and cover her eyes with a sweater. My father also has to be the one to remove the shoes and clean out her feet, the farrier is only able to clip them and add the final touch to what my dad has already done. Even with the tranq she still lashes out at him with her hind legs while he works on them and rears when he does the front.

She is fine on the ground, leads nicely, usually moves over with the slightest touch (though she does have a tendency to swing her body at you when she is frustrated (not to kick, just push over) which im working on with her,) would never bite or lash out at anyone, she isnt girthy or anything. I have noticed though that she has been becoming worse with her hind legs with me and ive been trying to work with her on it but i dont know what to do anymore.
Im at my wits end, I dont know how to change her behaviour and I feel bad because i dont want her to injure anyone during a farrier visit.

Any advise, tips or ideas? Everything appreciated..

Clementine 10-05-2009 04:39 PM

By "show season" are you referring to the spring show season, or fall show season? Is it possible that she is in season when the farrier is coming out? That may exacerbate some of the problems she already has with him. Just a thought.

PrettyBlueOverYou 10-05-2009 04:40 PM

I show from spring to the end of fall, and no she hasnt been in heat the last few times.

bloodhoundmom28 10-05-2009 07:20 PM

how is she with you messing with her hooves? Doc is fine with me messing with his hooves but when i had the farrier out he was like nope not going to happen so i had my niece hold him and i picked his feet up then let the farrier take over and he was fine then we progressed to the farrier giving him yummy treats for letting him just pick them up and put them down sometimes it takes a pat here and there and a treat to get them to where they need to be. Just a thought and it has worked for me on my babies and him. good luck

kevinshorses 10-05-2009 09:28 PM

It is YOUR responsibility to train your horse to stand for the farrier. It isn't his job to make your horse stand to be shod. If I showed up to shoe your horse and he flipped over backward I would load my tools and leave. You have an excellent man shoeing your horse. Most wouldn't come back to something like that. If you don't already you need to clean your horses hooves every day and maybe tap on the shoes to see if you can get him better. If you decide to get a different farrier I'm sure your current farrier won't mind.

shesinthebarn 10-05-2009 10:34 PM

Sorry to hear about your problems with the farrier. I do agree that you MUST deal with this problem and work with your horse daily untill it is fixed. Enlist the help of a trainer experienced with behavioural issues on the ground if need be. Untill you rsolve the issues through training I suggest you continue with the TQ and use of a twitch. It is not worth anyone getting hurt. I have a no-nonsense rule regarding behaviour with the farrier. They are in a comprimising position under the horse, so I feel it is my responsibility to present them with a horse that is safe to work with, even if that means using restraint - chemical or otherwise. You have a great farrier if he continues to come out if it takes 2 hrs to get the job done! Did I understand correctly that she is trim only - no shoes? 2 hrs?
If she is swinging her body at you and is a little bratty with her back feet, to me that demonstrates a huge lack of respect on her part. I bet if you worked on gaining respect, these problems would be much more easily overcome.
Good luck finding a solution!

PrettyBlueOverYou 10-05-2009 11:17 PM

Bit of an update --
Farrier came out today and it went pretty well considering the average. We tried to give her tranq but she moved last second so not all of it went but we managed to remove her shoes without too much resistance (for the back we put a chain on her and she got over it fairly quickly) For the trim we held her still for the first with a bit of an issue but it was fine after a few minutes. The rest preceded without problems.
Im hoping to continue like this (getting better each time obviously) over the winter so she is better for him for shows when she needs shoes again.
Unfortunately the twitch is not an option, she is one of those horses that do not go to a happy place when its being used.

I have heard that lack of respect is an issue i have with her but I dont know how to go about gaining it. Shell listen and do most everything that I ask so Im not sure how or when to do something about it. The times she does show a disrespect are when I am not in the position to correct her, ie, holding her for the farrier. Any tips on gaining respect? I discipline her when need be but like I said most of the time she listens fine..

dashygirl 10-06-2009 09:16 AM

Question, why are you required to shoe your horse for a show? I don't see how having a barefoot horse would be a bad thing, or a disadvantage.

RiosDad 10-06-2009 01:37 PM

This post should be titled " Farrier having problems"" You seem to have a very patient farrier. I would have given you the boot long ago.
He deserves a big hug:lol::lol:

shesinthebarn 10-06-2009 01:58 PM

Glad to hear that this visit went better!! Yay for improvement!! I also think it's great that you admit you need help - that can be half the battle. There are lots of exercises that you can do for gaining respect. Just basic everyday things...for example, if she swings her body into your space, push her out of it! Also vocalize your diapleasure with her. Most horses recognize a well timed "GIIITT OUTTA THAT!" when they are misbehaving. There are many widely published trainers who have many different exercises you can do that are fun for both you and your horse to help establish a proper balance of respect in your relationship. I'm no advocate of any one trainers methods, but I've heard good things about Clinton Anderson with regards to this type of situation.
There is also an oral TQ widely available called "Atravet". It's a powder you put in the feed. It might be a better option than doing Ace IV.
Good luck and keep us posted!!

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