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Holly Hobbie 08-06-2011 03:22 PM

How do I know I have a good farrier?
Hi All

Today, my Kate is getting shoes for the first time. I am a new horse owner and I desperately want to give my sweet girl the best. The Farrier came last month to trim her (20$) and she did really well. He asked me to soak her feet before he comes to shoe (he said Aug 5 or 6th)...I feel I have done that. Hopefully he will come today or tomorrow. What do I look for as a warning sign that he will not benefit her?

Please share both good and bad experiences you have had with your farriers..... and how often will he need to come and take care of her feet after her first shoeing?

Thanks Everybody!

x Bustie and Alli x 08-06-2011 03:28 PM

Make sure the shoeing is the 'ideal'- clenches all in a straight line and flat to the wall, no gaps between edge of hoof wall and shoe, shoe was fitted to the hoof and not the hoof to the shoe. And obviously how they treat the horse is important- if she gets scared does he tell her off or comfort her?

If your mare is sore or lame after being shod, use a different farrier cz its not worth the hassle.
Alli's farrier is brilliant! He managed to straighten up her trot with fronts and handled her beautifully for her first time being shod!

waresbear 08-06-2011 03:34 PM

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Best way to tell if you have a good farrier? Your horse travels soundly on his hooves. If he encounters any hoof problems, that is not a good sign, not to blame everything on the farrier, but something to be very aware of. I have the best farrier there possibly is, I worship the ground that man walks on & so do all of his clients. When you feel that way about your farrier, you know you got a keeper. You can go 6 to 7 or 8 weeks between shoeings, depends on growth and how much riding you do.

PaintHorseMares 08-06-2011 03:42 PM


Originally Posted by waresbear (Post 1127033)
Best way to tell if you have a good farrier? Your horse travels soundly on his hooves. If he encounters any hoof problems, that is not a good sign, not to blame everything on the farrier, but something to be very aware of.

Exactly, whether shod or barefoot. When I learned to trim from our old English farrier, he always told me that you trim (or shoe) the horse, not the hoof.

Anvil 08-06-2011 03:50 PM

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Anvil 08-06-2011 04:08 PM

I don't know why you would want to soak the horse's hoofs before a shoeing other than making the foot soft.

But what happens if you make your horse's hoofs soft and nail a shoe on hoof with all the moisture in hoof when it drys the nails will get let loose a little bit. Because when a hoof goes from wet to dry the nail holes will get a bit bigger causing the nails to loosen up a little bit.

I think I know why your farrier wanted a soft foot is so your horse doesn't feel the pounding of the hammer as much when he nails the shoe on.
Why not use smaller nails the first shoeing instead ?

That way your horse's hoofs won't be changing from wet to dry and you will have the same results.
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waresbear 08-06-2011 04:20 PM

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Ok Anvil, it's not just me, I thought the soaking part was odd as well. I was thinking maybe that was something done in different parts of the country in drier regions. I live in BC Canada, my farrier has never asked me to do that, 'course it bloody rains everyday here!

jody111 08-06-2011 05:20 PM

Ive never been asked to soak feet - but I have no idea what your climate is etc etc...

A good farrier to me: ONe that turns up, one that comes when you need 1 shoe put back on, one that will catch your horse is they arrive early, one that is patient, one that is great with all sorts of horses, one that is competent around horses, one that is happy to answer questions, and also one that does a great job of you horses feet

My farrier is all of the above and i am so lucky to have him - I often get comments on my horses feet.... he shod my young horse for her first time and was so patience... he said to me - dont worry if it takes all day thats what it will take, she will only get more confident... (Might i add it only took sligtley longer than my normal mare)

He literally will catch the 5 horses at our place if he arrives early..

Hes one of the most expensive in the area - (Charging 150 for a new set where many farriers here charge 100 -110) but I think hes worth it.... theres a waiting list for him - People actually ask me how the heck I got him (fell into it - he did the other horses where I grazed)

If you not sure what to look for get someone to look at your horses feet who knows what it should look like!

Holly Hobbie 08-06-2011 06:22 PM

Hi Anvil!

Thank you for your reply. That make sense in regards to soft feet. I live in Idaho... its like a dust bowl here! Her feet are in good condition, but chip easily because the ground here is soooo dry. He hasnt come yet today... so, in the meantime I wont soak any further. I want these shoes to stay on her feet!

What other opinions do you have in this area? I am eager to learn! When a horse is shoed for the first often does the farrier need to come to maintain her feet?

Holly Hobbie 08-06-2011 06:25 PM

Hi jodi111

Thanks for your answer! I sent a reply to Anvil...explaining in more detail. I look forward to getting to know you and everyone here! I will have a lot of questions...and I hope to share in my experiences as well.


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