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Bad Farriers!

18776 Views 54 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  bloodhoundmom28
Hey guys,
I just had the worst experience with a farrier about two months ago! Woman came very highly recommended as a Barefoot Trimmer from folks on the ranch where I board. She was fairly new to some people on the ranch, but I figured I would give her a try. Now I have a horse who was an abused horse, and you CAN NOT hit him. You can tell him stand, or yell at him and he will understand that he does something wrong, but if you hit him he gets VERY scared and will not let you near him! I had also only had him for about 4 months when she came to work on him. He had his feet done twice before when I had him though with a different farrier, and did perfectly with no issues. Well this woman comes along, and I even tell her that he was abused and needed a soft and understanding hand with NO hitting. So he does just fine with all three feet until she gets to his back right hoof. He was trying to put his foot down and she didn't even make a noise at him before hitting him FULL SWING with her filing rasp! She hit him right onthe corner of his hip, not even on the meaty part. After that he freaked out and stepped sideways and then would not let her near him. Well we both decided to have her come down on another day to finish the job. I paid her $40, and dhe left....that was my mistake. She never called back. I tried calling her for over 6 weeks every 2-4 days to try and get her out to the ranch to do his last foot. She finally got a hold of me 6 weeks later via TEXT (very unproffessional) and told me that she did not want to be behind my horse. I had no problem with that, but I wish she would have told em that BEFORE I had to wait to try to even get a hold of her. Then I sent her a text back, and requested a refund since the job was never done, and she actually calls me and yells at me like a child. Saying things like "I have no horse sense" and "my horse is too wild to be handled and tried to kill her". She also claims that he was KICKING at her face, and even had a mud mark on her hat, but I didnt see onee mark on her, plus I was holding him, I wouldve known if he kicked (pluys hes a big strong quarterhorse, i fhe wanted to kick her he WOULD have, and even so he is a "flight" not "fight" horse). She never finished the job, never gave me a refund, and verbally abused me and physically abused my horse. I just had a new farrier look at his feet yesterday to do them, and my horse was perfect as before.

Has anyone else had horror stories with their farrier? I was absolutely appalled by this woman's behavior and even had to report her for her actions! Thoughts?

PS: Before any farriers reply, I did apologize to her the day of for him "acting up", though he definitely was not kicking. It was the end of the day, so I think she had a rough day and ended up taking it out on the horse, and then later on me. I am very concerned for the welfare of my farrier when they are under my horse, and I would never put them under a horse that I believed might cause them harm. Though I am still concerned about the welfare of my horse as well, I do understand in full that the hroses training is my job and not the farriers. Plus I told her the whole scoop about my horse and his background, so that she knew that he could not be hit, and she did so anyway.
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If someone needs/wants the name of the farrier in question please do it through PM. Thanks
Did you call any of her references? How long had she been "trimming"? You have to spend as much time picking a farrier as you would a used car. Also is she a liscenced farrier and with whom is she liscensed? Too many people buy some tools and print business cards and call themselves farriers and the worst of them call themselves barefoot trimmers because they have less tools to buy that way.

The Op has learned her lesson but to all the people that read this :All trainers and farriers and vets are NOT created equal so do your homework and be a responsible consumer.
I was absolutely appalled by this woman's behavior and even had to report her for her actions!
Report her to who?
That sucks, some people just don't have a lot of patience with animals. Our local vet, despite him being very very good and knowing his job, can be quite rough with the horses and give them a belt if they move at all. He's a horribly grumpy person to begin with, but he's a lot better than some other vets around.

I had a bad farrier experience last year. I wasnt there at the time, my friend was looking after the horses because I was away. The farrier got his apprentice to the Millie. Now I know he may not have been very experienced, but he failed to recognise that she had the start of signs of laminitis, and barely even trimmed her hooves, they looked like they hadnt even been done. Even if he was an apprentice, our main farrier really should have been looking over what he was doing.
Wow I'm really sorry this happened to you. I'm a trimmer and can't imagine ever striking someone's horse - not with a hand, and especially not with a tool. I even feel rotten if I yell and growl at a horse! Part of being a trimmer or a farrier is understanding the animal you're working on. You have to have patience, understanding, and compassion. When horses are foundered, arthritic, abused, neglected, young, sick, etc. it's all the more important to just take a deep breath, scratch the horse on the chest and try it again.

If the horse is truly dangerous to myself or the handler I just ask them to put the horse away, give suggestions for training or where to find a trainer, and offer to come back in a few weeks when they've had time to work through the issues. Who benefits when you lose your cool and strike a horse?

In all fairness, there are always 2 sides of a story, and we're only hearing one. I guess nobody really knows EXACTLY what happened or why, but striking a client's horse is always wrong. I won't even put a chain over the nose or use a twitch, or ANYTHING that could become a liability. It is not my responsibility to discipline the horse. Sometimes when you strike a horse, they strike back, and that's when people get hurt. What if she'd cracked that horse on the butt with the rasp, he ran forward and trampled you and you were seriously injured or killed during the scuffle?

On the first visit, I discuss with horse owners the fact that sometimes good horses act badly and when that happens, everybody needs to take a second to breathe, regroup, do some ground work if necessary, then try again. I don't like it when owners are jerking on a chain or smacking the horse because it makes it dangerous for ME, and likewise if the farrier/trimmer disciplines the horse, it can be dangerous for the handler.

I'm really sorry for your rotten situation. I see you added the farrier's name to the tag line of this thread. I hope she's learned through this experience how important it is to maintain a professional disposition always, regardless of what happens.
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If someone needs/wants the name of the farrier in question please do it through PM. Thanks
Is that the farriers name in the tags?
I have a question - what is an acceptable form of a discipline for a farrier to use on your horse if the horse misbehaves?

It doesn't take much to get my horse to mind my farrier (Solon absolutely loves him). But when Solon starts fussing, my farrier will pop him in his the side with his elbow or call out his name very sternly.

I'm always of the, there's two sides to every story. I'd think it'd be important to find out her side before passing any judgment on her as a farrier/trimmer.

I tell you though, the horses I have had to see my farrier put up with. I think too many people don't work with their horses enough to stand and behave for the farrier/trimmers. It can be really dangerous work for them. I've seen a farrier smack a horse with the lead rope and deservedly so.
I have a question - what is an acceptable form of
Unless my horse is doing something that will endanger my farrier, then the only acceptable form of discipline is the discipline I give. Whatever it may be. That being said I highly trust my farrier and would never question his choices in discipline, although I must say, he is the quietest and most patient farrier I have ever known.
^^She did tell the farrier that yelling/screaming is acceptable, or a firm "stand" would be sufficient to get the horse under control. She also told the farrier expressly NOT to hit the horse. I think a shrill whistle with a "quit it" might have been enough, and he wouldn't have had to even stand up.

Have you ever been hit with a rasp? That alone would deter me from using the farrier again. I can understand a firm pop on the butt with a hand or a lead rope, but even running my hand along anything less than a very dull rasp is uncomfortable. I wouldn't want to slap my horse with it.
I was asking others justsam, what they found acceptable and yes I have been hit with a rasp.
If she smacked him with the rasp it's TOTALLY unacceptable. My farrier is very patient with both my mares even though my qh is always looking to make a trick with him (like pretending he's not there or laying down, and yes, she gets punished for that every time and usually stand after that). It's really hard to guess how good is a farrier (as well as vet or trainer), because even with the good recommendations he/she may still not be a good fit. Plus what some people find to be a fantastic job other (more educated) people can call very poor job. :)

I'm sorry you had this experience. I'd just keep working on your horse to learn to stay and give hoofs and look for another farrier around.
I haven't had a horrible experience with a time the farrier came to our house to trim our horses after his wife died and started crying on my mom.
Not too horrible..but now my mom wants to switch farriers because he's always at least an hour late.
He always brags a lot like example: when I was a kid my untrained horse jumped 6 feet lol.
I'm so glad I have a decent farrier! He's never late (he actually moved up my appointment time by an hour once), he knows my horses feet, he does a good job and he's very well priced (35 dollar trim, 85 for trim & front shoes and I think 100 for all four shoes and a trim). I couldn't ask for more than that!
My farrier pinched my horse the last time he trimmed her because she decided to lean on him. So she leaned on him, he pinched her, she decided that wasn't very much fun and that was the end of that. She couldn't have been very bothered by it, she happily munched down the handful of grain he offered when she was done, then ran up and down the fence of the back pasture trying to see if he'd give her more (which he did).

I have a very patient and kind farrier, he happened to be out shoeing a different horse the day after mine was delivered. He went over, met her and gave her a handful of grain. After he finished shoeing the other horse, he had me bring her out, he picked up all her feet, stretched out her legs and gave her another handful of grain. He then showed me how to properly clean out her feet, a crack I was to keep washed out and an eye on and some stretching of her legs that he suggested be done daily since she was a little skittish about her feet/legs. We followed his advice and when he came back, she did great.

She's full of energy and feeling really good right now (she's gained 150lbs+ was very underweight when we got her) and is testing her boundaries a bit. So she decided that she'd try leaning this time, he informed her that wasn't acceptable and she stopped. He said he highly doubted she'd try it again next time, she just needed to be told NO.
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Wow, I'm sorry you had that horrible experience with your horse! I've had one too...

The first farrier I ever used was an older 'set in his way' guy... He wouldn't listen to anything and did my mares hooves his way. I had no say in it at the time because my uncle was paying for the shoeing... Literally, whatever K wanted to do, he did. He messed up one of my mares hooves because she needed (and still needs) to be trimmed and/or shod on that hoof a certain way and he wouldn't see reason. He used a twitch on my girl nearly every time he came out because she had a habit of jerking her hoof away (that's now worked through) and he would reprimand her harshly (which wasn't a way to get her to cooperate, as she's had a hard life before I got her and was afraid of men back then). The final straw came when my mare was around ten months pregnant... we had him out to shoe her since her hooves were cracking slightly and she was moody... the farrier wanted to throw her to shoe her, but both my uncle and me said 'no'. Instead, he decided to tie her leg up to shoe her, and when she panicked, he hit her hard in the stomach with his rasp. I went off on him and really went ballistic... in the end, he finished the shoeing job and left without being paid (there was no way I was paying him after that). I had an argument with my uncle and got myself a new farrier.

My experience with my new (and current and actually certified) farrier has been great. When I called him to come out the first time, he asked all the right questions... how many horses did I have, what were their ages and temperaments, what were their previous experiences with other farriers, how were they used to being treated, did I prefer tieing them or holding them for shoeing, was there anything to not do, was there anything specific he should know about my horses, what type of riding did I do and what types of shoes did I prefer, etcetera... (at the time, I had my mare who had been terrified by my previous farrier and my gelding, who, at the time, was just a few months old and had never had his hooves rasped). When Wiley came out, he talked to me for a while with my horses standing around, letting them get used to him, and he told me where he'd gone to school to learn to shoe and trim and he told me about his own horses and what he did with them (roping). When it was time to start working on their hooves, he took the time to pet, brush, and scratch my horses and really let them both get to know him and he was really slow with them and when he could tell that my mare was going to pull away or my gelding was getting agitated or anything, he stopped, set the leg down, backed up and waited for a few minutes. By the time he was done, we’d gotten through the whole ordeal without any problems at all, even though he’d spent over two hours at the house.

Now, my horses both love Wiley and neither are a problem with him. They trust him... even when he had to shoe my gelding for the first time ever in the rain, everything went fine. I love having a farrier who my horses trust and who teaches me a little bit each time he comes down and who is willing to put time into getting to know me and my horses. Wiley is like an uncle to me, a person who is always happy to talk to me and help me understand things and doesn’t get angry or upset when I ask the same question more than once.
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To me, acceptable form of punishment would be sternly saying/yelling their name, a sharp 'no!' or 'huh-uh!', or a small slap on the side of the neck/leg (from me).

The only thing my farrier ever says when my horses act up (if they do, lol) is a 'quit it, boy/girl' or 'huh-uh'... lol.
I am all for verbal discipline with a STAND, QUIT IT, or the horses name. But the hit my horse was given was a baseball swing with a rasp on the POINT of the horses hip. As sorry as I was for my horse getting hit, I was hoping for a mark to show up so that I had something to show for her hitting my horse.

Believe me, I have a LOT of concern for farriers! it is a very risky and dangerous job. But I also believe that if you are going to be a farrier, you need to be COMPASSIONATE for your job and understand that there is no one type of horse...and deinfitely to NEVER take anything out on the horse (as this hit on the horse was not so much what he did as it was her getting ****ed off and angry). If this particular farrier told me in the middle of finishing the job on my horse that she was not comfortable on him for any reason, I would have paid her for the work she did do and found someone who felt comfortable. This person never even contacted me til 6 weeks after the initial trim, and contacted me with hostility. That is a person who has no regard for the work that she has with the horses as well as no disregard with the people she works with.

**on another note, the person who DID do his feet yesterday was calm and gentle, but did not baby my horse. No pets, no treats, just did his job. But he handled my horse just fine. He has also only been in the business for a couple o fyears and did wonderfully. I liked that because I do not want my horse to EXPECT that he is going to get pets and treats by every farrier that comes by, because most farriers are not like that. But He spoke to my horse very calmy, saying 'easy big guy' and 'you're ok' in very quiet tones, and that was all my horse needed to practically fall asleep. Could also be that my horse just prefers men, I dunno! But I at least found a good farrier that understood what my horse needed.
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Did you call any of her references? How long had she been "trimming"? You have to spend as much time picking a farrier as you would a used car. Also is she a liscenced farrier and with whom is she liscensed? Too many people buy some tools and print business cards and call themselves farriers and the worst of them call themselves barefoot trimmers because they have less tools to buy that way.

The Op has learned her lesson but to all the people that read this :All trainers and farriers and vets are NOT created equal so do your homework and be a responsible consumer.
I had checked with several others on the ranch about her, and they all ranted and raved about her. But she just didnt treat me or my horse with any edicate. Dunno if she was having a bad day or if she is just an attitud-ey person, but she was very unproffessional about the matter. ...and I definitely learned my lesson regarding proper researching, as ranch-hearsay is no longer good enough in my book.
Do you think she would agree if she saw this online? Since you named her and her business in the tags?
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