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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, for all that have been following my story, you know that my mare is an absolute sweetheart. She is not mare-ish at all, except she hasn't quite figured out that I'm in charge (but we are working on that). anyway, she was getting trimmed and shod yesterday, and she isn't perfect for the farrier but she's not horrible either! she got a little upset with the farrier working on her front left hoof and jerked it away from him (which she does not do often) and kicked me in the knee. There was still a nail sticking out so that got me a little bit too. Let me tell y'all, it HURT! I do not believe she kicked me on purpose, but was instead trying to get her hoof away from the farrier. but there was blood and bruising for sure! I never expected a little kick like that to pack such a punch! My knee has been cleaned and wrapped, no stitches needed. the cuts are mostly superficial. I am ok! I used this opportunity to show my younger sister the reason you do not walk behind a horse unless you touch it first to let it know you are back there. She is very good about being around my horse, but any opportunity to teach her I will take! this is being documented as a continuation of my horse adventures! thanks for reading and any advice you can give would be helpful. I pick her hooves almost every day and absolutely before and after every workout session, so I don't understand why she pulls away from the farrier!
 

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Ouch! Hope it gets better soon!


The thing about picking feet vs farriers is that farriers hold their hoof, something that the horse needs to get used to. Picking out their hoof takes, like, five seconds. However, farriers can hold the hoof for five minutes at a time (depending on the job). People just pick out the hoof and forget about it - not teaching their horse patience. You need to increase the time that you hold her hoof. Of course, it also does depend on the horse. It takes a lot of work balancing on three legs. My horse stands fine, but she'll start out by slightly tripping/buckling. If the farrier tries to fight her out without giving her a break/chance to regain her balance, she will pull/fight back. I've had a farrier that did that. Both my horse and I did not like him....
 

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Ouch! Glad you are ok!

I’m following for responses. My guy is kind of similar, he was very skittish handling his feet at ALL when I first got him. Started out using lead ropes to lift his feet and put hours and hours of work into getting him to the point where I can now pick up and clean all four feet without too much worry.

But, he’s still not great for the farrier. Not awful, but not great. He usually takes a shot at him, gets corrected, and then settles down for the rest of the trim. Doesn’t mind my fussing over his feet at all anymore (except when he had an abscess... then he reverted back to his belligerent stage for a week or two until it started to heal).

I think it might be a little bit “stranger” anxiety, because I’m generally the only one handling his feet at all between farrier visits. Also, the farrier isn’t just picking them up...he’s cutting, filing, and sometimes nailing things to the foot (if your horse is shod)lol. A little different than my picking and sometimes brushing on some thrush medication.

Anyway, short of trying to find other experienced folks to handle his feet at regular intervals (not many available in my low-key, low-traffic barn) I’m not sure how I can work with him to make it better for the farrier when he generally doesn’t behave that way for me?


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I really love my farrier. he does a great job and he really knows what he's talking about. for about 2 minutes it takes her a second to get her balance but once she does, she has no issue holding still, she just chooses to pull away when he starts in with the nails. Is she in pain? Or does she just not like the feeling?
 

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I really love my farrier. he does a great job and he really knows what he's talking about. for about 2 minutes it takes her a second to get her balance but once she does, she has no issue holding still, she just chooses to pull away when he starts in with the nails. Is she in pain? Or does she just not like the feeling?

Has she ever had shoes before? It may be a strange new sensation for her.


You can "practice" in-between farrier visits by banging on her hoof in a similar fashion. Of course, not hard enough to hurt her in anyway but you can still try to simulate it.


I do not believe she kicked me on purpose, but was instead trying to get her hoof away from the farrier. but there was blood and bruising for sure! I never expected a little kick like that to pack such a punch! My knee has been cleaned and wrapped, no stitches needed. the cuts are mostly superficial. I am ok! I used this opportunity to show my younger sister the reason you do not walk behind a horse unless you touch it first to let it know you are back there. She is very good about being around my horse, but any opportunity to teach her I will take!

So she kicked you with a back leg?? I'm not sure how that's an "excuse" for her, from pulling her FRONT foot away from the farrier. And not sure why there was a nail still sticking out of her back hoof. Unless I am misunderstanding you.


Regardless of if she meant to do it or not.... what did you do to correct her after she kicked you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
She "kicked" with her front hoof. It is easier to say kicked than describe the movement in which she moved to hit me with her hoof. she was driven backwards and I kept my distance from there on out. The farrier did not have time to break the nail and file it before she pulled away. She has had shoes before but only 10-15 times. Pretty much since I got her in late August of last year, so probably not 15 times yet (just an estimation). I know for 4 years she did not have shoes but before that I don't know.
 

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She "kicked" with her front hoof. It is easier to say kicked than describe the movement in which she moved to hit me with her hoof. she was driven backwards and I kept my distance from there on out. The farrier did not have time to break the nail and file it before she pulled away. She has had shoes before but only 10-15 times. Pretty much since I got her in late August of last year, so probably not 15 times yet (just an estimation). I know for 4 years she did not have shoes but before that I don't know.

Oh, okay. I think you threw me off when you talked about walking behind the horse. :cool:


Hmm, 10-15 times is quite a few times (in my opinion) so getting the shoes nailed on should not be a new sensation for her. Just continue to work with her on her ground manners in general.
 

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Let me just add hear that a person can get clobbered by the horses hoof in a variety of unexpected ways.
For example. . . You are picking out their front hoof and you are bending over with your face directly above the hoof so you can get a good view, and the horse suddenly lifts that foot up, toward their belly Guess whose teeth get knocked in?

Or, you are grooming your horse's front legs, and you're bent over, and as you reach across the near leg to get the inside of the far leg, your face gets in front if the nearest legs knee. And your horse stomps in irritation at a fly. That knee comes up fast, and whammy! You've got the prettiest shiner!
 

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I read somewhere (tried to find it just now and couldn't, so I can't verify where I read this) that about one in 500 horses actually feels pain when horseshoe nails are nailed on. I remembered this little fact (?) because in my whole life, I have had one horse that went crazy when the farrier tried to nail shoes on him. He was lovely being trimmed, but couldn't tolerate nailed on shoes. I bought him as a baby, so I know he never had any bad experiences. According to what I read, some of the horses that actually feel pain, do not react to the pain, just as some horses tolerate being pinched by a bad girth. That leaves one in several thousand who actually do react because they hurt when nails are put on their feet. Hmmm. Anything's possible.

I've also read similar comparisons to mane pulling. Some horses really hurt when their manes are pulled. Most do not.
 

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My Teddy had a history of issues with the farrier when I got him, but he was OK the first couple of times when I held him. The third time, he snatched one of his hooves back, reared up, and got all kinds of upset. Eventually the farrier got him taken care of, but it took several tries. I noticed that it was only the one foot, and only when he was being rasped, not trimmed. I talked to a bunch of people, including here, and my instructor, and we came to the conclusion that there was something about that leg that was bothering him. Then I had a body worker out for all of them, and she discovered, basically, that there was an old injury that made it really painful for him to have his foot lifted up and out. Teddy just saw the farrier today, and I told him about it and asked him to just take it really slow and careful with that one leg. He did, and we didn't have any problems.

I'm posting all of this basically to say that if it's the same foot over and over again, there might be some sort of injury / pain issue. Of course, it could be any number of things, but I thought I'd throw that out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That makes sense. She has foundered so that could be a part of it. My farrier does not take much crap so maybe talking to him about it would help.
 

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Let me just add hear that a person can get clobbered by the horses hoof in a variety of unexpected ways.
For example. . . You are picking out their front hoof and you are bending over with your face directly above the hoof so you can get a good view, and the horse suddenly lifts that foot up, toward their belly Guess whose teeth get knocked in?

Or, you are grooming your horse's front legs, and you're bent over, and as you reach across the near leg to get the inside of the far leg, your face gets in front if the nearest legs knee. And your horse stomps in irritation at a fly. That knee comes up fast, and whammy! You've got the prettiest shiner!

I've come very close to getting hit in the face during fly season!
 

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I've come very close to getting hit in the face during fly season!


Nothing like the whoosh of air as a hoof passes inches from your face

I’ve heard before that a horse can’t kick with a leg on the same side as a foot you are holding up. I can tell you, from experience getting my guy as good as he is today, that it is most definitely possible.

One of his old “tricks” was to lean his weight on you on holding the front, while simultaneously lifting the same back leg to take a quick jab at you. He never actually made contact but is surprisingly flexible lol


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Wow, sorry you got clipped like that, ouch!! Did the nail cut or puncture you? Did you get it rinsed out pretty good. If it was a puncture, you might want to think about getting a tetanus shot. Horse manure, dirt, and puncture wounds don't mix very well, a good recipe for tetanus.

When I got my finger tip removed from a horse hoof I had to get a new tetanus shot even though it wasn't a puncture. It had been about eight or nine years since my last one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I did clean it very well, and yes the nail cut me, but very superficially. Nothing too deep. It seems to be healing up very nicely so I am not concerned about tetanus, but will continue to keep an eye on it!
 

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I did clean it very well, and yes the nail cut me, but very superficially. Nothing too deep. It seems to be healing up very nicely so I am not concerned about tetanus, but will continue to keep an eye on it!
Alright, you probably cleaned it up pretty well but tetanus isn't something that you can keep an eye on at the wound site. It's bacteria that enters your bloodstream and affects your central nervous system
 

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Two things, a 'kick' with a front foot is a strike and it can be exceedingly painful as the toe is usually the first thing that gets you.

Secondly, you really do need to have regular tetanus injections. Tetanus usually occurs from a puncture wound rather than a cut. The one thing I always kept up to date was my tetanus booster - once every ten years so not easy to remember.

Thirdly, never stand directly in front of a horse that's is being worked on. Always keep to the side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I definitely learned my lesson about where I stand when my mare is being worked on. And I believe I am up to date on my tetanus. Thanks for letting me know it is called a strike! I had no clue how to explain it to people without using my arms to show them!
 
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