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Discussion Starter #1
When I had horses back in the 90's, I was in CA and I have already noticed a huge difference in the way horses are cared for here in NE as well as now in the 2000's. For one, my farrier back in CA ALWAYS watched my horses move before and after trimming to make sure they were moving correctly with their trims. If they needed any special trimming to move correctly or to take strain/pressure off of any part of the body, they did it. It took longer, but I always had happy, sound horses that were able to move out with balance and confidence.

Now don't get me wrong. I LOVE my farrier, he is the sweetest guy in the world, always shows up and is an advocate for only putting shoes on a horse if they absolutely need it. But, he has NEVER watched my horse move, EVER. He trims so that Cinny looks correct while standing on a flat surface. But Cinny has always seemed to be sore in the hips, especially after a trim. He also doesn't seem to "balance out" until a week or so after a trim. When I talk to the farrier abut him being off balance, sore and not always moving correctly and he just sort of blows it off and trims him the same. When he is done he always makes me look at each foot and tell him if the trim looks right to me, like I would know???

As Cinny has ALWAYS seemed to have an issue since probably before I bought him, I'm not sure if it's a result of trimming (I use the farrier his previous owner used) or something or some other issue. I do know that his vet and chiro don't see any reason with his conformation to have issues. I feel like if they can't find anything wrong with his hips or hind end, then couldn't it possibly just be farrier work causing it? I really hate to change farriers, because as I said, the one I'm using is such a great guy. What would you do in this situation? Am I just being picky? Am I being a little weird by wanting a farrier to watch my horse move so that he can trim accordingly and then to make sure he's moving right after a trim at least every other trim or so? Is it normal for a farrier to just trim according to how a horse looks while standing? What are your opinions?
 

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that is absolutely one of the first things i ask/look for in a farrier - do they pay attention to the whole horse and his way of going BEFORE doing anything to the feet. i don't think you're being too picky and, if you can, i'd see about getting a "second opinion" from another farrier (or two) in your area.
 

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The red flags to me are the farrier asking you if the trim looks right and the fact the farrier blows off your concerns; I for one would be looking for a different farrier. The farrier I use may not track the horse each time but they look and evaluate and recommend changes if they feel they are necessary. If I have a concern they address it and again, give their objective opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I think I will start at least looking for a second opinion. My farrier somewhat address what I say, but he always says the same thing, that he knows he trims right because he trims at the same angles as the neck blah blah. This makes me scratch my head as I really don't know what neck angle has to do with correct trimming.
 

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Now see. that is another major red flag. He trims the feet by following the angle of the neck????? Did this guy ever apprentice with an actual trained farrier, get real trainig like from a school specifically for farrier/blacksmithing or did he just learn farrier work out of a book..and an ancient one at that?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Now see. that is another major red flag. He trims the feet by following the angle of the neck????? Did this guy ever apprentice with an actual trained farrier, get real trainig like from a school specifically for farrier/blacksmithing or did he just learn farrier work out of a book..and an ancient one at that?
Everyone at my whole barns swears by him and has used him for years. None of them seem to have any issues with their horses, so I gave him a whirl for a while. I do know from experience though that some farriers can be great for some horses but horrible for others. I had a farrier back in CA that was awesome....for QH's and TB's. But when I got a Morgan, well, it was a disaster that took 6 months to correct. My friend also had issues with her Arab. So, I'm thinking this may be the situation here. Maybe for people who do reining, cutting, barrels etc he's fabulous, but maybe not so great with dressage horses.
 

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It seems like there are good things about him, and iffy things about him. If you are used to seeing your farrier watch your horse move and them trim on what he sees, and then do it again.. then you should request that he does the same.

If he blows off your requests or concerns, then you need to stand your ground missy! Don't fork that check over until you are really happy.

Find one that respects you AND your horse, ask for a second opinion, find one that explains why things are the way they are, to you. Maybe find one that does dressage horses.

Personally.. I rather a farrier not make my horse move before a trim. Maybe when he first meets him so he can see what's going on, but usually I am being asked questions on the subjects which may include stumbling, over reaching, chipping, sore, etc. and then we talk about it and he explains BEFORE he does anything, and then he asks me if I'm happy with how it looks. If I say "I have no idea what I'm looking at" he explains the angles and how my horse does this in the front and he has less in the back or whatever..

We then follow up a week later to see how the trim went in regards to his previous issues or if any new ones came up.

That's all I want and more.

Don't just go with what everyone else swears by.. find the right one based on what you want, and see how it goes.
 

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You know, I had the same issue. We've been using the same farrier for almost a decade. My mare Chilly always seemed sore. Her 5 year old year, I could barely ride her and she sat in the pasture for 8 months because every time I got on her, the next day she'd be limping.

A few months ago, we were on a trail ride and something just seemed off. She wasn't reached under herself the way she used to. Her stride was shortened and she seemed super stiff.

A friend recommended her farrier, he came down and noticed that Jasper, my curly is basically standing on his toes in his hind legs. Not good. So he's trying to even that out. As for Chilly, the previous farrier was trimming too much hoof off her on a certain side and it was throwing her hips, especially the left one, out of whack.

We've started correctly trimming with both of them. I put Chilly on a gluclosamine/chondroitin/msm supplement because my vet said it's possible she could be developing arthritis.

The first time the new farrier was out, Chilly and Jasper didn't want to stretch out their hind legs very far for the trimming and they shifted around a lot. The second time, they didn't move a muscle and the farrier said they were flexible in their legs then previously.

I'm super happy we switched. My horses are only improving.

I definitely recommend getting a second opinion.
 
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Some farriers can tell where the balance is off just by watching the horse move...many cannot. Don Baskins was one like you talk about. He could watch a horse move before even trimming, then trim and apply shoes, and the horse would move better every single time. My Dad is similar but slightly different. He can tell by riding the horse, then shoeing to accomodate both the balance and movement.

That is a talent that cannot be taught and most farriers don't have the eye that is required.

IMHO, if you want to give another farrier a try, then do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I've done some research on a couple of farriers in my area, put some feelers out, asked a LOT of questions of a lot of people about some of them and I've put calls out to 2 different ones. Only one has actually called back. He does corrective shoeing on an older arthritic OTTB at my stable who has the pickiest owners in the world. I've heard good things about him from other people as well. But, he isn't going out until the 25th and Cin should have been trimmed around Xmas.

He has long toe/short hill issues, but isn't moving too badly right now. Do you think he can wait another couple of weeks if I don't ride him and do jut light lunge work with him, or should I just give him a vacation consisting of daily turnout and no work until he gets trimmed? He actually rides better right now than he has all month, more balance etc...so It really makes me wonder what to do right now.
 

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I really don't know what neck angle has to do with correct trimming.
Sure it does... if you trim feet to neck angles, you'll get perfectly balanced feet.... depending how the horse is holding his neck at that time!!:lol::p

That is a talent that cannot be taught and most farriers don't have the eye that is required.
Disagree with the first part of above comment - it absolutely can be taught, but agree with the last.... most farriers I know anyway.
 

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stuff deleted

trims at the same angles as the neck blah blah.........[deleted]............I really don't know what neck angle has to do with correct trimming.
Was he pointing to the slope of the shoulder when he was talking about "neck angles"?
 

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stuff deleted here and there

For one, my farrier back in CA ALWAYS watched my horses move before and after trimming to make sure they were moving correctly

But, he has NEVER watched my horse move, EVER. He trims so that Cinny looks correct while standing on a flat surface.


Am I being a little weird by wanting a farrier to watch my horse move so that he can trim accordingly and then to make sure he's moving right after a trim at least every other trim or so? Is it normal for a farrier to just trim according to how a horse looks while standing? What are your opinions?
Do you walk your horse up when the farrier is there or is it there waiting for your farrier when he gets there?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
He spoke of neck angle while he was working on a hoof so he wasn't pointing at anything.

My horse is always out of his stall and on the cross ties when he gets there, he likes them ready to go on arrival.
 

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Do you use JJ or someone different? The first time I used him he watched Reily walk before and after the trim really closely (he was paying extra attention because of Reily's funny foot), since then he'll watch as he goes and comes but doesn't pay as much attention unless I say something has been off.

I really like JJ, he's been working really well with Reily's pigeon foot and is always on time :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Do you use JJ or someone different? The first time I used him he watched Reily walk before and after the trim really closely (he was paying extra attention because of Reily's funny foot), since then he'll watch as he goes and comes but doesn't pay as much attention unless I say something has been off.

I really like JJ, he's been working really well with Reily's pigeon foot and is always on time :)
If by J you mean JH, yes but he has NEVER given Cin the care and attention you just described with Rei. He ha never watched him so much as walk ever, and when I say I'm concerned about how he's moving and his not reaching under he blows it off. He gives him the same quickly trim every time. Ice been telling him about the problems for over six months and he just talks about how he does his angles right for this or that and then the next day he's sore again. It's frustrating.

Oh, and he's always freaking out when Cin puts his nose anywhere near him and says Cin is going to bite him, and Cin never has.
 

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If by J you mean JH, yes but he has NEVER given Cin the care and attention you just described with Rei. He ha never watched him so much as walk ever, and when I say I'm concerned about how he's moving and his not reaching under he blows it off. He gives him the same quickly trim every time. Ice been telling him about the problems for over six months and he just talks about how he does his angles right for this or that and then the next day he's sore again. It's frustrating.

Oh, and he's always freaking out when Cin puts his nose anywhere near him and says Cin is going to bite him, and Cin never has.
I think it's a different guy, the one I'm talking about first name is JJ last name starts with an F (he has some business cards on the tack board across from Bo's stall). Rei likes to lick/drool on his back while he's doing his front feet and he never has cared lol! I'm still learning about feet, but I think he does a very decent job. Reily has never been lame after a trim, the first time he even brought a hoof angle thing to measure how Reily's feet where when he was done to make sure everything was ship shape. (with his wonky foot, haha)

I can't compare him to any of the other local farriers though because he's been the only farrier I've used since I moved out of my bad barn two years ago. The farrier at the bad barn was awful but no one around this barn uses the bad farrier that I know of.

A LONG time ago I also used... ugh I can't remember his name but he's the farrier at the biggest barn in Hickman and he was AMAZING (pretty much text book perfect every time, he would watch me lunge before and after if we were having any issues) but very pricey, especially if he just came down for one trim.
 

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Bottom line? Only you love your horse as much as you do. Since he can't fend for himself, then you must advocate for him. You must know what you are talking about in order to have a productive conversation with the farrier. I recommend "Making Hoof Care Work for You" by Pete Ramey. Its an excellent primer and easy read to understanding the hoof.
You get one set of answers by watching the horse move, you get another by knowing the run of bone, reading xrays and the ultimate answer when you pick up the hoof. I can pick up a hoof and wear it...feel what its like to wear in motion. I can see where the pain is and how he avoids it and what its done to the hoof, so I don't necessarily need to see the movement, but it helps.
I enlisted a farrier for 20 years and posted pics online feeling pretty proud of the feet because they had just been trimmed. Boy! Was I wrong! The report put me in tears, fired my farrier the next day and have been doing myself ever since. All are fully transitioned to the barefoot trim now and can walk across quarry stone without batting an eyelash. It all started with Pete Ramey's book. I'm weeding through his latest book now (Care and rehabilitation of the Equine Foot)....not an easy read!
So load your gun with knowledge and fire off some pertinent questions that will not allow for being brushed off. You have every right to get your questions answered, with this book, you will get them and be able to advocate for your horse. Let nobody put asunder!
 
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