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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How in the world can one handle this...and I'm sure it's a fairly common occurrence.
You see someone's horse(s) that need attention.
The "sticky" part is who's horse it belongs to and degree of neglect.
Specifically if it's an acquaintance or a neighbor and you don't want to start WWIII, retribution or bad feelings. Is there a polite way to say your horse(s) hooves are cracked and they need a farrier?

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How about starting a conversation like " What's causing your horse's hooves to crack so bad?" Then follow up with " I bet a farrier could stop those before they get any worse and cause damage".
Thanks! I like that.

It's a really awkward situation and I'm sure others have witnessed this also:
1) People buy horses
2) Now tack, supplies, clothes...list goes on...
3) They ride, groom, feed, etc. for a few months...
4) Now it becomes a chore, no more riding.
5) It's expensive! They can't afford proper care or money goes to "next project".
Should I offer to pay? Maybe just once?


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Should I offer to pay? Maybe just once?

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I asked a similar question about the lesson pony at our barn. I learned to ride on her but hadn't ridden her in a while (I had only been riding my own guys), but my Pony got injured and I rode her a few times. I was appalled at the state of her feet. I didn't feel like I could keep riding her like that in good conscience. So I created a sneaky and devious plan to get the barn owner to let me take care of her trimming. I say sneaky and devious, because the barn owner is one of those overly sensitive people who takes everything personally and also knows everything there is to know about horses (so don't try telling HER that HER horses' hooves aren't looking so good), so if I had just straight up asked her if I could have them trimmed, I would have offended her and gotten a firm "no."

My point being, know the person you're talking to and think about whether this is a good idea or how you could bring it up without offending them. Even a little white lie if you have to, e.g. "My farrier is looking for a horse to practice on and I see that you have a horse, could he do your horse's hooves one time?"

I asked the same question here, and everyone said "Just don't do it, it's not your problem." But this lesson pony taught me how to ride, and I couldn't stand seeing her like that. We all hate to see other horses not being taken care of, but it's a tricky situation, with landmines everywhere. Are you willing to lose the friendship of this neighbor?
 
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Should I offer to pay? Maybe just once?
That's a big old nooopppeee! After you do it once, you can't guarantee that the person (who is either too negligent, financially incapable, or uneducated to recognize and/or fix the problem on their own) won't start assuming you're going to continue the service, and from now on will just wait until it gets so bad that you get upset enough to do it again.

I used to take care of my neighbor's horse because, at that point, she was practically mine. One time my neighbor went out of town for a couple days so I offered to clean her mini donkeys' stall as well. Just for a couple days, while they were gone. After they returned, and I was over there cleaning the horse's stall, I noticed over the course of a few days that the poop and wasted hay was piling up in the donkeys' stall. So I asked her what was up with that, and she said "Oh, I thought you were doing that now." And she was a fairly nice, educated, fair person otherwise. So I wouldn't put it above your neighbors to pull something similar.
 

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I have had success with:

“What are you using to treat the cracks? What causes them? Just in case it ever happens to my horse. And are you seeing an improvement? Oh, no? Well, my farrier will be here on Monday, should I give him your number - he’s a nice guy, he’s likely to fit your horse in even though he’s busy. Cool, he’ll give you a call”

I just pretended I wanted to learn from them and that put them in a positive frame of mind and they were receptive. From then on, I would have my farrier phone them every time they came out to see my horse and they were pretty much shamed/organized into behaving.

You should adjust the approach based on their personality.

Don’t pay for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I asked a similar question about the lesson pony at our barn. I learned to ride on her but hadn't ridden her in a while (I had only been riding my own guys), but my Pony got injured and I rode her a few times. I was appalled at the state of her feet. I didn't feel like I could keep riding her like that in good conscience. So I created a sneaky and devious plan to get the barn owner to let me take care of her trimming. I say sneaky and devious, because the barn owner is one of those overly sensitive people who takes everything personally and also knows everything there is to know about horses (so don't try telling HER that HER horses' hooves aren't looking so good), so if I had just straight up asked her if I could have them trimmed, I would have offended her and gotten a firm "no."



My point being, know the person you're talking to and think about whether this is a good idea or how you could bring it up without offending them. Even a little white lie if you have to, e.g. "My farrier is looking for a horse to practice on and I see that you have a horse, could he do your horse's hooves one time?"



I asked the same question here, and everyone said "Just don't do it, it's not your problem." But this lesson pony taught me how to ride, and I couldn't stand seeing her like that. We all hate to see other horses not being taken care of, but it's a tricky situation, with landmines everywhere. Are you willing to lose the friendship of this neighbor?
Thanks. Great thoughts and no...don't want to upset these people. Our farrier is older man and wife who taught lots of other horse owners farriers. In this case three horses need attention.
As you said...very "sticky" indeed!


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I have the same issue with a lady down the road who's a VET of all things, but her horse's feet haven't seen a farrier since I've been here and we've been here 9 months. ?? Pretty sure she also feeds sweet feed too but that's the least of my worries...at least the horses look to be in good shape except for their feet. They have a massive pasture to roam around on and eat grass so a lot of their feed is from that too. But their feet are terrible!

I've thought of asking "who's your farrier?" and going from there. It's a perfectly normal question, especially for horse people to ask each other. It will soon become obvious if they either have no idea what they're doing, or they're knowingly letting it get this bad. Perhaps mention how your farrier is coming on such and such date because it's been 5 weeks and it's time for a trim. I also like the other things people have already posted like "any idea for a good hoof crack remedy?" etc. If you can work your words around and make them feel like they're educating YOU instead of vice versa, you'll go a lot farther. Unless of course they're a very sweet and humble person, but you can't expect that of most people, sadly.
 

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It's definitely a tricky situation. I would not offer to pay though, nope. Then they may expect it all the time & hold it against you.

Without involving yourself too much, just say 'hey I noticed __ has some cracks, if you're looking for a new farrier you can use mine' and give their contact info?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. Based on the replies I think this is good? What do you think. It certainly wouldn't upset anyone, but "plants a seed" and would make Mrs. X think. A text message:
.......................................................................
Hello (Mrs. X);
This is Jane. I was wondering if you could recommend a farrier.
We have a good one now but he's getting older and may retire before too long.
I want to be sure my horses are well taken care of.
Thanks so much...Jane

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