Farrier/ shoeing problems :(

lauren123

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Feb 3, 2007
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Ok, this will be long so bear with me .

I have had my horse sox for about 2 weeks now. The onl hurdle we have is he has very bad feet. I spoke to the farrier who 2 of my friends get on the yard ( H & J ) So I decided to go with there farrier. I spoke to him he asked if he was ok to shoe I said as far as I was aware yes.

So he came to shoe him . He was weary of them from the start I was there holding him as he looks for reassurance. But as soon as the farrier started sox looked terrified ( this really got to me ). Sox through his head up and backed up a few times, taking me with him. He did this about 3 times; each time bringing him back, the farrier did a bit then he backed up while the farrier still had a hold on his front leg. The guy who does the trimming took a hold of him. The next time sox backed up he backed him up but to back him up he was pushing him in his neck. The trimmer said ' If you want to back up back up' as he pushed him in his neck, quite a few times. Sox through his head up and again looked scared. This really got to me.

I was .. quite upset seeing this all happening. I would have felt ok if he had a halter and rope on him and was shaking the rope to back him up but he wasn't. He walked him back again and shortly after the farrier said that he was only going to do the front feet for now and that he needs sedating. I took him back to his stable and sat down and cried in his stable. He just put his head on my knee as if to say ' I dont know why your crying but am here mum' .

He is a very gentle horse in all other ways and very curious of new things. It was then that my friend H said that his old owners said he didn't like the farrier. I arent sure if he has been hit in the past by a man but he seems more on guard with men then myself. I texted the old owner and asked him how he was a been shod she said fine she just held him. Which doesn't make alot of sense.

Now I am in a pickle. Soxs back shoes are loose but I don't know what to do. Whether to sedate him just so this farrier can do his back shoes or get another opinion from another farrier. I dont want to have to sedate him if I really dont have to but something must have happened for him to find been shod so traumatising (sp?) Though it doesnt really help that he has had that experience with me been there and that he might take longer to trust me now.:cry:
 

notpoodle

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backing a horse out of your space by physically pushing it I don't have a problem with (if the horse is respectful and trained you shouldn't need to touch them to back up though!), most horses won't back up if you shake a rope at them (unless they have been trained that way. I actually like the fact your farrier stayed calm and didn't start shouting and hitting the horse (some do!). if I were you i'd start working with him to de-sensitise him before the next visit. little and often eg pick them up, tap them, 'park' them on a bucket etc.
 

Trewsers

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He is still settling in which won't help - hence the reply you received from the old owner. I would consider mild sedation for the backs otherwise unless you can de sensitise him in a very short space of time (I am assuming his feet are ready for doing and can't be delayed) you might find matters are worse - even if you practice together, I think it will take a little time to come together. Therefore I would work on the de sensitising etc and generally bonding but definitely consider sedation as a option for a short term solution.
 

Lemme

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Don't worry as others have already said he is still settling in - first visit to charlie he went clean over the farrier in sheer panic - we worked on him and hes fine now but took some time then we changed to the farrier we have now who sorted him - he taught him from day one that you get respect by giving it - hes never raised a hand to him just firm and fair.
At the end of the day the farrier needs to be safe so don't discount sedation or even a calmer to help initially - its better than risking another battle at this early stage and making things worse.
 
P

pinkheather

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To get him shod this time you may have to sedate him. However, once he is shod you will have to take him in hand and start lifting his feet and pretend you are shoeing him by tapping his feet with a hammer. I had a horse like this a long time ago and fixed him by lifting his feet every day for a few seconds and then keeping them up a little bit longer each time until he was comfortable, after that i started chapping his feet with a toffee hammer as well. In a few weeks he was fine with the farrier. Dont cry some horses just need time patience and understanding he may have had a bad experience with a farrier and cant get it out of his head. Patience and understanding is the way to go you will fix him i am sure.
 

Cortrasna

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I would have no issue whatsoever with my farrier nudging my horse in the chest to get it to back up - in response to the horse backing up in disobedience and lack of respect when it hasn't been asked to. IMO backing up and throwing the head in the air is just a short moment away from rearing up and throwing his feet around, really not nice for the farrier to have to deal with is it?

I have always done this with any horse that trys to get bolshy and rush about with no manners when being handled. No big deal, not cruel, not unkind and much more effective than flapping a rope at it whilst it proceeds to go one step further and hammer your farriers head in surely?

Sorry if that sounds slightly harsh, it is just my opinion and I would rather do this than allow my horse to get more and more bolshy and turn into a 'project' that nobody will go near.

I daresay he really is frightened, but even so, being soft and fluffy will NOT reassure him and will merely re-inforce his insecurities.

Why not spend as much time as you can on his manners and ground work, enlisting the help of different men to get him over any bad past experiences with them. (If indeed this is the case?) Then sedate on full dose next time, slightly less time after, and so on, until he realises that he will not get hurt and that you are a strong and confident leader who demands respect and he will have your protection in return for some good manners?:smile:
 

sjp1

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As everyone else has said really - I think the farrier was fair in his actions - far better to back him up than whack him or yank him forward, and I think you need to do lots of desensitisation with him. Picking back feet up, tapping with hammer, all those sorts of things.

Don't worry - I know it all seems traumatic when you first get them, but honestly, give it a few months and you will look back and see how far you have come.
 

popularfurball

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I'm going to go against the grain - I would have an issue with that.

I wouldn't if the horse hasn't been frightened by it but I haven't found that frightening a horse ever makes for good training results.

Time and patience will go a long way.
 

Joyscarer

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Everything cortrasna said sums it up for me.

In the meantime, you can continue with farrier training on a daily basis and enlist any men who are brave enough.
 

Cortrasna

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I'm going to go against the grain - I would have an issue with that.

I wouldn't if the horse hasn't been frightened by it but I haven't found that frightening a horse ever makes for good training results.

Time and patience will go a long way.

I agree - but there is a fine line between a frightened horse and a horse chucking his weight around and the owner interpreting a bit of eye rolling as terror, rather than a shocked response of being asked to actually repeat the behaviour but at the handlers request rather than the horse's evasion.

Indeed time and patience will make huge steps forward in this sort of situation.....but don't expect a farrier to do your groundwork for you during the job of shoeing. Put the time and effort into preparing the horse to be as co-operative as possible for the farrier. You owe this to the person you are asking to bend down with their head in probably the most vunerable position it could be when around a horse.

I dont think the farrier did anything remotely wrong in dealing with this situation. If the horse is that terrified and OP cant sort the issue with daily hoof handling then sedate....don't mess with someone else's safety because you find a professional showing a little firmness with your animal upsetting. Nothing written sounded as though the farrier or his assistant was being impatient - time?? Well that is something that could be usefully used between now and the next farrier visit perhaps?

I agree that Sox has only been in his new home a very short time, and this may well be something and nothing that will resolve of its own accord when he has time to settle in. But I would never expect my farrier to be responsible for my horse's behaviour when being trimmed or shod, that is my job and if I cant manage that then I have no business asking him to risk his neck have I?:smile:
 

TBminx

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I agree in I dont have a problem with the farrier asking him to back up or pushing him back as this would not hurt him and would teach him to respect space etc. As long as not shouting and hitting and rough as doing it.

I had alot of issues with my mare shoeing her hinds and it upset me to see her twitched by her longterm farrier when i loaned her. It upset me even more after I bought her to get so far not to need twitched and to pick out no problem and to bandage etc without a kicking session to then have her snatch foot away once and get kicked in the tummy by the farrier :cry:

I couldnt get her to stand to have her shoe sorted that was now hanging off and she was terrified of him visiting the yard afterwards for other horses. I now use lovely quiet guy who she will stand no bother for if yard is quiet and he is so good with her even if she has a wee moment or two.

Maybe try another farrier or just sedate so he doesnt see it as a scarey thing next time and have this instilled in his memory. in the meantime work with his feet as suggested above and good luck :wink:
 

lauren123

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Thanks for all your replies :)

We were told that he doesnt like being hot shod so was cold shod when the farrier visited .

Also in reply to Cortrasna first post on this thread. I am grateful for your help, I didn't feel you were harsh as such just maybe a little uncalled for. I myself am only 2 weeks into owning him and he is my first horse.
 
Last edited:

Gimp

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Ex owners are not always straight with the truth, Just take it that hes not good with the farrier as you have witnessed. Hopefully this can be dealt with in time, but a farrier also has to think of his own safety if a horse is pratting about. If he breaks an arm or pulls his back its his livelyhood on hold.
 

Cortrasna

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Thanks for all your replies :)

We were told that he doesnt like being hot shod so was cold shod when the farrier visited .

Also in reply to Cortrasna first post on this thread. I am grateful for your help, I didn't feel you were harsh as such just maybe a little uncalled for. I myself am only 2 weeks into owning him and he is my first horse.

?Bizzare? Why uncalled for, you posted about the problem you had with Sox and the farrier on an open forum, how was anything I have written uncalled for? I did not castigate you, the farrier or your horse? I merely stated my opinion of the issue and how I would expect a decent farrier to deal with the horse, and what a decent farrier would expect from his clients?

Perhaps I shall rephase it all then.....your poor horse, he was very frightened, never allow that wicked farrier near him again......practice waving the lead rope at him if he backs away from you or is showing signs of distrust and insecurity. If he is still behaving in the same way give him a cuddle and a carrot or two in place of waving lead rope at him.Find a farrier who is quite happy to teach your horse all the manners expected when his feet are being seen to, and also one that has several hours to spare shoeing or trimming one horse. There must be some farriers out there who will happily wear a helmet and back protector to sort the issue for you. Shouldn't be a problem.:confused:
 

Wally

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Shouting at a horse never did him any harm at all. Mares scream the place down to put others in their place, it's a language they understand. A well timed slap never hurt them either, again, it's a language they understand.
 

No_Angel

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Apr 20, 2003
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If he were mine I would get his shoes pulled and practice having his feet delt with till he becomes safe, and then get a male friend to come and start banging his feet with a hammer to simulate having a shoe on, or just learn to trim him yourself and use hoof boots.
 

popularfurball

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I agree - but there is a fine line between a frightened horse and a horse chucking his weight around and the owner interpreting a bit of eye rolling as terror, rather than a shocked response of being asked to actually repeat the behaviour but at the handlers request rather than the horse's evasion.

Indeed time and patience will make huge steps forward in this sort of situation.....but don't expect a farrier to do your groundwork for you during the job of shoeing. Put the time and effort into preparing the horse to be as co-operative as possible for the farrier. You owe this to the person you are asking to bend down with their head in probably the most vunerable position it could be when around a horse.

I dont think the farrier did anything remotely wrong in dealing with this situation. If the horse is that terrified and OP cant sort the issue with daily hoof handling then sedate....don't mess with someone else's safety because you find a professional showing a little firmness with your animal upsetting. Nothing written sounded as though the farrier or his assistant was being impatient - time?? Well that is something that could be usefully used between now and the next farrier visit perhaps?

I agree that Sox has only been in his new home a very short time, and this may well be something and nothing that will resolve of its own accord when he has time to settle in. But I would never expect my farrier to be responsible for my horse's behaviour when being trimmed or shod, that is my job and if I cant manage that then I have no business asking him to risk his neck have I?:smile:

There is a very fine line between scared and rude - too fine sometimes! And sometimes a hard one to call especially when getting to know a new pony.

And I agree, it is definitely not the farriers job to be doing the groundwork - though I would expect a farrier to be tolerant if issues were being worked on.

I guess I'm a little lucky in that respect, our trimmer is a behaviourist also - piggy had big issues about his feet - he would drop to the floor if you picked one up! I tried training at home but couldn't sort it. Hence we got our current Trimmer - she has sorted his issues out - hence I would never change. She also "gets" silver as she can be tetchy when her skin is bad.

I don't think what the farrier did was wrong, I just know with rascals feet how frightened he was and being moved about would have worsened this. I've seen him being forced to back up after he stepped backwards because "if you want to go back you'll jolly well go back" and it left him shaking (he is a bit of a scaredy cat in secret!), so perhaps I'm sensitive to that. Two or three steps is fine, but he was made to go 10-15 ft when he wasn't actually being rude - he didn't understand what was being asked and his default response to not understanding is reverse.


I would be tempted to pull his shoes and get him trimmed until you have the worst of it sorted - depending on his feet it is likely this will give you more time than in between shoeings to work on the issue - however you may find you can't ride or he is uncomfy. if thats an issue then sedate him whilst he is shod until you can work on it.
 

nat17

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I am a little torn really, as we were not there and its all about the 'feel' of what he did. Its like text messaging, you can't read tone in them and its the same when people write things on a forum, they say he pushed the horse back, sounds reasonable but add in arsey farrier tone that does not like shoeing anything difficult and it could have been a nasty atmosphere for a young person with their first horse....

I hope your ok Lauren, getting your first horse is overwhelming and maybe you took it all to heart because your still in the settling in time but if you do not like your farrier change him, maybe you could look for a female farrier :wink:
 

Flipo's Mum

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Having been in the near same predicament with flipo when I got him, I remember the first farrier punching my boy in frustration. I didn't like that, not because of his use of violence - flipo hardly flinched he's that big, and if a horse doesn't do as its told by a fieldmate there are consequences so its not beyond expectation. But. For me it was about timing. My horse didnt realise what was wrong because the farrier's reaction was not timely, it was anger and exasperation. Flipo was being difficult but his method of venting was out of order and I didn't let him back near my horse.

You need time to digest and adjust. This might be the first stumbling block you have encountered and its quite overwhelming as Nat says. But it's not the end of the world and its just another challenge that many of us have to overcome (and do). Your horses feet won't fall off in the meantime. If you need to, sedate him for the farrier. The vet can prescribe Sedalin or dormesedan if required and you can work on his issues inbetween visits.
Maybe the farrier didnt use the method you prefer. I'm kind of impressed he reprimanded, but I wasn't there so I can't judge on how it felt. I know the first time I saw my previous trimmer back up my horse at a rare speed. Flipo is fantastic at showing the whites of his eyes and going all puppy dog. Whether it was fear or defiance, I think the method was suitable but that's my point of view. You need to find what suits your horse, but be prepared to toughen up. It's taken me four years to realise being nice and soft doesn't do any of us any favours - somehow you probably know that having worked with horses before now, but it's soooo different when it's your own. So much emotion, it clouds our judgement. Get some sound advice from an experienced person you trust. If they think the farrier's method wasn't right for you, speak to him or find a new farrier. Maybe taking the shoes off would be a good move until you can sort out what's goin on. In the worst case scenario he could self trim by going out doing roadwork. You do what you have to with horses, they're not robots and don't worry that folk will think you're failing, whatever issue you have with your horse, someone else has something just as difficult with theirs. Such is life. (((Hugs)))

Ps just check its not pain related. Back, joints etc. in that case then the farriers actions might not have been suitable.
 
Y

Yann

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But as soon as the farrier started sox looked terrified ( this really got to me ). Sox through his head up and backed up a few times

Sounds like a fear response to me. The farrier's got to do what the farrier's got to do with the situation he finds himself in so long as he doesn't lose his temper, but outside of that you've got a training situation to deal with, and one where getting some expert help might be a good idea. As far as the back shoes go you might well be able to get them off yourself if you have to and he'll let you, especially if the clenches have risen and you can snip the ends off them with a pair of pliers. Once that's done you can lever the shoe and loosen the nails and pull them out from underneath, not ideal but better than the alternative. If you can get them off see how he is without them - unless you're doing a lot of work you might find he's OK, and it's one less problem to deal with in the short term, front feet are usually easier to work with than hinds.
 
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