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View Full Version : OTTB and farrier issues



Reiter
Oct. 23, 2007, 07:01 PM
Hi!
I don't normally post here and hope someone can help with this.
My TB tends to pull his feet back violently when being shod and he does it at the worst time, when the nails are being driven in. Until recently I had a male farrier who was able to hold on to the foot and he never said anything about it to me, so I never realized it was a problem. The horse lets me pick out his feet with no problem, it's just when being shod that he does this. I now have a very good, but dainty, female farrier who cannot hang on to his feet when he does this. She barely got his feet done last time and mentioned that horses on the track are routinely tranquilized for shoeing? Is this true? If so, it would explain a lot, but I really don't want to have to tranquilize him every time the shoer comes out!
Any suggestions?

Laurierace
Oct. 23, 2007, 07:06 PM
I wouldn't say that alot of horses are routinely tranquilized to have their feet done, but it isn't unheard of either. If your horse is yanking his foot away when the nails are being driven it is most likely causing him pain. Either that or he doesn't like the feeling of the concussion but again that most likely goes back to pain. You could try bute or banamine before his next shoeing and see if that makes a difference. In the meantime get something that you can keep handy and pound on his feet when you pick them out to desensitize him to the process. A small hammer would work or you can even use the back of a wooden brush. If in the end it is safer to tranq the horse than get someone hurt, so be it, but try the alternatives first.

jengersnap
Oct. 23, 2007, 07:12 PM
Seconding everything Laurie suggested, I know with our TBs we often don't put on new shoes until the day before or even the day of the race, and as such cannot tranq the horses as that would test positive. We've had the rare horse that was difficult to shoe, and had to tranq and reshoe a few days before the race, but they were the exception rather then the norm. Is it possible his being worse now could be due to the new farrier, and that's why you didn't notice it was a problem before?

CJ4ME
Oct. 23, 2007, 07:23 PM
I second the notion that the shoeing hurts or did in the past (or he was roughly treated) and now he reacts negatively to all shoeing.

In my experience with OTTBs they are really great with farriers, vets, dentists, trailering and the rest because they have so much experience, so early in life.

The only OTTBs I have seen with farrier issues (2 of them) had been roughly handled by their trainers and probably their farriers.

Maybe some retraining is in order? Something along the line of gradually increasing tolerance? It would take a patient farrier to help, though.

Just a thought.

Acertainsmile
Oct. 23, 2007, 08:09 PM
Just wanted to add that it's possible that your horse has some hock/stifle issues causing him discomfort...wouldnt be uncommon for an ex racehorse... might be worth looking into.

Green Acres
Oct. 23, 2007, 08:30 PM
My new OTTB did this the first time my farrier shod him. He was terrible and I was like oh s&%*!:eek:

Before he was shod again, I worked with him for a few weeks pretending to hammer nails in with a small hammer. If he was good he got a treat. About 1-2 hours before the farrier got here I gave him Quietex and he was very good for the farrier. :D My farrier was so funny and gave me huge compliments and kudos for him being better. :lol:

My farrier believes he must have been hurt sometime in the past and that is why he jerked away when he nailed the shoes on. He's been shod 4 times now and the last time I didn't give him the Quietex because the tack store was out of it. I will probably give him the Quietex next time just in case since I think he was good due to being ridden really hard prior to being shod this last time. Poor baby was worn out.;)

Reiter
Oct. 23, 2007, 09:05 PM
I have thought about the pain thing because he does have very thin, shelly hooves. Could that be a reason though? I assume that if shod correctly the hammering in of the nails should not hurt, right? I also thought the fact that my new farrier is not able to hold on when he does this, will confirm him in doing this, but he did do it with the old farrier as well, only he was able to hang on.
It shouldn't be any pain in his hock/stifle since it's the front feet he is doing this with and he also doesn't have any problems with me picking up his feet. I will try the fake hammering/treat suggestion and the Quietex is also a good idea, especially since I was going to bring out the heavy drugs for the next shoeing! ;)
And yes, he is wonderful with everything else because of all the exposure he's had on the track! I've ridden him with a drill team, with flags flying and horses ridden all over the place and he doesn't bat an eye! :)

summerhorse
Oct. 23, 2007, 10:32 PM
Just wanted to add that it's possible that your horse has some hock/stifle issues causing him discomfort...wouldnt be uncommon for an ex racehorse... might be worth looking into.

Yeah if retraining doesn't help (because they DO learn that they CAN do that sometimes) I'd def. check into the hocks first at least. My horse does this and she used to be OK. I won't say FINE but she usually held the foot still once you got hold of it but now she's a royal PITA after her arthritis in her hocks got worse.

Barnfairy
Oct. 24, 2007, 12:51 AM
I assume that if shod correctly the hammering in of the nails should not hurt, right? Hammering can be quite painful for horses with ankle issues. It's not the nails themselves that hurt, rather the vibration created by the hammering of nails that resonates through the tissues into the bones.

I have dealt with this in a horse who was a sweetheart but had massive arthritis in an ankle (involved sesamoids and fetlock joint).

A patient, empathetic farrier is a must. Mine hammered as tactfully as possible and paused, but held on, when my horse started to pull back. Since this horse was fine for trimming and only in light work, I tried him barefoot. Unfortunately he was very sore bare. It was a trade-off between a few moments of pain during shoeing, or constant hurting while bare...ultimately I chose the former and put him back in shoes.

ReeseTheBeast
Oct. 24, 2007, 09:16 AM
Laminitis can also cause shoeing to be painful. I'd start at the feet, and work your way up :yes:

posting over at www.horseshoes.com (http://www.horseshoes.com) will also provide you with a lot of information from knowledgeable, experienced farriers and I'm sure could give you some more insight as to what the problem could be and where to start looking. Good luck!

sm
Oct. 24, 2007, 11:35 AM
Until recently I had a male farrier who was able to hold on to the foot and he never said anything about it to me, so I never realized it was a problem.


I would contact the old farrier and ask him. Maybe your new farrier is doing something wrong driving in the nails with your particular horse's hooves. Your old farrier knows the horse and may have the solution for you.

johnnysauntie
Oct. 24, 2007, 04:40 PM
I second the notion that the shoeing hurts or did in the past (or he was roughly treated) and now he reacts negatively to all shoeing.

In my experience with OTTBs they are really great with farriers, vets, dentists, trailering and the rest because they have so much experience, so early in life.

The only OTTBs I have seen with farrier issues (2 of them) had been roughly handled by their trainers and probably their farriers.

Maybe some retraining is in order? Something along the line of gradually increasing tolerance? It would take a patient farrier to help, though.

Just a thought.

My thoughts exactly. Maybe (if you can do it safely!) start reconditioning your OTTB to handle rear farrier work by gently tapping the rears when you pick. Just a bit at a time. Let him start to understand that it's just a bit of tapping with no consequences.

Is he sore after shoeing?

elmerandharriet
Oct. 24, 2007, 05:50 PM
my ottb is bad for the farrier and we couldnt ever figure out why until i started working him real hard and he came up sore all the time and we found out he had a sacroiliac joint injury and he was really uncomfy with his back end being messed with

Reiter
Oct. 24, 2007, 08:33 PM
Thanks for all the helpful suggestions so far!
He is not sore after shoeing and I have actually tried him barefoot before, but he would get cracks like crazy and so we're back to shoes. He only has shoes in the front though, he is fine barefoot behind! I will have to pay attention next time to see if he also pulls back the hind feet. I've never really noticed that, but then they are only trimmed and done much quicker! When I say he pulls the front feet back, I guess that's sort of misleading. He pulls them AWAY from the farrier, but I guess it's actually not back but forward. Like a huge forced spanish walk step, if that makes any sense. ;)

summerhorse
Oct. 24, 2007, 08:46 PM
Mine does it in front when she's sore (she just came out of laminitis and a few months of abscesses (well she's not OUT yet but she's better) and when the feet were really sore it was a real battle royale to get them cleaned or bandaged. Of course the one that was worse was actually the least sore one as she did not want to stand on the sore one. But in the back until recently (she does have one abscess on the toe) it was because of the hocks.

holmes
Oct. 24, 2007, 09:09 PM
None of ours were sedated.....

Reiter
Oct. 26, 2007, 11:29 AM
The shoer was out yesterday doing some of my other horses, so I talked to her about all the things that you guys mentioned. We've decided to try and rule out a pain issue first. An hour before she comes out I will give him 1grm of bute and if that gets rids off his pulling back or at least makes it less, than a vet visit is next.
In the meanwhile I will try desensitising him to the hammering in case it's a behavioral issue.
Does that sound like a good plan?

Barnfairy
Oct. 26, 2007, 12:12 PM
'Just an FYI, bute didn't help one lick with reducing hammering pain for my boy's ankle issue. Getting him warmed up ahead of time, going for a walk or a short lunge, did help somewhat especially on cold raw days.

Personally, if this were my horse and I thought there was a good chance the pulling away is stemming from an unknown source of pain, I'd go right to a vet to pinpoint (all the better if you have access to one that specializes in lameness and perhaps chiropractic as well -- how's your horse's back?) rather than fart around with bute...but that's purely my opinion.