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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2006
    Posts
    308

    Default input needed from farriers

    Hello all. I just started with a new farrier this winter and lately I've not been happy with his work. He's trimmed both my horses 3x each by now. Heels are getting underrun and toes too long. Both horses have hind end issues, one being sickle-hocked. So its extremely important their feet are well balanced.

    How do I politely ask him to shorten up their toes and bring up their heels without seeming like a know-it-all?

    Or found in experience, will most farriers with this common issue not change their method- meaning I should abandon ship and find a new farrier altogether.

    Thoughts! I like my new farrier. He's moderately reliable (sometimes it does take a week to get a phone call back), he's moderately priced (although thats not a huge deal-maker) but most of all he's very sensitive to the needs of my loosey-goosey mare.

    But, I've noticed my horses have gotten uncomfortable so I really need to nip this in the bud.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    19,369

    Default

    Tell him. Straight out and direct. Give him one chance, if he argues or doesn't change...so long, farewell.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2002
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,925

    Default

    If you like the guy and want to work with him, have a discussion with him.

    If you talk to him as if you want him to educate you, rather than telling him how to do his job, he'll be much more receptive. Something like "What do you think about the toes? I've noticed they're getting long" or pick up the foot & show him the heels and mention you've noticed a difference in the shape of them and what could that be from?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2010
    Location
    South Florida
    Posts
    70

    Default

    go with your gut. I can tell you hoof distortions like long toe/underrun heel and the secondary pathologies they can cause are 1000 times easier to prevent than to treat.

    Get control of your horse's hooves before they run away from you.
    Seth Parker- Farrier for Palm Beach & Broward, FL
    www.ParkerFarrierService.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Posts
    3,446

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ksetrider View Post
    Hello all. I just started with a new farrier this winter and lately I've not been happy with his work. He's trimmed both my horses 3x each by now. Heels are getting underrun and toes too long. Both horses have hind end issues, one being sickle-hocked. So its extremely important their feet are well balanced.
    You might want to find out what your farrier believes "well balanced" means and compare that to what you believe "well balanced means.

    How do I politely ask him to shorten up their toes and bring up their heels without seeming like a know-it-all?
    See above. Have you had a very wet spring? Shorten the toes on a foot that's been moisture saturated for a long time . . . might find the coffin bone is closer to the ground than you think. How long between appointments? 5 weeks vs. 8 weeks - big difference. 5 weeks is diligent maintenance. 8 weeks is controlled neglect.

    So there may be conditions and constraints to consider which might explain what you are seeing - OTOH, could be you aren't getting good service. We're only hearing your side of the story . . .

    Or found in experience, will most farriers with this common issue not change their method- meaning I should abandon ship and find a new farrier altogether.
    See above. Though this is usually something one would cover at the initial hiring interview, perhaps you need to discuss with your farrier exactly what his qualifications, training, educational background and methods are.

    Thoughts! I like my new farrier. He's moderately reliable (sometimes it does take a week to get a phone call back), he's moderately priced (although thats not a huge deal-maker) but most of all he's very sensitive to the needs of my loosey-goosey mare.
    Then do what you can to work it out.

    But, I've noticed my horses have gotten uncomfortable so I really need to nip this in the bud.
    Without having any useful details about your husbandry conditions, hoof care regiment, etc. I wouldn't throw your farrier under the bus until I understood the conditions and constraints and comprises you may be placing on him.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 18, 2006
    Posts
    308

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the input. I'll have a talk with him and be a little more proactive about questioning his method. I chose him to start becuase he's good with barefoot horses, which is hard to find in the land of shod horses. There are some very excellent corrective shoers in this area though. I've seen his work on other horses and liked it.

    Tom- you are absolutely right there are so many variables.

    I've noticed them equally camping under a bit as well as alternativaly resting their hinds more often. If it were just one I wouldn't be quick to question the farrier. But the overall angle on both of them looks straining to me and I get the feeling it is by their overall stances lately.

    The chiro comes every 3 months to adjust them and he is due soon. I'll point out there feet to him and ask for his thoughts. I may actually try to get both out together so they can discuss.

    I know pics are hard to judge but perhaps I should snap some?

    I was really looking for advice on how to best approach my farrier about it.



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