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Bad for farrier

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  • Bad for farrier

    I love my mare dearly and she is generally a good girl, but not when it comes to shoeing. She is quite horrible. She is always trying to pull her front legs away. My farrier said that the pounding on her feet is what bothers her. I can say when she was barefoot and just getting trims, she was great. Is there something I can do to help make it a better situation? I don't want her to hurt herself and would like my farrier to keep coming back!

    Is a mild sedative ever okay in this situation? We tried a twitch yesterday and that did not work so well.

  • #2
    Yes, when you pick up and clean her feet daily, you should use a small hammer to lightly tap her feet to simulate the tapping of the farrier's tools. After regularly feeling this, she will come around.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


    • #3
      My regular shoer recently had part of a finger amputated because of a horse's behavior, and this was a normally well behaved horse. I would definitely sedate the mare until your desensitivation program is well underway. Your farrier's safety is important.


      • Original Poster

        What is best to use for sedation? Don't want her falling over.


        • #5
          If you just had her done yesterday, then I would start the "practice" with her now, and do it daily, and see how she is at your next farrier visit.

          Why sedate her before giving her a chance to just get comfortable with the feeling of the pounding?
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."


          • Original Poster

            Of course I will practice with her. I want an idea of what to use, just in case.


            • #7
              We tended to ace a certain mare that boarded at our barn years ago. She was a fabulous mare to handle except she had half her hoof torn off the first time she got it trimmed. She never ever forgave the farrier. Owner tried all sorts of ways to get her to just settle and she would have none of it. So we always gave her a bit of ace to take the edge off and that worked much better.
              Adoring fan of A Fine Romance
              Originally Posted by alicen:
              What serious breeder would think that a horse at that performance level is push button? Even so, that's still a lot of buttons to push.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Koniucha View Post
                What is best to use for sedation? Don't want her falling over.
                Ask your vet for a recommendation. You're the only one who knows how much she figits which will determine what to give and the dose.

                Of course you should start the desensitizing now. Ask your farrier if they prefer you sedate her.


                • #9
                  I like dormosedan gel for farrier work. Talk to your vet about it.

                  BTW... ace (and other tranquilizers) don't dull sensation, so if your mare is sensitive to pounding nails, you'll want a light *sedative*.

                  You also might want to ask your farrier to try smaller nails. I had a TB gelding who was sensitive to nailing his entire 23 years. Smaller nails and nail holes punched to the outside of the shoe helped him a lot.
                  Patience pays.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you everyone for the advice. Like I said, I will begin working with her, starting tomorrow.


                    • #11
                      My horse is much the same-I think at some point in his past he was quicked and he still jumps at the hammer after I've had him a decade or so. He's never been sedated for it but he has driven my farrier husband nutz many a time. Things that have helped are desensitizing patiently and also it helps a lot if the farrier uses the lightest hammer he has. DH noticed that my horse was better for a friend of his and borrowed Friend's lighter hammer and it helped a lot. My horse has terrible feet, low thin soles and we really think it genuinely hurts when they strike the hammer too hard and get that real "ring" to it.
                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                      • #12
                        I have a mare like this. I have had her since she was two. I was always present for farrier work. She fought from the beginning. She was never quicked or treated badly. She tolerated burning the shoes on with no problems so it isn't that she is difficult for 90% of the process. But that 10% can be quite dangerous for the farrier and her too. I spent HOURS tapping her feet with a hammer. She would eventually tolerate that. However, as soon as the farrier started driving nails. She does have small HARD feet and I think each strike of the hammer on a nail goes straight to her brain. She only got worse over time.

                        I gave up on this mare and she is barefoot. I do use boots if she needs protection so we have some footwear. So far, for the last 5 years that has worked. IF she ever needs shoes for a specific problem, I will have to tranquilize her but so far, the BF and boots are working and is a lot cheaper than farrier + vet (at least for a couple shoeings to figure out the dose) + tranquilizer. I'm not opposed to shoes but apparently she is.

                        Edited to add she reacts on all 4 feet. She was 4 when she got her 1st set of shoes, 6 when she got her last (thus far) so not an arthritis issue. Currently sound and training second level. The nailing process however, definitely pains/affects her enough to cause distress.

                        Last edited by Kyrabee; May. 19, 2013, 10:22 AM.


                        • #13
                          I've had a couple horses do this but it's was mainly because they had arthritis in certain areas of that leg and it just didn't feel good because that concussion goes up the leg. If they already are a little sore, even if they are not lame or show it, they can sometimes be a little fussy. I'd always give mine some bute the morning of the appt so it helped take the edge off and they would stand much better.
                          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rabicon View Post
                            I've had a couple horses do this but it's was mainly because they had arthritis in certain areas of that leg and it just didn't feel good because that concussion goes up the leg. If they already are a little sore, even if they are not lame or show it, they can sometimes be a little fussy. I'd always give mine some bute the morning of the appt so it helped take the edge off and they would stand much better.
                            That was my thought too. My 18 year old arthritic TB mare recently started acting up for the farrier and I'm sure it is pain related, although we are having pinpointing the source. For her next shoeing I will either give her Previcox or bute well in advance, but am going to ask my vet about dosing her with a little dormosedan gel as well (already approved to use by my farrier - be sure to ask yours in advance). At this point we're not sure how much or her issue is pain, or the fear of pain, so if we can take the edge off with the dorm gel it should help get her feet done faster.


                            • #15
                              Bute if it is pain, dormosEdan gel if pain/stupidity, Stableizer if just misbehaving.

                              Third Charm Event Team


                              • #16
                                I had the same issues with my mare. The two farriers that had no issue with her said it was because she did not like having her leg pulled outward. They kept her leg beneath her body a best they could. When they retired I just had the shoes pulled and she has been barefoot ever since (10 years or so) best move I ever made.
                                \"Have a heart that never hardens, a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.\" Charles Dickens


                                • #17
                                  I have one that was bad for the farrier. Her issue was a combination of dislike of pounding and behavioral (she would get sick of standing there and start fidgeting more and more). I did a combination of things over time: desensitize to pounding by banging on her feet, dormosedan gel to prevent injury to the farrier until she improved, and whenever possible exercise her before the farrier comes to take the edge off. She is pretty good now, although we are careful to set her up for success. I still try to lunge or ride first, I bring a friend into the barn so she isn't worried about that, and I try to make sure the barn is as quiet as possible to keep her from shifting around to identify noises or watch action. I think eventually she'll be totally well behaved if I am patient. Similar approach may work for yours, although it sounds like your horse's issue is mostly the feel of pounding.


                                  • #18
                                    Before doing any of the other stuff, get a Veteriniarian to diagnose whatever the underlying problem is. If she has arthritis, or chronic laminitis, those certainly could make shoe application painful.
                                    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.