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What can I do to make my horse more farrier friendly?

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    What can I do to make my horse more farrier friendly?

    I've had my current mare since March and she tests the farrier each time he's done her feet. What can I do to make her more farrier friendly? Thank you!

    What does she do? Lean on him? Try to jerk her feet away? Try to kick? Move around too much?
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      Tests him how? yanking feet away at the start until he asserts he is in charge? Generally fidgety? OK for awhile and then insists on putting the foot down (esp. certain feet every time)? Mare means she's had her feet done many times - I take it she's worn shoes for awhile before you got her?
      HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever. blog:


        What is "done her feet"?

        Is he trimming, shoeing?

        Are you handling her every day and cleaning her feet when you get her to groom and before you put her up?
        Then is a good time to teach her to give you her feet herself, to hold her feet up for longer and longer, to let you clean and tap on them, you turn loose and have her still hold her foot up and wait for you to tell her to put the foot down and then put it down.

        Establish a routine that will eventually work the same when the farrier is there.
        Then teach the farrier the routine, that he should appreciate you taught your wiggly worm of a mare, so his job is easier.


          Original Poster

          She pulls her right hind from him after he's put in one or two nails. It seems to be deliberate. Same foot every time. She's very protective of her left hind and will hold it up and as close to her body as possible, but will give it if you give her a minute.

          Currently barefoot but does have one shoe on the right hind to fix a crack that the previous owner let go way too long. She will be getting shoes on all four on the next visit.

          I'm assuming she's had shoes on before but was barefoot with long toes and the one bad crack when I got her.

          Bluey - I don't mess with her feet every time I work with her. However, I don't have the same problem the farrier has. She gives me her feet, lets me place them, can stretch her legs forward and backwards. I try to mimic how the farrier does it so she is prepared.

          The farrier doesn't like a fidgety horse, so I try to lunge (sp?) her before he gets there, but he's usually late, so kind of a mute point. When she does pull her foot away, he reprimand her then continues what he was doing.

          Bugs does have some trust issues, which could be a contributing factor.

          The farrier likes the horse but won't tolerate this for long. My plan for the next visit is to lunge (sp?) her then stretch her legs and mess with her feet until he arrives.

          She's not being mean or doing anything truly terrible but it is something I need to fix. Any ideas or things I can do to fix the issue would be greatly appreciated.
          Last edited by Kynesha; Aug. 17, 2013, 12:59 AM. Reason: Additional info


            I'd recommend working with her feet every day you are at the barn. Have a clear plan for the training, not just random doing stuff. Your farrier will have a consistent pattern/direction that he works (i.e. starts RF, then RH, LH, LF), so duplicate that. Prepare her for what your farrier is asking of her-- not only picking up and placing, but holding them up for at least as long as the farrier will be, taking a hammer and tapping on all four, etc.

            How old is she-- any arthritis or lameness issues? That she's only doing this on the RH could be a number of things. Possible candidates: 1) pain in LH which makes her unhappy putting more weight on it when RH is lifted 2) pain in RH, such as from the fetlock/hock flexion 3) discomfort with the hammer tapping (ie so the misbehavior may expand when all 4 are shod). 4) impatience-- he's holding the RH up for longer because he's shoeing vs just trimming.


              If he is impatient with her, that isn't going to help it either. I think that if she takes just one foot away it isn't a cardinal sin, but I would want someone with the timing and reflexes to grab that foot before she gets it away. Once she realizes it isn't going to work and it isn't a fun game, I am sure she will stop. How is he reprimanding her? Are you sure she isn't sore at all back there? Sometimes under reacting can be just the trick. No muss no fuss but no getting that foot back. How bad is she if you don't lunge?

              I am not a farrier or an expert by any means but could just having the one shoe be making her unbalanced behind? I have never heard of just one before (not that that means anything).


                Give her some bute at least an hour before the farrier comes out and see if that makes a difference.


                  I have trimmed and shod many horses and have been there when all kinds of farriers did and I can tell you, for some reason, there are some horses that will stand there fine for three feet and object to just one and most times, that is the right hind leg.

                  I don't know why that is, but with training you can get those horses to be as good as they can be, although at times that little quirk will still come thru, if the leg is not lifted "just so", or something else distracts the horse.

                  What I am saying is that your horse probably has a reason to do what it does, is not being contrary and the farrier should accommodate your horse some on that, while you keep looking for a reason and retrain it.

                  Since you know you have that problem, try to find time to work on it as much as you can and see if that makes a difference.

                  A horse with feet problems with the farrier, that only gets to work on that when the farrier is there, with a farrier that demands the horse be trained for him, is just not a good place to be, as you realized and came here for more ideas.

                  I hope that some of what all have been contributing may help you.