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Handler "Etiquette" during Farrier Visits

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  • Handler "Etiquette" during Farrier Visits

    Okay, this is mainly a question directed to the Farriers out there but any other opinions are welcome too

    I have always wondered what preference farriers have concerning the handling of the horse while actually being worked on by the farrier. Opinions?

    Many moons ago when I was leasing a horse I had a rather 'rough' farrier. I wanted the horse to act right however I didn't want to interfere with his/her work or put the farrier in an unsafe position if I needed to reprimand the horse. Let's just say I reprimanded the horse and, to put it lightly, got majorally chewed out. I now hesitate correcting the horse because the farrier's safety always comes first.

    So do you reprimand the horse (assuming it is warranted) while the farrier is working on it? Does the farrier reprimand the horse? If you follow the "3-second" rule for getting the horse in line do you even have time to correct his behavior because the farrier has to get out of the way first? Do you always stand on the same side as the farrier assuming the horse will move in the opposite direction of the people when reprimanded?

    Just wondering.

    "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." Benjamin Franklin

  • #2
    I ask the farrier what he wants me to do.


    • #3
      Well I dont do anythiig that would interfere with what the farrier is doing, or would cause the horse to react -thus causing problems for the farrier
      I try to keep ahead of my boys bored brains and stop and little thing they might be THINKING of doing by a well timed clearing of the throat or saying their name to get their attention

      Bored big boys are a problem - they play with things and pick at loose clothes - very annoying

      BIG problems I try to work on training in between farrier visits

      I want the boys to be good even if Im not there - sometimes I think they may be better when its just them and my smith - but then we've worked on good manners to get it that way


      • #4
        My boy's normally good, so the only behavioral issues I normally have to deal with are fidgeting/not holding a leg up/picking at things. I know my farrier really well, and am comfortable around him. If the big guy starts to act up, I'll try to discreetly discipline him. If I really need to get on to him, I'll tell the farrier to hold on, then I'll have my "discussion" with my horse If I don't correct him, my farrier will do it for me, and then glare at me. It's definitely MY job to keep my horse in line!


        • #5
          I do not reprimand the horse until I am sure the farrier (or vet), is out of harms way, and make the punishment only as severe as necessary to keep the horse from flipping out about it - it helps if you know what your horse's reactions are to various reprimand techniques.

          Usually a good yank on the lead and a loud gruff "QUIT" works for my horses.

          However, there have been a very, very few instances in the past where the farrier and I sort of "tag teamed" the horse for 3 seconds (me at the head - farrier at the rear). Horse stood like a statue after that.
          There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams


          • #6
            I try to head off issues before they get to the point of reprimanding...like noticing that gleam in the eye and the beginning of the head turn and stopping it before Pete grabs back jean pockets of the farrier and telling him "Uh uh!" (that horse has a thing for grabbing his jean pockets)
            But if the horse is the type that acts up, I warn the farrier and ask what he thinks will work best. Or if something is brewing into a possibly issue I'll say "heads up" right before reprimanding so the farrier can scoot if he needs to or can deliver the reprimand instead of me, whichever he's more comfy with.
            I find most times the farrier is as quick as I am in predicting some sort of trouble...I'd imagine you get that way after years of being under many different horses.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!


            • #7
              I have been really lucky in the fact that my farriers have always had the same response and expectations out of the horse that I did. I would try to devert wondering minds when need be, but my farrier has always been on top of it as well. The horses have all ben tapped on the belly with a rasp or hammer to remind them someone is there, had there names called, and so on. My horses are good about there feet though as they know I won't put up with poor behavior either. Only once has the farrier had to make a big reprimand and honestly by the time he finely booted my horse in the gut I was wondering what took him so long, I sure as hell wasn't going to do that with him under there. My vet also demands that horses behave so he is quite happy for you to give him a heads up that you need a second and will be right back with him. He won't get after the horses himself unless the owners are idiots because he trys to not give the horses a reason to not like him, but if your horse is being a monkey he is happy to step away a sec while you remind your horse what he is to be doing.


              • #8
                Well, I've been there working in a veterinary capacity (assistant) and under a horse (trimming)...and I guess the rules are the same in both cases.

                1) Remain on the side of the horse that the farrier/vet is on. Should the horse jump, they're most likely to jump away from the action (your correction or a poke or whatever) and this way, you can avoid someone getting trampled.

                2) If possible, practice the types of activities in advance to be sure that your horse understands what is expected. It really really sucks to be trying to work on a horse who does NOT know how to stand still, doesn't pick up feet, feels trapped when asked to be quiet and is rearing/striking/pulling away non stop.

                3) Discuss in advance who will be in charge of reprimands. For example...I know that my mare has some stiffness in her LH. Otherwise she's fine. So I would tell the farrier ahead of time...she's stiff in that LH and might try to pull away. If you stay low she's good...but she knows better so please feel free to give her a smack. I personally refrain from making a correction when I'm holding the horse and someone is under the horse or in the middle of something....you can really get someone hurt.
                A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                • #9
                  Check with the farrier and be safe.

                  I once held a horse who's a real jerk for the farrier. A little dancey, a lot stupid. I was trying to be very delicate and judicious, and as we were wrapping up, the farrier (whom I knew fairly well at this point, he's a chatty sort) looked at me and said "You sure were nice to him. Shoulda beat him up."

                  I laughed out loud. I didn't want to risk hurting the guy by telling the horse what I really thought of his behavior, and I ended up just looking terribly ineffective. From that point on, I always talk to the farrier beforehand when I'm dealing with certain horses.


                  • #10
                    I keep my hand on the halter, This way when he tries to lean back I can give a gentle tug and thats enough for him to realize its not going to work. Also when he gets fidgety I can give him a little push on the side of the jaw and this usually corrects him as well.

                    On a side note, My horse did get the upper hand as he bit be in the arm a few trims ago, I didnt reprimand him as it would of been a little more than a "reminder" and knew it would get a reaction, with the farrier underneth him I choose not to react, but had it been any other situation I would have.

                    Thats not to say that at least once a trim he does get the rasp eiither in his belly or over his butt, But I leave that to the discretion of the farrier. And he only does it when the horse is being a butt head, He was very patient with a rescue we had recently and calmly proceeded. It of course took a little longer for us to realize he was afraid of his shadow and onced moved he stood like a stone
                    Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t


                    • #11
                      Do you think that having somebody actually hold them causes them to pay less attention to the farrier, & therefore act out more? I ask this because the 2 farriers that come to our barn, just tie the horses & not one of the owned, leased or school horses act up......they just stand & snooze!
                      Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                        Do you think that having somebody actually hold them causes them to pay less attention to the farrier, & therefore act out more? I ask this because the 2 farriers that come to our barn, just tie the horses & not one of the owned, leased or school horses act up......they just stand & snooze!
                        That's my horse. I've never needed to hold him for the farrier - he sleeps on the cross-ties. I'm not even usually at the barn when he's getting done.

                        If a horse needed to be reprimanded while being worked on though, definitely talk to the farrier about it first, give him a heads up, something. Getting after a naughty horse while someone is underneath them sounds like a pretty good way to get your farrier run over or kicked.


                        • #13
                          I cross tie and hold the lead on slack, or toss it over their back and just stand by. They are broke, they are required to stand there and deal with it. Wiggles are met with QUIT IT or MAGGIE (she's the only one). No one is fed treats and no one is petted on. Standing for the farrier is a job, too.

                          He handles anything more than that...but with mine there really isn't anything. I will rub on them some in areas they love- a good eye rub a time or two, but not coo coo he's a gooood booyee stand up now coo coo.

                          I'm so not a cooer.


                          • #14
                            One of my occasional jobs (to pay for lessons) is to hold all the horses on farrier day, and it is definitely one of my least favorite things to do. Not the standing around part, but that I don't know how some of the horses are going to act, or how they would react to a correction. It has gotten better the longer I've worked there and gotten to know most of the horses.

                            My old mare was a saint for the farrier most of the time, and when she started eyeing his pants a tap on the nose or a little grumble was enough to stop it. Usually we just cross-tied her and did barn chores while the farrier was working on her (with permission from him, of course).


                            • #15
                              Generally if my horse is naughty for the farrier my reaction is that the hand holding the lead rope goes towards my farrier... I hand horse to him and he deals with it. However, if horse does something naughty while my farrier is under him and unaware I either have to take it, or warn farrier to step out of the way. Which will depend on what the farrier is doing, since there are times when stopping is not going to be possible, or safe. (Shoe on with only one nail - Sharp end of nail sticking out of foot towards shoers thigh, for exaple). I've used the same farrier for 16 years, so we know each other pretty well.


                              • #16
                                I am so lucky in that my horses are all good and stand for the farrier, and my farrier has his own helper to hold the horses.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by eclipse View Post
                                  Do you think that having somebody actually hold them causes them to pay less attention to the farrier, & therefore act out more? I ask this because the 2 farriers that come to our barn, just tie the horses & not one of the owned, leased or school horses act up......they just stand & snooze!
                                  I agree. My farrier doesn't even tie my horses. He just gives them scratchies for being good. The little paint horse will do anything for scratchies - he comes running for the gate the instant he sees my farrier's truck, and stands like a statue to be trimmed. ClydeX is less enthusiastic - he has some hip issues that make trimming a less than fun experience - but once caught he'll stand there without having to be held or tied.
                                  I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by amastrike
                                    I don't do any major corrections that would cause the horse to react in such a way that it would possibly harm the farrier. I try to say something to the horse ("hey!" or "stop it!") as I'm correcting so the farrier knows that the horse is doing something and I'm trying to stop the behavior.
                                    Oh, I'm pretty sure any farrier worth having will have noticed that the horse was up to something long before you (or any horse-holder) gets to the point of "hey!" or "stop it!". 1200# of horse on three legs and a farrier's lap doesn't start messing around without giving a lot of little tattle-tale warnings (weight shifts, little wiggles, etc).

                                    I've always thought that anybody that wants to play at being a "rider" should spend considerable time bent over under a horse's belly with a foot in their lap. You learn a whole lot more about how tiny shifts of weight/head and neck movements/etc affect balance than you EVER wanted to know!


                                    • #19
                                      owners and keepers of the horse should be in attendance and controlling the horse for the vet or farrier so that they dont have to repremand and can do there work on the horse in safety
                                      and its down to the owner keeper of the horse to teach the horse manners for the vet or farrier


                                      • #20
                                        I trim horses. I much prefer for the owner to reprimand the horse appopriately, but they need to sound a warning so I can get clear. Some horses who have been treated badly by farriers are particularly difficult. I can't say "boo" to these horses, and it is up to the handler to reprimand. If they are letting the horse get away with misbehavior, we discuss what I'd like them to do.

                                        There are occasions when the horse is dishing out behavior that the handler does not know how to correct--or it is quicker for me to take care of it. Again, this is discussed when I first notice the behavior, and I get the owner's permission for whatever reprimand I think appropriate.

                                        If the handler is not willing/unable to discipline a difficult horse and won't allow me to do so, I walk away. Even so, I've been kicked numerous times, had my feet stomped and had my knee hyperextended. Luckily, my reaction time is improving.

                                        Misbehavior is nothing to fool around with. Do give the farrier a heads-up about the horse's behavior and how you plan to deal with it. Sometimes horses react badly to any kind of punishment, and hitting a horse or even yanking on the lead can cause him to act up to the point where he hurts the farrier. Handlers need to be aware of this.
                                        "Passion without knowledge is a runaway horse."