Looking for ideas - Farrier Issues

May 10, 2017
67
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Yorkshire
#1
Hi All

Its been quite a while since I have posted on here but am seeking some advice regarding my new horse. To give some background:

3 weeks ago I purchased her, she is a 6 yr old TB ex-racer (though according to previous owner never actually raced). She has been out of work some time and came with only shod on her fronts. The previous owner advised that she is absolutely fine with the farrier. I did not vet her due to her low price, I made the decision not to. The only vices we were advised of was the dentist and trailering.

The first week we got her I had her at my instructors yard (breaking yard) just to spend a week seeing what she was like etc and for me to be surrounded with plenty of help. She is a very calm horse, great on the ground, quiet with most things. She settled in fairly well. We started with lunging her and she was really responsive, moving freely so we were happy to move forward. The next day she showed lameness on her rear foot. We ascertained it was not a weight bearing issue and put it down to her being bare foot on the rears being brought back into work and walking on harder surfaces (she is typical of TBs with flat feet). After a day she was back to normal, tracking up and putting full weight on both. I arranged with my instructor for her farrier to come and replace the fronts and shoe the rears. Due to her temperament so far, her old owners previous comments and the fact my instructor had spent as much time as me with her I wasn't there for the farrier. By all accounts she reacted badly to the steam and escalated from there. He was able to do the fronts but not the rears.

She is now staying at the livery, she has really settled in well and I have been working her 5 days a week. She showed no signs of lameness etc and I had thought about leaving her barefoot on the rear. However we have hardcore paddocks she walks over daily and I do want to ride her on the road. So I asked the farrier to come and try her rears and I will be there for it (yes I learnt my first mistake!) She happily ate the hay net while he managed to get one of the rear shoes on. By the time he got the 2nd one she decided there was no chance at all we were getting that shoe on.

Now to point out we have done a nipping test with the foot with no reaction at all, myself and the yard owner have no issues picking her feet up. We have both had the hammer against her foot while she falls asleep. I've been doing all the recommended desensitising with her however she is not bothered with me doing it. I do stretches with her after riding and again she shows no discomfort when I am moving her legs.

So today we are sedating her to get the last shoe on but ideally I would like to get to a stage that she does not need to be sedated. I have the physio also coming out next friday to see if she can identify if there are any issues. At the moment we believe that day of lameness she showed was being foot sore due to the increase of working and hope that by shoeing her rears that will resolve that but of course I want to cover all bases. I also want to find the best solution for the farrier so any advice/tips would be welcome. I have a good support network who have been going through this with me but I welcome further advice or something we may not of thought of :)

ps sorry the length of the post!
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
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Suffolk, UK
#2
Has she ever been hot shod before? some farriers don't hot shoe (we have one in our area who simply doesn't have a forge) and if its her first experience it might be a bit overwhelming, and I've known the odd horse that just can't tolerate hot shoeing. Did the farrier try cold?
 
May 10, 2017
67
28
18
Yorkshire
#3
Has she ever been hot shod before? some farriers don't hot shoe (we have one in our area who simply doesn't have a forge) and if its her first experience it might be a bit overwhelming, and I've known the odd horse that just can't tolerate hot shoeing. Did the farrier try cold?
So the first farrier tried hot shod and no she was not a fan of the steam. The second farrier tried cold shod - it was a lesser reaction but still enough to cause issues.
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,066
9,508
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Suffolk, UK
#4
So the first farrier tried hot shod and no she was not a fan of the steam. The second farrier tried cold shod - it was a lesser reaction but still enough to cause issues.
What has the old owner said? perhaps there was a reason she wasn't shod behind.
 
May 10, 2017
67
28
18
Yorkshire
#5
When I told her about the original reaction she came back really shocked. The farrier had said she was being aggressive and in his words "spoiling for a fight". She said that the horse doesn't have a bad bone in her body and never had an issue with shoeing, the only thing is shes a little unsure of the steam.

Now the 2nd farrier with me actually present was different to how the first experience sound. She was fine with him doing the prep work, once he started nailing she kept pulling her leg away and wouldn't stay still.
 
May 10, 2017
67
28
18
Yorkshire
#8
Haha yeah will be glad to get to the bottom of it. I did wonder if it was a trust issue with being a new farrier and that maybe in time she will learn to be ok. Think I will be looking at process of elimination to suss out the issue.
 

OwnedbyChanter

With out my boys life would be bland
Apr 16, 2009
7,122
2,010
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Raininghamshire
#9
We had a TB mare at my yard that came with all four shoes, She got worse with each showing to point of needing sedation. The owners worked with the farrier keeping her feed with carrots and treats this lessoned over time and now she can be shod in a normal 45 minute time slot where at one point it took two of the them and the owner,

It was just trust and time
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,080
2,744
113
Yorkshire
#10
Maybe your horse just didn't like the first farrier and he's put her off, if she's a sensitive sort? My own horse doesn't like rude farriers - he's good as gold and as helpful as he can be for my farrier, who says hello and lifts Raf's feet by running his hand down the leg. If a visiting farrier makes the mistake of walking up to him and yanking the foot up he'll get ears back and a kick out (although my dweeby horse's kicks are no match for a strong farrier who has hold of his leg lol).

I think working with a farrier you can trust, as in @OwnedbyChanter's post, could be the way forward. Hope you get on ok.
 

joosie

horse slave
Oct 28, 2004
6,630
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France
#11
I'll be interested to hear if the physio finds anything. There is so often a physical cause to horses being "difficult" with the farrier and it wouldn't surprise me if she was sore somewhere. Physical issues can make it uncomfortable / painful for them to hold up their legs for the amount of time required by the farrier and some of the positions the legs are held in can be particularly troublesome. Several horses I've known to have trouble being shod behind were later found to have sacroiliac issues... It's a common area for physical issues to stem from and even a tiny misalignment back there can cause all sorts of problems. Pinched / blocked nerves can make holding the leg in certain positions painful too, and you also mention specifically that she objected most strongly when the nails were being hammered in - this can trigger or exacerbate nerve pain. It's a shame you didn't have a vetting done (not judging, I didn't have one for mine either!) as I'd be interested to know if she would pass a flexion test.
 
May 10, 2017
67
28
18
Yorkshire
#14
We ended up sedating her to get that last shoe on and there's been no sign of lameness at the moment. The farrier believes there may have been an incident in her past that has made her worried about the farrier and he is happy to work with her to gain her trust.

Even so the physio is booked for this Friday and am really looking forward to seeing what she says. I would rather cover all bases and make sure she is not in any pain :)
 
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Lemme

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2008
4,510
408
83
East Yorkshire
#15
Well our new Shettie Myst hated the farrier , we were warned she was not easy when we got her, She attempted to Kill him literally the first 2 times he came, her next visit is this Saturday.
We have spent some considerable time on her feet as it was apparent it wasn't just the farrier but her feet in general. we can now pick out all 4 comfortably so hopefully that will make this weeks visit easier. As our Farrier said she's not scared and not in pain shes just pulled the trick so many times and got away with it as soon as she realised he wasn't going to give in so easily world war 3 broke out, by the end of the session she was a little better and she has been much better since with the picking out . Our farrier is patient, firm but fair with them, however he has to be safe when dealing with her so he had to be a little extra firm last time with her, she fully meant it ears back and such a nasty look in her eyes as she attempted to get him by whatever means.

When we got Charlie he was the opposite, scared to death of the contact and a different approach was taken by the farrier, same with Gem who tried it on but backed off when she realised it was going to happen, not scared just a little sod. both are fine now and no trouble. Tess stands untethered and no headcollar and just has them done and Acorn just has a whatever approach.

They are no individual its working out what the issue is and then working with it . Hopefully time will sort it for you.