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What makes a good farrier?


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  • 6 months later...

Nope, whisky...

Some horse shoers want the owner to leave so they can give the horse an old fashion Bosifis style additude adjustment. Most Farries want the owner to leave because they are cussing a behavior problem and if you send them up to brew you a pot of coffee buy the time they get back your two horses to the good

 

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Horses have that in common with dogs. They'll behave just fine for a stranger provided you know how to handle them but when the owner is around they have to show their loyalty to the owner and turn into a handful. 

I miss having horses.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I spoke to a farrier some time ago that told me that he and the farm owner literally locked the son out of the barn while shoeing a six horse hitch. The son was apparently the hitch driver and the horses became extremely agitated when he was around. Not sure why “Dad” let the kid drive or work the horses at all. Word is that the kid was a jerk with the horses and the horses responded in kind . The wrong person in the barn can sure make a farriers life miserable. My congratulations go out to any person that can get under a horse and get the shoeing or trimming done. It is hard necessary work every penny is in most cases hard earned. I truly admire the farriers that are both horseman and farriers. Knowing how to get around a horse is a true skill. Sometimes a spoiled horse needs a firm reminder and often an anxious horse just needs calm quiet confidence. Knowing the difference is the truest skill. I used to shoe my own Belgian horses but have grown too old and too stocky to do it without my body paying dearly for a week or two. 

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Use hoof cradles front and rear on draft horses and insist on them standing perfect. I had 8” added to my adjustable cradle for 18 hand horses. 

Ont line of the wrong person, as you pointed out it’s either the person is a jerk and the horses are afraid, the person is nervous and we get the same result or the owner has spoiled the horse and once they leave they behave because the owner won’t save them. I must say tho the worst thing is two year old fillies. Stud colts are bad but the girls are the worst. Seamus case of teenageitis.

Usually a cuple of times of doing stupid circles with me chasing your but and we settle right down. Some times I pay for some other jerk’s actions (real hard to keep my language with in community standards, lol). Firm, fair and empathetic is the beets road most the time, but hors manners are different than ours so some times a bite in the butt is approriate.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My early experiences would boost what people here have said about bad or miss behaving horses.. This was based on my limited understanding of or for the reasons why the horses were in fact behaving badly.. 

99% of my new customers are for a lack of other words used by owners, vets, managers etc, etc..  "BAD Horses"..      

I have yet to find any of the horses bad or miss behaved that I was told was such..    

people fail to recognize that we each and every one of us  have a particular way of being..   anytime someone comes along and tells us different or makes us be different or implements control over us  we all act badly...     Take a 3 yr old boy for example..     He wants to go poke a skunk or stick a fork handle into an electric outlet  or go touch a hot stove...  No matter how many times you tell him not to do it.. His will power is greater than your own and unless you keep on top of him for the next year or so.. Guess what.. He's gonna do it.


Ah,  here is the rub....  Corrected how????????????          I have not nor will I correct a horse that one considers bad..  Why.. because I have no reason to..   (this does not mean I will not correct a horse that kicks or bites. this means i hit and i'm done..  No bad horses only bad owners. trainers, riders) 3 horses with mental problems in 30 years is a pretty good average).. 

New customers are always the worse in terms of behavior and what they believe to be normal..       I get hugged, licked, nibbled, groomed..   The owners are like.. OH, no your going to be bit and they will yank the horses head away... I'm like.. No it's ok.. Just let them be relaxed and if they want to be there its ok..  

After the fact.. The owners will always comment..   Why doesn't the horse bite you?  Why do the horses stand for you to pick their feet up and not for me..  Why, why, why?    Training is :Why:.. .   

Not the horses training but my training, and then the way I train the horses through understanding vs attitude or the Why me.. Or your gonna do what I say because.. 

I'm not saying there are behaviors that should not be corrected.. I am saying there is a reason the horses are giving the feed back they are..  

I was working on this horse named " Billy"..    He was a quarter horse with some attitude with a super kind owner..     I worked on him about 6 months and every time I'd move to a rear foot he'd be a little antzy, and once the foot would be up he'd take the toe ,  he'd slam his toe into the ground aiming for my foot..   The normal thing for most is to yell at him to cut it out..  I never yelled...  I'd just tell him it's ok, I understand...  

One day Billy drove his toe right into the top of my foot...  He knew exactly what he did and he coiled for the impact of the expect blow...   

I did nothing but ask for the foot again...  He was so freaked out that I didn't respond as he expected (wanted me to, so he could then justify his rude behavior) that this cycle was completely broken..  He never ever pulled this stunt again and would stand perfectly still each and every time...    Complete relaxed now and ready for what ever I wanted to do.. 

New horses, young horses, bad horses, good horses..  They are all  the same...    It's people and the way we judge others that is corrupted...   

I could go on my hundred of examples but need not bother..     Maybe it will plant a seed to in some to realize we are not the kings or queens of all..  

We were put here to take care of others and while I am short worded and sound gruff and ill tempered..  IN reality it's the exact opposite..   

As a side note I require most customers to be there for trimming and shoeing unless they are a long term customer and I feel like their education on the topic of horse feet and care is over.. 

Reason is.. The horses need to form a relationship with me and will pay attention to me only, if I offer them what they need.. 

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To true, we are sepose to be the more inteligent species. It’s incumbent on us to learn about horse society and psychology. They experience the world differently than we do. Being that I have both PTSD and ADD I get half of their mind set on a gut level. For the most part horses are 100% honest and in the moment. Horses can be mischievous but they are typically without guil. Studied show a rough intelligence equivalent to a 4 year old child. They are wonderful creatures, but they are not Disney characters, show them the respect of treating them like horses. They are not peaple, they are not Dogs they are horses.

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  • 3 weeks later...

One of the things Ive seen that makes a good farrier is to understand a horses confirmation.  I dont mean for setting them up correct for shoes, but for working on them.

Take a lanky thoroughbred type build. When you get under his front foot, your body and the hoof are along the horses side. Easy to work on and the horse is not in a physical bind.

Now take a Poco Bueno bull dog type quarter horse. Pull his foot back to work on and the hoof is closer to his centerline than inline with the side of his body. The farriers choice is to get farther under the horse, or pull his leg out in line with his body. The first way is harder on the farrier both for physical comfort and far more awkward working on the hoof. The second way is far easier on the farriers body and using his tools. However it puts the critter in a physical and painful bind. And, now you have  to deal with a jumpy 1100 pounds of pain. Too many farriers then revert to a kiss of the rasp or a twitch to "settle" him down,,,  

As a 6'2" farrier I learned pretty quick to get down, get under, and get the job done. 

As far as the owner being around, I too required their presents until I got to know the horses.  Then they could stay or go. However pretty much all the time it was their job to  catch and release the horses. I was a horse shoer, not a horse chaser. 

 

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  • 2 years later...

I detest the term “farrier”, but a good horseshoer needs to have the ability to convince ones self that it’s normal for one to work with their head lower than their xxxx all day, be able to be secretary, billing department, customer service department and service department all at the same time and finally, be able to read some green broke or unbroke puke. Could be the hide that your nailing or could be the owner/trainer/rider. I can handle a bad horse, I have no tolerance for stupid people lol. My mentor taught me something my first day of my 4yr apprenticeship, he said you wash your hands before and after you hit the head. And it is indeed a fact that I’ve observed over the past 20yrs is that us horseshoers are some of the only people who was their hands before and after hitting the head (bathroom) lol 

J.m Shrader 

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Thomas,growing up I spent a lot of time on my grandparents dairy farm. Us dairy farmers tend to wash hands before and after hitting the head as well so I get the chemical aspect and I’ve dabbled in machine work since high school so I can relate there too,swarf is an evil little bit of refuse lol 

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I'll ask my Daughter the veterinarian what vets are trained to do as well.  Anybody know any Primary School Teachers?

Oh yes; locally chili processors  wash very thoroughly before using the head!  (And stories about people forgetting that step are common fare out here!)

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I've been washing before and after the bathroom my whole life. I still remember Dad showing me how few men wash their hands after using the bathroom when I was really young. He told me the cleanest thing in a men's room is your own privates and . . . 

I do my best to not touch anything in a men's room and keep the habit at home. I still get my hands really dirty so I would, old habits of no.

Frosty The Lucky.

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My local industrial surplus place had foot-operated door pulls even before COVID. Considering how much old grease gets caked on your hands there even if you just walk around without touching anything, I for one am grateful.

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My local chain drugstore has those in the restrooms, presumably so the pharmacists can use the facilities without having to touch the door handles.  Some restaurants also have those for the kitchen and waitstaff to help keep "sanitary"...seldom see them use the foot thingies.

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