Nightmare to shoe...

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Teal, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    Im so chuffed with the progress on this pony here, a few weeks ago there was no way i could even consider turning his upper lip up. Only from gently working with him i was lucky i got a glimpse at what was up there and he tolerated me turning his lip up. It is very red and inflamed up there, just so happy i can now help him.
  2. cleo

    cleo Well-known Member

    I have to disagree here. I have 3 horses(2 that are in work) My horses live on the side of a rocky hill and most of our work is done on the road all are unshod and there feet have never been better(we moved to this environment 2 years ago)! One of these horses I have owned for 17years.

    I think there is an underlying issue end of story for me, no amount of asserting your authority is going to help. My stab in the dark would be subclinical laminitis.
  3. Tallarook

    Tallarook Well-known Member

    I have to agree with cleo, maybe there is something else. Similar but completely different to my story.

    I have a pony who is now 14yrs old he is a maintenance pony as he has foundered several times. For whatever reason every time i wash him down after a ride i like to wash off the hoofs and make sure any mud etc is washed off, i only have warm water in my wash bay. This particular pony with his front feet (which are the ones he has had trouble with founder) he picks them up when i hose them. I hose them down is a firm way, but certainly not any high pressure thing, im convinced he is telling me his feet are sensative.

    I also agree with Cleo on the non-shod barefoot whatever you call it. I have recently taken shoes off some of my precious show horses and am toughning them up on the roads, and it is working - they have to get tougher. This is how they did it in the old days, ride them on the roads, over the rocks - certainly is working for my horses...............
  4. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    yep... I had a mare have shoes on for the first time. She was a very sensitive mare, but was standing still and behaving. BUT she was flinching away from the nailing/hammering... the so-called "Master farrer" yanked her front leg up to her girth so that she was hopping on the other front leg, and then belted her under the belly with the rasp!! infront of me!!! Needless to say he copped a mouthful and was kicked off the property! How is THAT going to teach her that shoing is OK???

    ClaireB did a great job of helping my baby learn that feet trimming was no big deal - was a bit tricky to start with eh Claire :p
  5. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    LOL my farrier whacks mine if he doesn't stand still. He has my full blessing :)*

    Re: the roads, it depends how much roadwork you do ;) I had to get fronts put back on my fellow this week as we do alot of roadwork and he literally had worn the foot away!! He is a big, heavy horse and trot work on tarmac is akin to a rasp. Sometimes horses just need shoes on.

    Toughening them up is great but if it lands you an abscess or a stone bruise that keeps you out of competition, that sucks. I don't have time for that I am afraid!! I shoe with allies for roadwork as they have better traction than steel and concussion is less of a factor.
  6. Heifer

    Heifer Gold Member

    The biggest thing I dont like about shoes is the jarring, and road work is most jarring of all! I have hoof boots for the rare occasion that I do any kind of hard surface work.
  7. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    Hardens their legs ;) done alot in the UK and Europe, 'legging up'. I swear by it and always try to do 2 days of roadwork per week for a horse in work.
  8. Claireb

    Claireb Well-known Member

    Awww your boy is just a big smooch now, I love geldings, a few compliments and they are like putty:)
  9. Chunkiebum

    Chunkiebum New Member

    What your ground work like??? If you can get that right, your problems will be no more! Tip: Go to a Lou Francis clinic with your horse if you can?! It will be the best thing for both of you... Take it from me , that what i did and i was at the point of my farrier not touching my horse and thinking he is a nut case! He really is a beautiful soft horse, now the ground work has improved and we are connected.
  10. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    3 Questions that you may have answered already, so forgive me.

    1. Have you had a thorough soundness test done?

    2. Is the mare reluctant to walk off the float? Or does she start slow and bolt off the float?

    3. How well does your mare back up? easily? or with resistance at all, and then please describe the type of resistence from facial expression, head carriage, ears, leg motion and hip motion.
  11. Teal

    Teal Well-known Member

    1. I had a vet check when I bought her, which was nearly a year and a half ago, no problems then.

    2. Interesting you ask that as when I got her I had big issues getting her off the float. However, a few years ago she had an accident getting off a float where she fell through the tailgate and ever since then had been difficult to unload. She would not want to move, you would really have to push her to get her out of the float and then she would run back. As advised by the trainer and previous owner this was due to the trauma of her accident. Why do you ask this, exactly? Now she goes out in the float at least once a month and has gotten better and better with unloading, I won't say she is perfect as that would be tempting a regression but I haven't had her rush off for months and months. She stands still while I undo the tailgate, move divider over and only walks back slowly when she is asked. I have had some issues getting her on the float over the past few months but getting her off she is great now, so I would be inclined to think it was because of the associated trauma.

    3. She backs up well, now. No resistance. When I got her she didnt really back up, but while she wouldnt step back she didn't really show resistance she just didn't seem to understand what I was asking her. Now she gets it and will step back when asked (and sometimes when not asked under saddle)
  12. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    If she was able to exit a float calmly at any point in the her life - she would have understood how to back up at some point, The fact that she came to you with both exciting the float issues, and the inability to back up - rings warning bells.
    It still in my mind points this right back to a sacro-iliac problem, or a stifle issue. Please get you mare checked out thoroughly before attempting to do and leg restraint training.

    The hammering of nails into a hoof wall can often be the tipping edge for a horses tolerance of compfort. If the pain present, or injury is excacerbated by tension (which the two I have both mentioned often are) then the act of the banging, and the shift in the farriers stance and hold can simply cause a tension response in the horse and throw it into a nerve spasm. Then you get a leaping horse, or one that is apparently intent on trying to send the farrier flying....

    Either way - a horse must have its feet attended to.

    Diagnose and fix the problem, or Dont shoe it - and if you encounter these problems upon trimming, then seek out appropriately experienced and equipped veterinary advice, and a professional trainer. A horse that cannot have its feet attended to is as good as a dead horse.
  13. retroremedy

    retroremedy Well-known Member

    There is a pretty simple fact that has been missed in this thread and that with anything you do with a horse, whether it be leading it, floating it, riding has to be TRAINED. You actually have to introduce shoeing to a horse just like with any other new thing. Just because a horse can be trimmed does not mean it will accept being shod and just like with any thing we ask horses to do...some will accept it quicker and easier than others.

    Horses have to get use to the hammering, leg positions etc and it takes time, patience and expertise to do it right...just like with anything you TRAIN horse to accept.

    Personally I would start here and then work my way up to some other issue :))
  14. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    Finally, a voice of reason :)*
  15. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Shoit.....I just assumed that that would have already been considered.... :cool:

    I initially read that she had already been shod before and was fine - now Im re-reading it as not so...

    Yep. They are not born with shoes......

    Regardless - she still needs injury ruled out and some serious training.

    .....saying she hasnt has had a bad experience when being shod 3 times previous, and all three times she has been twitched...well.....tie your nose in a knot and tell me how positive you feel about it.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  16. Teal

    Teal Well-known Member

    I don't think that she is unsound in relation to backing up, as mentioned she now backs up perfectly and will get off the the float beautifully. If she was unsound these things wouldn't have changed and improved with the training I have given her, would they?

    I know she needed training to help her be able to be shod easily and safely - this is WHY i posted this thread, asking WHAT exactly I could do to help her. Not being a farrier, I am somewhat limited in this as I can hardly just continually shoe her myself and train whilst I am doing it. The farrier was well and truly aware she had never been shod before, treated her well and gently and she was a nightmare, which wasn't a huge surprise for her first time. She didn't improve second or third times, if anythign she got worse. Saying 'she needs training' is not helping me, while this thread has gone a bit off track the question I initially asked was HOW or WHAT I can do to help her, a vague response like that is quite pointless and not at all helpful.

    I was advised by my farrier that is was unsafe/unwise to continue shoeing her with the way she was carrying on. What else can I do...the farrier won't shoe her, so how can she be desensitised to it and thus trained? I can't do it myself, I am not left with many options. I have decided to go back to barefoot as she is completely fine barefoot in winter and experiment with different management of her feet when it is dry in summer.
  17. Teal

    Teal Well-known Member

  18. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member


    You have your answer anyway.

    But in future - dont let a master farrier suggest you punish first, and train later.

    I feel for you having trusted the farrier knew best - and I feel for the horse.
  19. Teal

    Teal Well-known Member

    Umm...?! I think some wires have been crossed somewhere along the line....
    The farrier never suggested to punish, AT ALL. My horse was never punished. At most she was restrained (and in saying that, no more than being held still by one person, and also twitched) in order that the carrier could do his job/introduce her to beig shod...

    I find it a bit strange that someone could say 'this horse needs training', offer no suggestions, yet condemn the fact that the horse was put through the training/desensitizing/experience needed to achieve this. How can you train a horse to do something without trying to do it?

    I did trust my farrier who has done nothing but the right thing...what gave you the idea he wasn't is beyond me. My horse can be difficult sometimes because she is frankly a little madam, that is her character, that is why she behaved the way she did, the same reason she behaves badly in other circumstances as they occur...she is green and hasn't experienced a lot of things yet and when something new crops up she doesn't like she very loudly says 'NO!'. I work through these thIngs with her as a problem occurs - like floating issues, leading issues, we have had and resolved. The question in this thread was how to work through this issue. Which I don't really hav an answer for, but have resolved it somehwat by removing her shoes.
  20. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Then why the heck did you twitch a young green horse who hasnt had training or exposure to being shod - to get the job done?

    How the heck is that going to acheive anything?

    **okay...I'll re-phrase that as you may not know and their is no point attacking you if you do not understand. Twitching a horse to be shod is not appropriate training, or desensitisation. The horse is , and will be aware of what is happening, and will only serve to associate the experience with more overwhelming powerless pain, to further encourage her thought procsess that their is something to fear from shoeing. As has been proved by the mares excelleration in agression and anxiety as she has had more experience with the overwhelming fearful situation occuring. Unfortunately it seems that the mare is just beleiving her own bulls**t from what she has been shown.....

    How is that going to equip her with the skills and logic to learn to stand still?

    And I did offer training suggestions, in fact...I offered it quite neatly - and was the first person to do so in your thread ;)

    Glad my advice was noted.... professional leg restraint training where the horse can learn to stand on three legs whilst being exposed to shoeing, and desensitised in a slow progressive manner - without the need for end point restraints that are based on pain control.

    Now that she has progressed to the stage where she is dangerous to shoe - this is the only option I can see, myself, in my opinion personally - and that is all im offering **)

    Just make a descision - and get the problem sorted.

    If you havent found that answer you are looking for - Thats is perhaps more reason to get proffesional help.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011

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