Many farriers starting out in the business today may not have much experience with horses. They might not realize the importance of reading a horse to understand its frame of mind before they pick up a leg to start working on the foot — especially if it’s a new horse they haven’t worked with before.
James Wyatt Weatherford, a horseman and farrier in Chandler, Ariz., says to take a moment to acquaint yourself with the horse and get a feel for whether it is relaxed and at ease or nervous.
“Is the horse looking around, with its attention focused on everything but the farrier?” he asks. “Is it resistant to your lifting its leg because it is fearful and untrusting, or because of a pain response? It pays huge benefits to be able to ‘read’ a horse and adjust your approach accordingly.”
You’ll want to know if that horse is fidgety or a problem to shoe because it’s scared and insecure, won’t stand still because it’s in pain or just…