A little horsemanship goes a long way toward making a farrier’s job easier.
How many times have you left a horse in cross-ties to find that it has repositioned itself so it’s up against the wall? The best bet is: Too many times to keep track.
Willseyville, N.Y., farrier Kalam Blessing has a simple remedy that doesn’t involve physically moving the horse yourself. During a recent day of “Shoeing For A Living” with American Farriers Journal, Blessing found Jester facing away from him and parallel with the wall on his left side.
In his best air ground crew impersonation, Blessing holds out his left arm, bending his elbow so his arm is up like a stop sign. While holding that pose, he points his right hand away from the wall and clicks his cheek to get the horse’s attention. Without any hesitation, Jester moves his hind end away from the wall. It’s a technique that works with all of his clients’ horses.
“If you do it with one hand and ask the horse to move, they won’t,” Blessing says, noting this was a spontaneous act. The horses were not trained to respond to this. “As soon as you put the opposite hand up and point, they’ll start moving.”