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Overcome “Bad” Horses in Your Hoof-Care Practice

Gaining trust and nurturing your relationships with horses will make your job easier

Every farrier at one time or another comes across a horse that’s difficult to work with — or has a reputation of being difficult.

There might be some horses that you would prefer not to have to deal with, but you realize that it’s in your best interest to go ahead and do them. Or maybe you decide to try to find a way to develop a better relationship with a certain horse. Perhaps a client has several “good” horses and a “bad” one and you want to keep that client and not give up that piece of your business.

Certain horses might test your horsemanship skills, but there are ways to improve your relationship with those horses, and you become a better horseman in the process.

Farrier Takeaways

  • Unruly horses are dangerous to work on. They should be sedated by a veterinarian or sent to a trainer before a farrier works on their feet.
  • Take the time to make friends with a horse before picking up its feet.
  • When holding a horse, there should be at least 18 inches between its halter and the handler’s hand.

Tia Nelson, a veterinarian and farrier in Helena, Mont., was a professional farrier for many years before she became a veterinarian and has dealt with all kinds of horses. She tells often beginning farriers is that it’s not their job to train a horse.

“We are being paid to put shoes on the horse,” she says. “If the horse is absolutely unruly and…

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Heather Smith Thomas

Heather Smith Thomas is a freelance writer based in Salmon, Idaho. She has been writing books and articles for nearly 50 years.

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