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Horses that are nervous, lame or irritable aren’t the most pleasant to trim or shoe — and they can be downright dangerous. Sedation is commonly used in these types of horses so that a farrier and equine veterinarian can work safely. In fact, 90% of farriers say they shoe sedated horses, according to a recent American Farriers Journal poll.
Dr. Amy Rucker, an ambulatory veterinarian and owner of Midwest Equine in Columbia, Mo., says that she routinely sedates horses that have lameness issues.
“The sedation has two effects,” says the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame member. “It will mildly dull pain and helps the horse relax.”
But sedation is not a foolproof solution. Horses can “wake up,” kick out or spook without warning. The reaction might be sparked by a simple action such as someone walking behind the horse…