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Farriers often have to work with less than cooperative horses, and sometimes it’s a challenge to assess why a horse is acting the way it is and figure out how to resolve a certain issue. The reward outweighs the effort, though, because many problem horses can then be approached or addressed a little differently — and successfully — without causing future issues.
Often “bad behavior” is due to what’s being done with that horse, says Aili Sundberg, a farrier who spends part of her time in British Columbia and Hawaii. The person handling the horse is usually not considering the horse’s nature or point of view. That proved to be the case when she was shoeing a large warmblood in a barn. The horse was not cooperative, prompting the client to twitch the horse.
“I could feel that horse ready to explode and I didn’t want to be underneath it,” she recalls.