Teaching Your Horse To Stand For The Farrier

Proper training will make things easier for horse, owner and shoer

Many horses have good “ground manners” for leading or tying, but frustrate a farrier at shoeing time because this aspect of their education has been neglected

Just picking up a foot briefly to clean it or check for rocks is not enough to get a horse accustomed to being worked on by the farrier. Even a gentle horse may not like to have its feet held up for any length of time. The horse may fuss, fidget or try to take its feet away

Start Them Young

The best time to train a horse to have its feet handled is when it’s young, but any horse can learn better “foot manners” if you take time to handle its feet regularly and in proper fashion.

If your horse is nervous or ill-mannered about having its feet worked on, you can make farrier visits much more pleasant for you, the horse and the farrier by doing some training or re-training.

Regularly handling your horse’s feet will accomplish two things:

  • You can more closely monitor the health of its feet.
  • It will come to accept hoof care and having its feet handled as part of the daily routine, becoming easier to trim and shoe.

If the horse is nervous or spoiled about having its feet handled, have an experienced person hold him while you work with its feet, so it won’t use his resentment as an excuse to sit back when tied.

This is also a good rule for farrier visits: The…

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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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