Above photo: Pushing a horse away from you reinforces your dominance, Troy Price says. Horses in the wild do this to remind others in their herd of the pecking order.
It’s not the farrier’s job to train the horse, but sometimes it’s necessary, especially when the client is a novice horse owner. Farriers want to work with the horse safely and improve its tolerance of foot handling.
Most owners want their horse easy to catch, tie up, etc., but foot handling is one aspect of training that often is neglected. This makes the farrier’s job more difficult.
Troy Price, a farrier in Uniondale, Ind., says that if he or the client (or the horse) is actually in danger when handling a particular horse, he sometimes has to tell owners he can’t take that risk.
“I tell them I am a professional and shoeing horses is my income,” he says. “If I get hurt working on their horse today, I won’t be getting a pay check. It’s not my job to train their horse.”
Occasionally, however, he will work with a difficult horse and train it, and help the owner learn how to handle that horse.
“As farriers, we often get barns in which we have several really good horses and only one that’s a problem,” says the owner of the Troy Price Horseshoeing School. “I don’t mind training that one, since I will be getting those others on a regular basis. If I can get the difficult horse settled in…