Dealing With The Four-Legged Brat

Florida farrier uses graduated steps to train unruly horses as well as horse owners

GUIDELINES PAY OFF. Kim Hillegas, a Florida farrier, has developed systematic guidelines in dealing with unruly horses that have helped her be safer in her shoeing practice. She’s found training owners is as important as training horses.

As a full-time farrier, I have run across all kinds of horses and horse owners and a common thread I see is that most horse owners do not know when their horse is misbehaving.

I have a farrier friend, Phyllis McKenna, that shoes on the other side of Florida near Sarasota and she has seen the same problems. So we put together a “Didja’ Know?”  pamphlet that is now 47 pages long. This pamphlet covers many things regarding horse care that used to be common knowledge back when horses were the main mode of transport and energy.

Loss Of Horse Lore

Now that horses have become a hobby, there has been a tremendous loss of knowledge. The horse suffers for it, while some horse professionals (veterinarians and trainers) profit from it and still other horse professionals (farriers) get injured because of it. Phyllis and I feel that as horse professionals, it is our duty to teach and inform these uninformed folks.

Granted what we say and show gets redundant, time consuming and repetitive, but when the horse owners listen and follow through, it very quickly makes our lives a lot easier and the horse gets better care. Both of us tell our customers that their job is to keep us safe.

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