Dealing with the Nasty Ones

Your safety is the number one concern when working with unruly horses

When we asked farriers in a recent American Farriers Journal  farrier industry survey how often they work with unruly horses, the results were surprising. The reality is that many of you are working with more unruly horses than anyone would have suspected.

For the past 3 months, farriers were asked to tell us how many horses were unruly or didn’t stand well for trimming and shoeing because of behavioral issues.

The 168 farriers who responded to the survey worked with an average of 10 unruly horses over the past 3 months. These farriers worked with anywhere from 0 to as many as 50 unruly horses. (The latter number is for a farrier who works at an operation where young non-trained horses are trimmed and shod for the first time.)

Only 5% didn’t work with any horses with behavior issues during the 3 months.

As defined by these farriers, problem horses included those that didn’t stand well for shoeing or trimming, along with those that kick, jerk or severely lean on the farrier. Other definitions ranged from a horse that pulls its foot slightly so you can’t hammer a nail to animals that rear, strike or bite.

Here’s a summary of ideas the 168 farriers shared with AFJ editors. Farriers weren’t asked to provide their names in this survey to encourage candid responses.

Farrier Takeaways

  • No horse owner or trainer will be as concerned with farrier safety as you and your family.
  • When you wait for a vet to sedate a…
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Frank lessiter

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has spent more than 50 years in the agricultural and equine publishing business. The sixth generation member to live on the family’s Centennial farm in Michigan, he is the Editor/Publisher of American Farriers Journal.

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