A horse that doesn?t stand quietly for the farrier is a danger both to himself and to those working around him.? Try these steps to make your horse more comfortable during a farrier visit:
- If your horse doesn?t like being separated from his buddies, try having a quiet horse close by that your horse can bond with while the farrier works.? Even better, work on slowly separating your horse from his herd for increasing amounts of time every day.
- Practice with your horse standing quietly.? It will take him a while to have the patience to stand for the 45 minutes or so that your farrier will need to work on him.? Start off slow and work your way up, always staying within the time limit your horse can handle.
- Try lifting your horse?s feet and holding them for a few seconds.? Gradually increase this amount of time.
- If you feel you are experienced enough, you may also wish to hold your horse?s foot in both farrier positions ? up between your legs and straight forward for rasping ? for very brief periods of time.? If your horse is comfortable with this, you can gradually increase the amount of time you ask him to stand unbalanced.
- If you can get your hands on a dull rasp, you might want to practice running the rasp lightly over your horse?s hoof, getting him used to both the feel and the sound.
- When your horse is standing quietly, try tapping lightly on his feet with a small hammer to replicate the feeling of having horseshoes nailed on.
- If your horse isn?t too greedy, you might want to have some treats handy to keep him interested in you while the farrier works.
With the proper preparation, farrier visits don?t have to be scary ? for you or your horse!