Have you ever seen a horse being beat on while it’s being shod? A horse acts up while shoeing and someone says kick him in the belly! Or smacks him with a rasp!
While I can appreciate a horse owner approving of disciplining their animal, hitting them rarely, if ever, works. In my past experiences, the horses usually end up getting worse. More nervous, more scared, more dangerous. Pretty soon the horse will begin getting anxiety just seeing the farrier coming, knowing there will be a fight.
I believe you have to be “firm but fair,” as Chris Cox says. Meaning, he will make them work when they’re bad, but he will never hit or hurt them. I’ve shod for Chris for several years, and I can tell you that is one of the best places to shoe. Every horse is so calm and confident. Fifty head of horses and usually no issues. If there is an issue, they work with the horse and he will be better that time and usually perfect the next. Every single horse there will also be ground tied (kept in one place without being tied up).
If working with your horse isn’t an option for you, I would advise calling your vet to get your horse sedated for the safety of your farrier and your horse. Keep in mind that you will eventually need to work with your horse, teaching them patience and respect while they’re being worked on. I believe any horse can be successfully worked with to become good to shoe.
Remember: The farrier’s job is to provide a high quality service. The horse owner’s job is to have a horse that’s safe and easy to work with.
Above is a photo picturing Lee shoeing his horse, Spider, who is ground-tied in the photo.
God Bless America
This article was first published in the Dally Times- The Magazine for Team Ropers.