The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

15.10.2021 How To Fix Fear Of The Farrier

How To… Fix Fear Of The Farrier… In 10 Easy Steps


Jack was one of the most reliable coloured cobs you could ever have asked to meet.  He hacked out once or twice a week in walk and trot around the lanes, safe and apparently sound.  He was easy to do in every way, except for the farrier.  There he had reached the point of being practically unmanageable.  He didn’t do anything nasty, but he wouldn’t pick his foot up (none of them), and if you pushed the point, he would just walk through you, and through whatever else was in his way.  He had knocked down a fence, and a stable wall, simply leaning into them in his desire not to pick up his foot.

As an Intelligent Horsemanship Recommended Trainer I was asked to assess him, and to advise the owners on how to persuade him to pick his feet up.  The main problem I found was that Jack was really struggling to balance when he held one of his feet up for any length of time.  Although he was only 16yrs old, the end result was a veterinary investigation (on my advice), and a diagnosis of severe arthritic changes in all four legs.  Once Jack was made more comfortable with medication, and his owners put into practise some of the techniques discussed in this book, he was able to accept the farrier without drama.

I have used the term ‘farrier’ throughout this book for ease of writing, please accept that this also includes trimmer, and that most of the discussions are equally as relevant for barefoot horses as they are for shod horses.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

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