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25.11.2021 How To Fix Fear Of The Farrier

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

Chapter 8: Find the right farrier

One of the most important aspects of helping your horse overcome fear of the farrier is, of course, the farrier.  Some farriers are more calm and more patient than others, some are willing to help a horse overcome problems and others are not interested.  Have an honest chat with your farrier, and choose someone who wants to help you and your horse.  I take it as a given really, but I’ll write it just in case – in the UK, it’s also worth checking that your farrier is registered with the Farriers Registration Council.  

Ask your farrier first of all just to spend time with your horse.  If you’re on a big yard and he’s there regularly, you could ask him just to say hi to your horse every time he’s on the yard.  When I ran my own yard, I would ask any farrier that came on the yard to spend a minute or two with any horse that wasn’t comfortable being shod (or trimmed).  Farriers, like vets, have their own unique ‘smell’, and this is not something they can hide, so it’s something the horse just has to get comfortable with!

If necessary, ask your farrier to visit initially just to pick your horse’s feet up a couple of times each and that’s it.  This may mean that you need to book him to visit weekly if possible for a few sessions.  Break the trimming or shoeing process down where needed, perhaps to doing the front feet one day and the hind feet another day.  Try to make it so that your horse has a positive experience each time the farrier visits.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion