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5.12.2021 How To Fix Fear Of The Farrier

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

Chapter 10: Other

Here’s a couple of other suggestions to help your horse overcome fear of the farrier.

One great way of helping your horse to overcome his fear and understand the procedure is to let him watch other horses being shod.  There are sounds and smells involved with the shoeing process that he won’t come across elsewhere, so it’s no wonder really that he gets scared, especially if he’s had a bad experience in relation to farriery.  Seeing other horses standing relaxed while they’re being shod sets a good example for him to follow.

For some horses, I believe the kindest way to address the problem is with sedation.  If you cannot have your horse’s feet trimmed then this can become a welfare issue, depending on your horse, and the conditions you have available to keep him in.  We’ve all seen pictures of rescued ponies with their toes curled up.  Some horses are so uncomfortable without shoes that they cannot even move around the field ok.  If a horse really cannot cope with the farrier, either because of such deep rooted fear, or because of pain issues, then sedating him each time the farrier visits can be an answer.  Obviously this is something you need to discuss with your vet, and it’s not an ideal solution, but I believe that for some it is the right solution.  Often you can gradually reduce the amount of sedation used over time, and sometimes eventually you won’t need sedation at all.

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2021

Treating your horse with care, connection, curiosity and compassion