Friday, April 3, 2009

Farrier work, bad and good

Our first horse we bought, my first purchase as an adult. Lady McKenzie they named her, "Mickey" for short. She has her issues, mental and physical LOL but she has been a good girl.

Jocelyn over at For the Love of a Horse
Has had a problem with her farrier, he really butchered her horses front feet.

I wanted to tell you about some of the farrier problems I have had dealing with Mickeys feet.
First of all she is 14.3 and 1100lbs, and wears a 00 shoe. She has small feet. She got her feet from her Morgan /QH mother, who had the same feet. They are very pretty to look at, but small.

The first time I had a problem with a farrier doing her feet was a friend, who has shod on the track forever. Well he took to much sole off and sored her, I didnt know if she had a hot nail or what so, I had my dad help me and pull the shoes and left her barefoot and really sore for awhile, put the iodine and pine tar and turpentine mixture on her feet to help with the soreness. She came out of it when she grew some foot back.

The second time I had a problem with a farrier doing her feet, I had to call a new guy, because my old farrier, who did a good job, is my ex bro in law, and he quit returning my calls. Anyway this new guy came out and shod her and the next day she was dead lame on both front feet, this mare is very very stoic about pain and never shows much, so I knew it was bad. I pull her shoes again. Now she has had shoes on successfully many many times, not this one. I never called that "new" guy back to tell him what a lousy job he did, probably should have.
She stayed lame for a couple of months, until I could get to the abscesses caused by this guy way over clinching the nails, he bruised her laminae so bad, that when I was finally able to open up the abscesses there was a pencil sized trench around the front of both hooves right behind the white line, and that black goo that comes with an abscess came gushing out! when I say pencil sized I mean if you took a pencil and bent it to fit in the hoof, thats how big these abscesses were, poor baby.
So I had had problems with someone I trusted and someone new, I keep them barefoot most of the time but Mickey has small feet with thin upright walls and shallow soles, her feet look good but when you have to nail to them or trim you can not touch the sole of the foot, I just leave it alone, and do as close to a Natural Balance trim as I can get, I bought Pete Rameys book and studied what he does. She does have to have shoes if she is trail ridden or used hard, but she is 20 now and is living the life out in the pasture. The NB trim has really helped keep her from having contracted heels in the front too. One funny thing about her is that a rear shoe fits her front with minimal shaping, I cant forget to tell the farrier that! It is a lot less work for him.

Twice in her 20 years I have had severe lameness problems with something a farrier has done, sometimes you have to find a new farrier as they retire or go away etc. Its hard for me to trust someone I dont know. I have saved myself a lot of money over the years trimming and pulling shoes myself, my mares are very very well behaved when I do have the farrier out, because I have to get under them, they better be LOL I learned to trim hooves when I was around 12 years old, and my dad caught me with his rasp, rasping down my horses feet so I could ride him. He said I may as well know how to do it right! I have been doing it ever since. My dad was a farrier for years and went to school in Corvalis Or, they actually asked him to come back and teach, but it wasnt something he wanted to do.
The farrier I have now I just love, he is a good man, he retired after selling their Mini Mart and is shoeing horses, crazy man LOL Him and his wife ride and rope, they are great people. He has been doing my horses for gosh 5+ years now and I have never had a problem. So I think I will keep him as long as he continues farrier work.
Any one else have shoeing horror stories?? Next time I do Mickeys feet I will try to take pics. She is due real soon to have them trimmed.


  1. Gilly has never had shoes on his feet so I don't have any horror stories about they. But I must say that the guy what works on his feet has made his feet into some beautiful sound feet. Mike studied under Jaime Jackson and Pete Ramey and is certified to do this kind of trim, with the mustang roll. Gilly has gone from fairly flat footed to a nice concave foot, very thick walls and a thick sole. He now can walk and trot on our gravel roads with no problems whatsoever. I would highly recommend this kind of hoof trimming. I have also put a lot of stone in our doorway to the barn to help Gilly build a strong foot. Here is the link to see the pictures of his feet after the trim. Almost two years from went we first started this type of trim.

  2. I can't say I have any horror stories although it is very hard to find a good farrier that's for sure. I keep my horses barefoot and my trainer told me just to put on front shoes this summer for the trails.
    I can't even imagine what you and your baby went through. How awful!

  3. i posted about farrier issues a month ago...check out national farrier association and choose someone who has the brains to pass the test...i used to travel to find the right one but finally was blessed with finding someone fairly local and my AQUA mare has been sound ever since. i know the pain you are going through!! it is heartwrenching!


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