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Horse Articles :: Horse Training for the Farrier
Horse Training for The Farrier
One of the most important aspects of your horses care is
to see to their hoof care. In order to receive proper care
from a farrier you must give your horse a certain amount of
training so as to make his job easier and make it easier on
the horse in the bargain. There are so many horses that snatch
thier feet away and fidget, sometimes actually leaning their
weight on the farrier. Then you have the extremely untrained
horse that will kick out at a farrier. This wastes time and
money for him and is very embarrassing to the horses owner.
Finding a good farrier is a job in itself. If your horse is
untrained and gives a lot of trouble while handling their
feet a good farrier will not give you the time of day, or
he will charge you much more so that he doesn't loose money
on the added time it takes him to trim and shoe your horse.
An answer for some is to sedate their horse but a good horse
owner will not use sedation as the permanent answer.
It is the responsibility of the owner to train the horse to
willingly allow the farrier to work on their feet, lifting
his foot to the farrier. It is best to start from a colt with
tending to his feet and lifting them every day from the beginning
so that it is a natural thing for him or her. If the horse
is already older and still untrained then training can be
done fairly quickly by being patience and not asking for too
much too soon.
The first session of training should be anywhere from five
to twenty minutes twice a day. If you don't have time for
two sessions then once a day will also give some results,
but will end up taking much longer. Work with the horse untied
as tieing him could cause him to panic. Begin with the front
legs and rub him on the neck. Slowly make your way down the
shoulder and if he is okay with that then keep preceding to
the foreleg and eventually to the hoof.
Keep repeating this procedure for a couple of days and then
on the third day start to try to lift his leg up by tickeling
the back side of the foot. This usually causes the horse to
lift his foot voluntarily but you may have to try and lift
it yourself. After the horse finally gives you his foot, you
may want to lean in to his shoulder a bit to encourage him
to shift his weight to the remaining legs for balance. This
shifting will feel more secure for him and he will be less
likely to get upset. If the horse tries to take his foot from
you, hang on for dear life. Don't give in and stay close to
his body. Putting the foot back on the ground needs to be
your decision not his and he must understand that. Wait until
he is relaxed before you place the hoof back down.
Its simple really. Just keep repeating this until you can
take his foot and stretch it forward just as a farrier would
do. Repetition is the key and doing all this slowly and matter-of-factly
as possible. Then get others to come and lift his foot in
the same way until he is comfortable with different people
coming to lift his leg. By the time the farrier comes to trim
and shoe your horse you will have already desensitized your
horse to having his legs handled.
About the Author
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