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[RC] barefoot/okay something just jumped out at me! - Kathie Ford

Hey! Just after reading several of these interesting barefoot related posts a few simple words just jumped out at me in Karens recent post.
Question:  how many of your farriers out there still ask you to walk your horse out for evaluation both pre and post shoe/trim?
I'm asking because the last several years here I noticed that most farriers don't bother w/that anymore and it is not a good thing. So am wondering if any of you out there are also noticing this? I'm hoping it is not a new trend or work ethic issue.
Karen mentioned just those words in her post and it triggered something that has been nagging me for the last few years in regards to farriers.
My point being that when I first got into horses my first and best farrier, an older guy with not only skill but great smarts and intuition about the inner workings of the hoof would always ALWAYS ask me to walk out my horse so he could look at her before he even picked up a tool.  He also  would check periodically during his work and at the end. If he felt anything needed further attention or scrutiny he would see it and deal w/it as he felt necessary.
Now more recently in the last few years I've realized that I now have to "ask" the farrier to view my horse(s). Many times the answer was a simple "no, looks okay". So I do it anyway before they leave. I also evaluate them myself before they come so I'm armed w/questions/concerns I may have if any.
It had really bugged me because a time or two after a shoeing job in the past I've had some horses pretty uncomfortable which could have been avoided. Sometimes I had a gut feeling but didn't want to insult the person by inquiring. Now no matter how they would take the question/concern I may point out I ask anyway for my animals sake.
So after those very few times I make it a point to make sure the farrier looks at my horse(s) both before and after just incase something is not quite right. IF they do mind or their ego gets the best of them they go bye bye.
The worst case  we had  years ago was my poor daughters QH mare had several "hot nails". After the farrier left that day (not my usual guy as he was ill) she could barely walk.
 I had been holding her and she was very well mannered at the time. I'd noticed  once that she wanted to pull her hoof away once but thought she was possibly just adjusting her balance. Then, I did notice her nostrils flare a bit once or twice.  I will surely admit, ashamed too, at that time I was too dumb/green to understand that was a pain response. She was so well trained she didn't misbehave either. I was not able to "read" her correctly. We were very concerned after he left as she had a hard time walking. I was alarmed. Never happened before. I called a horse friend of mine quick and she came over and between my husband, her, my daughter and I we pulled the shoes back off.  This mare, and it gets me upset just remembering, the sounds she made as she was in so much pain when we were trying to remove her shoes. She would make these horrible gut wrenching sounds until we could get them off.  She of course was relieved to get them off. We had to take one nail at a time out. There was blood on several nails.  We soaked her front hooves immediately and wrapped them and gave her some bute to ease her discomfort. She was still in pain yet much less upon their removal. We were also concerned about possible infection. Thankfully she had none. I will never forget that ever.
Unfortunately, we had not been into horses that long and were very trusting in a persons skill level and as I said above we were just dumb/uneducated at the time and the poor mare paid a high price until we got those things off her.
She healed thankfully and is now 30 years old and comfy. She was about 19 then and we had not had her very long. She was a kids horse and is now happily retired.
Since then I made it a point to always be around when someone was here to work on my horses, ask questions, pay attention to their body language, listen, learn etc. To this date of course I'm still learning.

I have a few horses as do two of my daughters thus I have to also agree w/Kat and D'Arcy that each horse has differing needs and must be attended to accordingly.
Bottom line is we are always learning and debate/sharing thoughts/opinions is always productive in most cases here on RC.

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