how do i handle “bad behavior” while he’s being shod?


Question by partly cloudy: how do i handle “bad behavior” while he’s being shod?
Have had the hoirse for a year now. We moved 3 months ago, and the new blacksmith is really slowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.
he is also really patient, and careful not to drive any bad nails.
since the horses feet are so hard to put shoes on, cause there is hardly any wall, it’s really important he stand still.
i never had any problems at the old farm, but now the horse is just getting worse and worse.
he has started to rear and backs away from the blacksmith or snatches his foot back or goes straight up in the air.
i do have the shank over his nose.
i do bring him in the stall first so he can tinkle.
i live way out in the boonies, and do not want a new blacksmith at this time. the current blacksmith does a great job.
he does not rear when i do his feet, while he is tied. he is a perfect gentleman with his feet til the blacksmith comes. would it be ok to give the horse an acepill, for the next session? anyone have some realistic tips?
ps. sorry for all the typos!
I do discipline him when he rears or snatches his foot away, he gets a jerk on the shank.
when i tried a lip shank he really went bonkers, with the head slinging and rearing.
barefoot – thanks for your take, but you are way off the mark.
for starters , as i am sure you know, most tb’s have thin walled feet.
secondly this horse was not ouchy for the past 9 months with his feet.
the 3rd point id like to stress, that it may surprise you that i am actually competent enough to have felt sole/wall pressure early on, when riding him. i switched to glue ons for 8 weeks then to light wieght aluminum with skinny nails.
it will take years to actually get a thicker wall, if ever.
the horse was not reacting to the driving of nails only, but also having the shoes removed, and even having the clenches rasped, which is just ridiculous as this causes no pain whatsoever..
i do not tolerate dangerous behavior from any of my horses. they are always corrected swiftly and firmly and then we go on.
i do not coddle my horses, when its time for them to behave. they have any ez life with me, and simply have to behave or move on. this one is a keeper.

Best answer:

Answer by Laydees .. x
Sorry to hear you have a problem, this happens to most horse owners quite often in there time with a horse. It could be a pain reflex so if you just check the shoes do not give him discomfort. Also if you have a new blacksmith then he will take a while to get used to him. Wait a few more times and see if he settles, if not then you need to use disipline as the habits could get worse. I would suggest staying calm as you will know horses pick up on your every emotion. Carry a whip/crop in one hand and his rope or headcollar ect in the other. Choose a set place and smack him with the whip when he rears or is naughty. Do it immediatly so he knows what he has done, give him time and patience and sympathise with him, it would be horrible to have our feet touched and hammered for ages. I hope this helps and if it dosnt consult a proffesional. 🙂

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5 comments on “how do i handle “bad behavior” while he’s being shod?

  1. Barefoottrimmer

    Your horse is either in pain, has a reason to dislike the farrier, or he is not trained to stand properly. Regardless, shame on you for yanking and shanking and hurting him. Also, if he has no wall, his feet are probably very painful. Why would you continue to shoe him if his walls are too thin or poor quality? Nothing you say makes any sense and seems to be diversely opposite of anything proper that should be done for this poor horse. How horrible for him. He is trying to tell you something. There is a problem. You have to learn to listen and hear him. How would you like it if someone was hurting you, your feet or your lip or gums? Do you think you would throw your head. Nothing he could do would be unjustified considering the way he is treated. HELP THIS HORSE. As you have seen repeatedly, horses do not respond to “discipline”. This is not “bad behavior” from the horse, but instead bad behavior seems to be from the humans in his life. Sorry, don’t mean to be unkind, but you really don’t have a clue. Get some help.

  2. shanks do make it worse most of the time. the reason being it doesn’t address the real issue. either it’s pain, or patience. if it’s pain, obviously consult a vet, if it’s patience, try this:
    test your horse by picking up a foot and seeing how long he can hold it up. standing on three legs is hard for a 1000 pound animal, so keep that in mind. if he starts getting impatient, try to hold his leg until he calms down. try to only put the leg down when he’s calm, rewarding the calm behavior.
    this may also be a respect problem. if it is, look into clinton anderson groundwork. it’s great!
    hope this helps!

  3. f100_supersabre

    I had a similar problem.

    Your farrier is probably afraid of the horse, or DID hurt him, even by accident.
    The horse senses this fear, or remembers being hurt and acts up with this person.

    YOU may think he does a good job, but your horse obviously doesn’t!

    Find another farrier before your horse either hurts someone or gets hurt!

  4. First, what size nail is he using? We come across this alot, horses with tender feet. Something you can do is to mess with your horses eyes and head when he is driving nails for a distraction. I will even apply some pressure on the eye or some good rubbing to cause the horse to think about me for a minute. Also, hobble training really helps. We use a figure eight hobble on the horses before we work on them so they can exert any fighting energy on that if they are going to do so rather then on us, and it teaches them to relax and stop fighting or pulling their foot away form you when shoeing it.

    Most of all make sure that your farrier is placing his nails (that are small enough like a number four) correctly.


    Like Rosi said trying another farrier might be a good idea. He may be driving his nails to close to the soul. You can also use a lip chain which causes a calming affect. Place the chain through the side rings and over his gums and attach it under his chin so there is gentle pressure. That will distract him from his feet. Here is one on one of our horses.

    And yes, you can give him some be calm or something to relax him. There are some horses (with tender feet) who just do better with it if they are sedated a bit. It tends to take some of the worry out of them.

    Lots of horses get upset when you first apply the lip chain because they are trying to find a way to get out of it. You need to put one on him when you are working with him not only when the farrier shows up so he can get used to wearing one by the time the farrier arrives. It is a great training aid.

  5. First I’d see if I could find another shoer and if your horse does the SAME thing with him/her.

    If he does, then instead of a chain OVER his nose, do a lip shank, between the top lip and his gum line.

    I had a horse who actually flipped himself because he didn’t like the shoer who was doing him. I changed shoers and no problemo.

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