Thursday, April 25, 2019

First Farrier Visit

One main item on my mind was having Liam's feet fixed. His prior farrier care was not great. The breeder's barn manager even said as much... I suspect whoever they use is willing to work on rude baby horses, so they keep using them, even though the manager knows the trims are bad.

When we decided Liam would come home on 4/5, he was due to be trimmed again sometime between 4/7 and 4/13. The barn manager didn't have him trimmed because she knew I'd have him done properly after he got home and so wanted to leave some foot to work with (which I agreed with her and was happy she didn't have him done).

Long, but the flare on the left front was especially bothersome.
He also needs more heel all-around.
I didn't think to take any before pics on the concrete!
One of my barn owners (the husband) is a part time farrier and extremely patient. I asked him to do Liam's feet for now because I expected the horse to be rude and jumpy and reactive. Nothing seems to fluster BO Farrier, and if it takes an hour to get the fronts done and we come back for the hinds, not a big deal. He's got all the education to shoe/trim and goes to continuing education seminars, but farrier work is not his full time job so it's not a permanent situation for me.

He agreed, on the condition I put in the time outside of trims to work on hoof handling. Well duh, I want a well behaved creature, so I was going to put the time in anyway! Plus he needs to have his feet picked out every time I have him out to be groomed or handled. BO Farrier showed me how to anchor the hoof against myself so I could use my leg to hold it in place and not my arms... and so Liam couldn't cow kick me, as we learned he will do when he's flustered.

Battle Bruises
Liam ripped his left hind out of my hand repeatedly until I got his leg anchored correctly.
I need practice.
BO watched me battle Liam over that left hind. He was literally ripping it out of my hand and hopping forward with his entire hind end, which threw me back. And since he's an awkward kiddo, his front left was way out to the side and every time I got thrown back I tripped on his front leg, almost going into epic pratfalls. She was like, "How on earth did they trim his feet?!"

By the way, did you know Liam was Teflon coated? And mud-averse? It's fantastic
BO Farrier and I agreed to try trimming his fronts Wednesday this week because they just couldn't go any longer (which would have allowed me more practice with his feet). If it took an hour to do them, so be it. BO Farrier did a test rasping on Monday to take down a little of the flare on the LF, and to see how Liam behaved. He... wasn't great. He spooked and gawked at the hoof stand and tried halfheartedly to leave, but in the end stood like a circus animal on a ball with 3 feet while the LF was on the stand. Whatever keeps you still dude.

I practiced leading with Liam before his appointment, just to "exercise" him a little, and then it was time! He wasn't keen on standing in the middle of the aisle (watching horses hug the walls and not stand in the middle makes my eyes bleed), so he hugged the wall for comfort and let BO Farrier do his fronts.

Everything went well on his fronts, so BO Farrier tried the hinds... which went well! The biggest issue was the left hind, but BO Farrier did a much better job holding onto it so Liam only tried pulling it away once. Sorry farrier. That shit hurts :(

New toes!
Liam has varying degrees of deep pitting/thrush in the white lines of each hoof from heel to mid-bell. He also had a false sole on the left hind, probably from an abscess sometime in this past godforsaken wet winter.

BO Farrier originally wasn't going to use the nippers on him and go this short the first time, but the deep pitting was worrisome, and it extends deeper than he trimmed off.
BO Farrier was able to bring his heels back by trimming this much off, which is great.
Liam was very good for a baby horse with limited handling, I was very pleased. Most of his "naughty" behavior was around him just not knowing how to balance on 3 legs. He seemed to think he could only balance on 2 (diagonal pair, not rearing) or 4, and standing square to evenly distribute his weight was a complete unknown to him. He'll learn! One more positive experience is in the books for him though!


  1. What a change! They look so much better. It's amazing what a solid trim will do. I'm glad he was mostly behaved! I also love the photo of the nippered bits - thanks for sharing! As someone who trims their own horses, I love seeing stuff like that.

    I just trimmed Grif last night and was shocked at the amount of false sole that released. He had an abscess that lamed him up for ~12 days this winter. I knew it had to be pretty bad for him to be so sore for so long but HOLY. The false sole that came off last night was literally 1/3 of the bottom of his hoof. Everything beneath looks stellar, so I didn't fuss over it, but just...shit. What an abscess.

  2. Dang, that's a lot of hoof wall! Hopefully having his toes more balanced will allow him to be straighter!