The whole feet thing is one of those frustrating things I really don’t want to learn any more about.
I had to learn so much when Dear One had laminitis (complicated by Cushings Disease) and every time I have to even think about it, it’s like taking a railroad spike and shoving it into my brain. I did everything right and she still died. I feel I have served my prison sentence and would rather NOT learn how to rasp or trim hooves, thanks very much.
Thankfully, hubby has valiantly (especially after being kicked in the face by ZZ) stepped up (haha) to learn about it. Our natural trimmer has been giving him some help when she comes out, and I have passed on my Pete Ramey book, Making Natural Hoofcare Work for You, which seems to solidify some of her advice to him.
All he is doing at this point is rasping in-between appoinments but our eventual goal, a year or two down the road, is for him to take it over full time. Partly this is because of economics. With three horses, my current trim bill is $120. She is well worth it but I know, with the cost of gas and inflation, this will go up over the years and I do plan on owning more horses.
We also plan on living out, probably an hour from the city within three years, and getting a trimmer on schedule to a rural locaiton may be more difficult.
I have to admit, (no slur to you CB but because of former farriers) I never NEVER want to be held hostage by a farrier again.
The policy at most of the boarding barns I have been at is if you use their farrier then the BO holds the horses, makes the appt. and hands over your check addressed to the farrier.
If you use your own farrier, then you have to come out and hold your own horse – or pay a fee to the BO to do so. Obviously, it can become a problem if you work during the day and that is the time your farrier wants to come out, however, as I’m a SAHM then it’s no problem for me.
In my state, as well others, a recent law by the large animal vet associations has made it against the law for your farrier or trimmer to offer “medical advice.” This could be as simple as your farrier saying: “I think your horse has a soundness issue with his stifle.”
Personally, farriers irritate me when they offer medical advice – so I don’t bother to listen to much of what they have to say, especially if you consider the little schooling they need to hang a shingle on their trailer – and the poor jobs the majority of them do. Most of the advice I’ve received from them was ineffectual and wrong (i.e. oil on the horses’ hooves would un-contract heels – WRONG! Horse shoes helps with contracted heels WRONG!).
Most farriers rely upon the ignorance of the horse owner in order to stay in business. They don’t want to educate you because they would be educating themselves out of your business! Once you saw what a crappy job they were really doing, and how what they are doing is making your horse unsound, you would most properly drop them!
Then there are the farriers who can BS such a good line you find yourself nodding along with their baloney. It all SOUNDS GOOD… doesn’t it? But if your BS-meter seems to keep dinging every time they show up, trust your instinct.
Special Note to You: When you are called “Little Lady” by vet – or farrier – it’s time to change Vet or Farrier.
The biggest problem I have had with farriers is how they disappear. You will be going along swimmingly with someone and then suddenly *poof* they don’t show, don’t return calls, and have decided to drop out of the business because, let’s face it, it IS back breaking and dangerous.
The other issue is that recommendations can’t really be trusted unless they come from your vet. Recommendations from other horse people are generally given just because the farrier shows up and does the job… not because the owner really knows what they are doing.
Normally, who I use as a farrier/trimmer is no big deal. I have been on self-care for years so really no one paid me much mind. However, at my current barn there has been some trouble brewing about it. It’s all a pack of nonsense, blended with equal parts of ignorance and stupidity, but I really can’t go into it in the open journal. Writing what I have done here is enough to get me in deep water already…