Had the farrier out, horse is now lame :(

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by bufforp89, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    About a week ago I had a farrier out to trim my 2 mares that I recently got. My two mares lived in a large pasture before I got them for 5 years without much care at all other then shots and the occasional hoof trim.....

    Anyways had the farrier out, he has a super good reputation but charges an arm and a leg according to several people I have talked to. I tried him anyways because I friend of mine gets a discount if you use him on her recomendation.

    It went well apparently, I was unfortunently not there at the time. He was able to do my older mare but not able to do the younger (she needs a little training [​IMG] ) and I guess took off ALOT of hoof. Her hoofs were pretty long to begin with (I dont think the previous owner had her trimmed over the winter) and I was under the impression that he was going to take a little off now, a little more later and so on to let her get used to it.

    Now a few days later she is totally lame on her front right. There was nothing wrong with her before he trimmed her, she was looked at by a vet just a few weeks ago and I had x-rays of her legs done like a week and a half ago when the vet was down doing another horses legs......

    There is no heat in her leg/hoof at all. Nothing looks to be wrong with it (cuts on the frog, chips, cracks, ect.) she just seems really uncomfortable bearing weight on it. She does the whole head bobbing thing when she walks and prefers to stay put if she gets her own way.

    Can I safely assume that this is the doing of the farrier? Of course I am going to get her treated (is this something to call a vet or farrier for?) but would like to know if this is something that could have happened due to lack of proper care in the past or somthing the farrier did?

    Guess Im mostly just annoyed because I paid $50 to have her trimmed, 2x as much as other farriers in my area.

    Any advice?
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Whoa. That would be a red flag for me, unless this guy has only recently moved to your area like within the last six months but probably even then.

    I have never ever lived anywhere that "super good" farriers are so thick on the ground that they gotta offer discounts to drum up business.

    The super good ones are generally the ones that you have to know the right person just for them to be WILLING to take you on as a client, b/c they are already as totally-busy as the hours in the day allow.

    I dunno, I obviously can't comment on the quality of this guy's work from just a couple sentences written online LOL but gee wow, that setup doesn't say to *me* what it seems to say to *you*.

    It went well apparently, I was unfortunently not there at the time.

    It is really really important to be there the first time you use a new farrier, if nothing else to be able to see how he handles the horses and TALK with him about what he sees as being the state of their feet and the plan of action. Even if it means taking a day off work or something. I recognize this is not always-always possible but if there is any concievable way of doing it next time you really gotta.

    He was able to do my older mare but not able to do the younger (she needs a little training [​IMG] ) and I guess took off ALOT of hoof. Her hoofs were pretty long to begin with (I dont think the previous owner had her trimmed over the winter) and I was under the impression that he was going to take a little off now, a little more later and so on to let her get used to it.

    See above paragraph.

    Now a few days later she is totally lame on her front right. There was nothing wrong with her before he trimmed her, she was looked at by a vet just a few weeks ago and I had x-rays of her legs done like a week and a half ago when the vet was down doing another horses legs......

    Given that this is an unknown farrier who you haven't even met and whose reputation seems to impress you, if you're going to have anyone out to look at her lameness I'd encourage you to have it be your VET [​IMG] (If the vet is a decent lameness vet; many aren't)

    (e.t.a. -- I would not assume it's the farrier's fault though. I mean, the odds are against him [​IMG] but it COULD be an abscess just now coming to a head, or some unrelated thing)

    From what you describe -- very long hooves, trimmed back severely, took a couple days to be lame -- the likeliest two possibilities would be either a) bruised soles, which may or may not develop eventually into an abscess; or b) sore tendons/ligaments/joints from such a different way of carrying herself. Without pics of the horse I'm not even going to take a wild flying guess which and even WITH pics it would be ONLY a wild flying guess and thus probably not worthwhile LOL

    If it is sole bruising, you can help somewhat by painting on venice turpentine (comes in can from well-stocked tack store) (or 10% formalin if you work in a biology lab or morgue, LOL, but you probably don't!) onto JUST the horny part of the soles, not the frog or heels or anywhere else; but, it doesn't do huge amounts of good and you are probably best off just leaving it be to resolve on its own. Sometimes sole bruising produces a hoof abscess "in the fullness of time", there is nothing you can really do about it, if that should pop up you will get to practice soaking or poulticing the foot so insofar as you can work with the mare to get her mroe used to being willing to do odd things when you're handling her, it would pay off if that should happen. But, bruising or even abscesses are not a big deal in the grand cosmic scheme of things, they heal.

    If it is sore tendons/ligaments/joints from a radical readjustment of angle, that too is likely to go away in time if the horse is basically sound. If the horse was sort of perched on the edge of compensating for some existing degree of damage or major conformation challenges, sometimes it can be hard to get them back sound again after lameness resulting from radical trimming changes. But that is not particularly common.

    Since the horse is new to you I'd kind of vote for the "call the vet" option, so you can learn more about the horse (also if these are your first horses you may not have made contact with the vet before and 'no time like the present'). If you aren't going to call the vet out I'd say try to keep her loose as much as possible (not stalled excessively), do not ride or longe, try to avoid hard or rocky or deep-sand or deep-mud surfaces, and see what happens.

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  3. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    What pat said. X2 about the "discount" farrier. If he's THAT busy and THAT good, he'd neither jack up his prices or give discounts for referrals. Where I live farriers are a dime a dozen, but the good ones are IMPOSSIBLE to get on and once you do, you don't let them go.
     
  4. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Hi, I brought a 6 yo last year that was not halter broke, never had feet trimmed or any care - just left wild. He was halter brook by the time I taught him to trailer load and his feet where great after first trim.
    I don't know what your Spring has been like but ours has been very wet so everywhere is muddy and it makes the horse's soles soft and tender. Your horse could be lame because she was trimmed too short if, she didn't stand well for farrier he might have trimmed more than he ment to. Or it might be because she has soft sole because of weather and no longer just walking on her own shoe wall - now her sole is contacting ground and she is tender. If she has a soft sole when you push on it ? you could try putting bleach on just the sole (a empty saline soulution bottle filled with bleach makes a easy dispenser) to toughen up her sole. Try not to get bleach on heel or frog. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  5. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Oh and first thing you do is call the farrier and tell him your horse is now lame. A farrier worth is salt will come back out and check your horse - free of charge and immediately.
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    I've known a few farriers that everything they touched went lame a few days later. It was just normal to them and the people who used them. One even made a horse at a horse camp we attended go lame after a demonstration on how to trim a horse. When my friend's horse threw a shoe I told her not to let that farrier trim anything off the hoof and just put the shoe back on. If I have a horse go lame after a trim with no other explanation 90% of the time I'd get a new farrier.
     
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2007
    Vermont
    I was wondering what happened with this - ?
     
  8. TheSitcomGirls

    TheSitcomGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Mine would...that's what I would do too for sure.
     
  9. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    The mare is doing quite a bit better as of yesterday. Not favoring her foot/leg as much. I am thinking it is sore tendons/ligaments/joints as patandchickens suggested and she was just having an off day.

    I was going to have the vet out but now that she is getting a little better I am going to wait until after the weekend, I plan on moving them this weekend to a new pasture to get them out of the mud and am hoping that it will help. If she is still limping around though we will give the vet a call and have her come out and take a look.

    I dont plan on using the same farrier again. Decided against calling him, didnt really want him messing around with her feet anymore. I have a new farrier lined up to come out and take a look at my other mare next week and I know several people who use him and love his work.

    Thanks for the advice!
     
  10. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    It's possible the foot is sore from being trimmed shorter. And it may have been necessary to take the growth off the foot. Or not. Some farriers take off too much.

    It's possible the tendons are sore from being in a new position.

    It's possible the horse hurt itself and it has nothing to do with the farrier (it did not start til 3 days after the farrier?).

    It's possible trimming the horse revealed a chronic problem the horse has (navicular, sequel of founder, etc).

    All are possible. And not 100% clear to me, which it is. Many people assume automatically that it MUST be the farrier's fault if it happens after the farrier leaves.

    With the horses being 'freebies' and the farrier an unknown, and no pictures of 'before' and 'after' to look at, I am not assuming anything.

    It is entirely possible that soreness couldn't be avoided if the horse's feet were really neglected.

    Many farriers are 'very popular' because their customers don't know what good shoeing looks like or feels like. Recommendations have to be taken with a grain of salt. If all a shoer's customers ride once a month they may not even notice when a horse is lame after shoeing.

    There are a few good farriers around. Send them steaks at Christmas. Say 'thank you' to them and give them a well lit, level, clean surface to work on, in a comfortable place - no glaring sun, no gale force winds, but well ventilated (it's hard work, sometimes a heated place to work in winter is REAL stuffy). Catch your horses before he gets there, clean 'em up, pick the mud out of their feet and wash their hooves off, don't put any fly spray on their legs (makes their legs slippery), put fly spray on their bodies (or a fly sheet), and offer coffee in winter and ice tea or lemonade in summer. Pay on time, preferably before they leave. Make sure the horse behaves - pick out his feet every day so he isn't fighting the farrier, and work him good before the farrier gets there. In other words, treat your farrier good.

    There are a lot of semi-okay farriers around. As long as they don't have to make too many decisions or something isn't too terribly different, they don't do too much damage. Try to only use them for tacking back on a loose shoe. Don't give them too much to think about.

    There are alot of farriers who are just - not very good. They don't have good hand skills. They trim one front foot one way, and the other front foot winds up different, not because they want it to, but because they don't have good hand skills. Pretty soon your horse has 4 very, very different looking feet, and none of them work too terribly well. Smile as you ride by, but never write 'em a check.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011

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