Shoeing a Horse

My horse won't stand still so we can shoe her. She tries to kick us and rears up. What can I do?

By Justpeachy0717 from TN

August 23, 20090 found this helpful


Have you considered calling a farrier to shoe your horse? They know all the tricks and do a professional job. Good luck

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August 23, 20090 found this helpful

A farrier should have the horse expertise to handle this problem. He/she might advice you to use a twitch on your horse, to keep her still for the farrier's safety. You can practice with your mare between shoeings with picking up her feet and "fiddling" with her hooves like tapping with a hoof pick and such. Does she stand quietly for hoof cleanings with a pick? She might have had a prior bad experience with her feet, and will need time and patience to bring her back to willinging stand while having her feet worked on. Good luck.

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August 23, 20090 found this helpful

This post brings back memorys of being my Dad's helper. He is an old style "Horse shoe-er." Often it is because some horse's simply don't like it. And the use of twitch or a nerve line (a small clothes line rope over the ears under the lip) maybe mandatory. Dad is now 77 and can shoe 3 of 4 of his own horses. The fourth is just a little to stubborn for him to handle at his age. All of the horses have had their feet played with all their lives. The little mare will always be a pain to shoe, although she has improved with time and the use of 'distractions'

Now the age of your horse; how long you have had it and what may have been done in the past may be what your problem is. The twitches do have to be used right bullying a horse won't work it makes them dig in and fight all the more. But I assume you have done all of this.

Ask your vet about a farrier that has the knowledge to use a tranquilizer. This will turn the whole thing into a"happy day" for the horse. It may also prevent injuries to both your horse and the people working with it. Check with State law about who and how medications can be given.

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August 23, 20090 found this helpful

I used to have to put my horse in a small, tight loading chute to shoe him, with a head harness and his tail tied down so he couldn't move. Finally gave up fighting with him and just rode him in the pastures and other grassy areas. We were both happy. He had no shoes and I saw a lot of beautiful scenery!

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August 24, 20090 found this helpful


That's a bigger question you've posed than what can be answered here. And it's not the farrier's job to train your horse for you, but rather the job of the owner. As someone who's retrained many, many horses, I would suggest checking into a private session with a reputable trainer. Not a bunch of expensive lessons, but one to get you going down the right road.

Anytime it is suggested that you squeeze, tie up, hobble or restrain your animal beyond normal training tack (i.e. halter and lead rope) you are not "training", but you are setting yourself up for a wreck. If you can't find someone who is competent, gentle and knowledgeable to offer hands on help, then head over to the library and check out books or videos on horse training. Free solution. John Lyons is particularly good and easy to understand, but there's many good trainers in the forefront right now.

Bear in mind that the most important training tool in your barn is on the end of your arm. Don't abuse, and don't be afraid to pet your horse to let her know when she did something right, no matter how small. Also, a horse is a prey animal, and on the most basic level, by taking one of her feet away you are removing her ability to escape from a predator. By the way, humans are predators. So by behaving in a way that reassures her that you will not eat her, and desensitizing her to your actions, you will make her life so much less stressful.

However, there's just too much involved with successfully solving such a problem to fix it here. Seek some further help. Good luck to you, and if you have a specific description of what your mare does or her history, you can contact me directly also--I'd be happy to try to help.

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