Farriers can have it very tough. The occupation is very physically demanding and there are risks of injury. Being kicked by a horse is not to be taken lightly, I personally know of Farriers who have died from kicks and others having broken bones. Nails in horse’s feet will rip through the farriers flesh as easy as a hot knife through butter. Horses jerk legs while working on them and sit and lean and try everything sometimes in an effort to dislodge the Farrier from his work.
On the other side of the coin accidents occur often enough to the horses as well that the Farrier often has to shoulder the responsibility for. Here’s one such example.
My client called me out to shoe his favorite horse – a nice looking Palomino. It’s a nice warm day and everything was feeling right. More times than not on this particular job I shoe this horse by myself with the owner away – this was one of those times.
This day for some reason the horse was acting just a little bit strange and I was working on accommodating this behavior. On this job location the tie post for the horse is an old short wooden post in the ground and the horse has been tied there many times. Well this day our horse decided to pull slightly against the post – unknown to me the post is rotten at the bottom and starts to make an audible “Cracking sound" which somewhat spooks this beautiful Palomino who then pulls at the post even harder. Easily enough the post snaps.
Now the post becomes the devil from hell and the poor Palomino is panicking and fearing for his life. Now this is all taking place on a long paved driveway and the horse takes off at full speed with the post dragging menacingly behind attached to the lead rope. All hell is breaking loose. The driveway is not straight – it’s got a large sweeping curve and I just took several steps back and prayed – the horse is galloping nearly full speed into the turn on slippery pavement dragging the gates to hell behind him.
Sure enough in the middle of the turn “On Pavement" at nearly full speed the horse goes down, the flowers lining the driveway are flying everywhere as I watched in horror while the horse’s feet are all in the air – he’s upside down! Good lord! He manages to get back up still fearing for his life as the post is still attached – takes off again this time the post jumps the old style all post wood cowboy type fence and yanks the fence down as he’s still running breaks his lead rope and thankfully looses his tie to the post and hell fire. This is one of those Farrier nightmares!
Well the horse stops at the edge of the driveway, I fetch him, and he’s bleeding and scraped up here and there so I take him to the wash rack where I can attend to his needs. Luckily it’s all just superficial scrapes and I wash and clean up the wounds.
Well suddenly the owners’ wife drives up in her car and gets out and I call to her to explain the situation and explain it’s nothing serious to calm her down. We decide since the owner is not home that we put the horse in his stall and my job is done, I pack up and head out. On my way out the owner is now driving up so I turn around to go explain to him what had happened. He seemed to have taken it all very well. It was an accident – accidents happen.
Well in this case this incident came back to bite me on the rear. Later in the week I heard from one of my Farrier friends that the owner of the Palomino was actually angry with me for what happened and was thinking of changing Farriers – “firing me". So as it turns out that’s exactly what happened. I was held responsible for the incident and terminated.
As word spread through the community of the incident it was uncovered the Palomino has done this very thing before and had gone off running right through the middle of town. So the disaster that happened to me with the Palomino probably came as no surprise to the owner- yet I still took the brunt of the blame.
Often times at the end of the day your Farrier goes home beat up and bleeding and when things go wrong it’s usually the Farriers fault. Farriers risk much while caring for horses and really do deserve our understanding.
Speaking of Caring4Horses if you’d like to discover for yourself a method of horseshoeing with a 16 year 100% track record “Not One Single Lame Horse" just go ahead and click on the web site link below in the author bio. Your horse will love you for it – I guarantee it.
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Author Bio: John Silveira, Farrier, Aikido practitioner, spiritualist, born and raised in San Mateo California the bay area. For information on his shoeing method and the 100% track record just go to http://Care4Horses.com and leave contact information. thank you and remember to Care4Horses