Female or very quiet, gentle male barefoot trimmer/farrier needed

Caol Ila

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Ugh, another terrible time with the farrier for Hermosa. Sometimes she is okay, sometimes she is terrified of him and won't let him hold her foot. He's a good farrier and doesn't get upset at a wiggly horse, but he is a large, burly guy with a brusque, abrupt manner, and it freaks her out. I have tried to fix it by letting other people handle her feet, but everyone I know is a mild-mannered female, like me, or OH, who is a soft, gentle guy that all animals love. The other men I know, through mountaineering, are fairly scared of horses, so I don't think, "Pick up the feet of my squirrely youngster" will fly.

I'm looking for a different farrier/trimmer, one who will take more time and has a naturally softer manner. I have contacted one trimmer who I found online, who advertises herself as willing to work with tricky horses, and Fin's farrier, who is an excellent horseman. I don't know if Fin's farrier's beat goes as far as Hermosa's yard, though. And I am still waiting to hear back from the trimmer.

If neither of those work out, does anyone have any recommendations? She is near Cumbernauld.
 

Caol Ila

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The Farrier Association website says there is a female farrier called Monica Melvin Caie near Falkirk. I can't find any online presence for her, but does anyone know of her? Not that all women have quiet, calm energy and men don't, but it seems that my horse finds intense masculine energy worrying.
 

Highmileagecob

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If you get absolutely stuck, and the feet need attention, Cavallo hoof boot people have a Barefoot Trim online video which will take you step by step through a trim, by a farrier. Hoof files and rasps can be purchased online, and it would be good enough to keep things ticking over until you can find an alternative. My barefoot trimmer directed me to watch it during lockdown when three or four trim cycles were missed.
 

stangs

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Sydne Pruonto/Footloose Barefoot Hooves? (Disclaimer: I know of her through a friend, but haven’t personally employed her.)
 

Caol Ila

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I have sent messages into the ether and tapped all my contacts, including Fin's former owner, who's guy got Fin and his fellow ferals accustomed to trimming and quite civilized about it. So far, radio silence on all fronts.
 

Caol Ila

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Played with the radial rasp today. Took a little bit off so her feet looked a bit better, but it was knackering, and I ran out of energy/strength/willpower. I have newfound respect for the steel arms of farriers.

My damned horse, on the other hand, the same horse who was rearing vertically with the farrier yesterday, thought she was at the spa, completely relaxing, enjoying it! And when I would put down one foot, she would wave the next one at me. "My left hind now, please!" A lass from Barrhead on holiday in Magaluf, on the G&Ts, having her pedicure.

If I do a little bit each day with the rasp, that should buy me some time to find a farrier/trimmer who will act like her personal pedicurist, as opposed to a guy who looks like a bouncer just diving straight for her feet without even a hello. Oy.
 
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HeyMich

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The Farrier Association website says there is a female farrier called Monica Melvin Caie near Falkirk. I can't find any online presence for her, but does anyone know of her? Not that all women have quiet, calm energy and men don't, but it seems that my horse finds intense masculine energy worrying.
Yes, I know Monica and she's fab. She was apprenticed to my usual farrier and has recently qualified and branched out on her own. I would definitely get in touch with her.
 

planete

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Played with the radial rasp today. Took a little bit off so her feet looked a bit better, but it was knackering, and I ran out of energy/strength/willpower. I have newfound respect for the steel arms of farriers.

My damned horse, on the other hand, the same horse who was rearing vertically with the farrier yesterday, thought she was at the spa, completely relaxing, enjoying it! And when I would put down one foot, she would wave the next one at me. "My left hind now, please!" A lass from Barrhead on holiday in Magaluf, on the G&Ts, having her pedicure.

If I do a little bit each day with the rasp, that should buy me some time to find a farrier/trimmer who will act like her personal pedicurist, as opposed to a guy who looks like a bouncer just diving straight for her feet without even a hello. Oy.
I have had exactly the same problem with Woody. Perfectly relaxed with me and with my friend's son trimming him but going rigid at the sight of the macho farrier approaching him with flexing pectorals. It is the farriers who need training, not the poor horses. We now have a female trimmer at our new yard thankfully.
 

maya2008

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Our ex-feral one doesn’t like men much. We get her feet done by my husband doing it while the farrier watches and gives advice. If you can’t find anyone, would that work for you?
 

Caol Ila

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Starting fresh with a few farrier/trimmer is my first port of call. Hopefully one will answer a message soon!

I think she will be fine if one makes friends with her. My horse and the current farrier got off on the wrong foot with one another. Her breeder did not handle her youngstock's feet or teach them to stand for the farrier when they were babies. That meant her feet were in a state when I got her, and I also had to teach her to pick them up and let you hold them. That was an ongoing process for a while, but we rushed into a trim because they were so long. Not ideal. The farrier didn't help himself with his brusque bedside manner, where he goes straight for the foot without any faff or fuss or greeting. He's calm with them, but not warm and fuzzy. It was not the most helpful approach for a young sensitive hotblood mare with little experience of large men handling her and not entirely confident about foot handling. This is a horse who needed warm and fuzzy, especially in those early days. Now she sees him coming and her adrenaline immediately goes up.

She has been fine for some trims. I think it's a trigger stacking thing. She can tolerate that rise in adrenaline and worry when there is absolutely nothing else going on. But if there is a weird noise, or she's in season, or whatever else can make a horse a bit edgy, she explodes.
 

Caol Ila

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PETS does look excellent. Might think about having them work with my other horse. His feral pony flight response isn't as strong as it was, but there is lots of room for improvement.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Matt from Horse Help UK does training for horses to make them understand and become more comfortable with the farrier. He can work with the farrier too and does regular trips up to Scotland.
 

Caol Ila

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Unfortunately, she does not.

My horse thinks farrier holds are optional. The day after the farrier incident, she was dream when I held her feet and worked on her with the radial rasp. Then a few days later, she was rocking backwards and complaining when I held her front foot between my legs (hinds are no bother). This seems to be the way of it - she might be chilled or she might start going into levade. You just don't know. I am working on it every day I'm there until she realises that having her front foot held between someone's knees is (a) fine and (b) not optional. I have a few farriers yet to contact, but I'm putting it on hold until I fix the issue. There's no point in bringing a new person in, then kicking off with another row.
 

paddy555

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Unfortunately, she does not.

My horse thinks farrier holds are optional. The day after the farrier incident, she was dream when I held her feet and worked on her with the radial rasp. Then a few days later, she was rocking backwards and complaining when I held her front foot between my legs (hinds are no bother). This seems to be the way of it - she might be chilled or she might start going into levade. You just don't know. I am working on it every day I'm there until she realises that having her front foot held between someone's knees is (a) fine and (b) not optional. I have a few farriers yet to contact, but I'm putting it on hold until I fix the issue. There's no point in bringing a new person in, then kicking off with another row.
why do you have to hold the feet between your knees? there is absolutely no need to and it upsets horses especially younger ones. Doing this farrier hold immediately pulls them off balance and some are not very confident about standing on 3 legs to start with anyway.
None of mine have ever had their feet held this way.
There are several other ways to hold feet. One is to sit on a milk crate and put the foot in your lap. It is low down, under the body. Another is on a cradle on a hoof stand which the majority of barefoot trimmers use. You can also kneel on one knee and rest the foot on the other and rasp. Again it is low down, the hoof is under the body so the horse is not unbalanced.

Using any of these "holds" the horses learn and become very laid back about foot trimming.
 

Caol Ila

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why do you have to hold the feet between your knees? there is absolutely no need to and it upsets horses especially younger ones. Doing this farrier hold immediately pulls them off balance and some are not very confident about standing on 3 legs to start with anyway.
None of mine have ever had their feet held this way.
There are several other ways to hold feet. One is to sit on a milk crate and put the foot in your lap. It is low down, under the body. Another is on a cradle on a hoof stand which the majority of barefoot trimmers use. You can also kneel on one knee and rest the foot on the other and rasp. Again it is low down, the hoof is under the body so the horse is not unbalanced.

Using any of these "holds" the horses learn and become very laid back about foot trimming.
That is a very interesting point. I suppose I am doing it because I think that's what the farrier is going to do, so I feel like I need to get her to be okay with it. The farrier who currently comes to the yard doesn't leave a whole lot of room for discussion. He just marches up to the horse, grabs their foot, and hoiks it between his knees. This did not go down well with Hermosa.

If I can find a tame farrier/trimmer who would do the holds you're suggesting for the front feet, that would solve a lot of problems. When I am rasping, I rest her hind hoof on my thigh, and she could not care less about that.
 

Caol Ila

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Tried Paddy’s suggestion of kneeling on the ground with the hoof on my other knee. She was completely chilled and I rasped away with no drama. I’d really rather a pro doing it instead of me, but it would be so much easier on everyone if I can find someone who won’t insist on the between the knees hold.
 
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Highmileagecob

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I once booked a trimmer who arrived with a hoof stand thingy jammed into a small car tyre. After we prised the cob off the roof beam, he decided that no way was that coming anywhere near him. Trimmer picked up each foot and said he was self trimming nicely!
 
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