Poll Recap: Mind Your Manners

Poll Recap: Mind Your Manners

Of the 896 voters, 641 (72%) said their horses are well-behaved, always stand still, lift their feet when asked, and do not lean or kick.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

In last week’s poll, we asked our readers if their horses are well-behaved for the farrier. Nearly 900 individuals responded, and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 896 voters, 641 (72%) said their horses are well-behaved, always stand still, lift their feet when asked, and do not lean or kick. Another 186 individuals (21%) said their horses are well-behaved most of the time, but could still use some training with the farrier. The remaining 69 respondents (8%) said their horses are a struggle for the farrier or shows obvious signs of stress or discomfort.

Additionally, more than 100 readers left comments regarding their horse’s behavior for the farrier.

Many shared comments about how well their horses behave for the farrier or trimmer:

Poll Results

  • “My farrier says my horse is one of his favorites to work on.”
  • “My horse has very good ground manners and respect for humans.”
  • “My farrier always compliments my well-mannered off-the-track Standardbred.”
  • “My horse and farrier are great. My horse naps during his trim!”
  • “Well-behaved, but easily bored and arthritic. He hates standing still that long.”
  • “My mare loves her feet done...it's like a pedicure!”
  • “He is a poster boy for vet and farrier work.”
  • “Now that my farrier understands my horse, they work well together.”
  • “My boy loves his farrier and is always a good boy.”
  • “I attribute a lot of my horses' good behavior to my farrier himself.”
  • “All of my horses are well-behaved and my farrier is awesome!”
  • “(My mare was) wonderful for most of her 27 years, even with arthritis.”
  • “Both are so relaxed they almost go to sleep while being shod.”
  • “All my horses are trained to stand quietly and be respectful.”
  • “Both saddle geldings have perfect vet/farrier manners; our Mini monster is another story!”

Others said that their horse could be difficult for the farrier:

  • “My horse gets antsy after a long period of time of standing and holding its foot up.”
  • “My horse is a bit difficult with his back legs”
  • “Sedation is necessary for my horse to be safely shod.”
  • “She's nervous for anyone picking her hind legs up, but allows me to do so comfortably”
  • “I actually sedate my Thoroughbred gelding for my farrier as I do not want him hurt.”
  • “My mare totally loses it.”

Several people commented about the training and ground work that contributes to a horse’s behavior for the farrier:

  • “It's the horse owner’s job to train the horse for the farrier, not the farrier’s job.”
  • “The farrier shouldn't have to train your horse to behave.”
  • “Daily hoof cleaning, needed or not, makes the job for the farrier a breeze.”
  • “I believe it is the responsibility of the horse owner to ensure a safe environment for the farrier.”
  • “I trained her to pick up her feet when I tap her leg.”
  • “I used clicker training with each horse. It works very well!”
  • “It's our responsibility, not the farrier’s, to train horses for the farrier.”
  • “We work on foot manners with all the horses and always hold the horses for the farrier.”
  • “Proper ground manners are essential.”
  • “My horses and I practice natural horsemanship. Problem solved!”
  • “I've worked extensively with both my horses to ensure good manners.”
  • “A horse (or a person!) must be respectful of another's space and safety. Period.”
  • “My horse knows manners, and understands they make his life pleasant and easy.”

Some respondents left comments about their farriers:

  • “I have a wonderful farrier who is extra kind with the geriatric horses.”
  • “Mine are good because I have good farriers who don't try to intimidate the horse.”
  • “Frankly, I would prefer farriers be more respectful of the horses when lifting the hind limbs high.”
  • “Having a patient farrier and consistent handler turned a struggle into a 'ho-hum' experience.”
  • “My farrier can sneak in and out with me not even knowing he came.”
  • “I think a lot depends on the farrier. If the horse senses he is safe with a farrier, he's good.”
  • “Really it depends on the farrier. My horses like people who are calm and quiet.”

And a few farriers and trimmers shared their perspectives:

  • “Being a farrier I will tell you there are very few that are always well-behaved, a lot that are well-behaved most of the time, and too many that aren't well-behaved.”
  • “I am my equines' barefoot hoof trimmer. I listen to what they 'say' and give breaks.”
  • “I trim my own horses, so they behave!”
  • “I am my own farrier, and most of my horses are a breeze, even the foals. Easy and gentle!”
  • “I am a farrier. I'm happy my horses are so good...my clients would laugh if they weren't!”

Read more about the farrier's role in equine hoof care in this FREE report! 

This week, we want to know: what is your biggest horse vs. mud woe this spring? Vote now, and share your comments at TheHorse.com!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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