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Old 11-05-2011, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,494 posts, read 38,417,337 times
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I once had a farrier who was,I later learned, the Dean of Farriers in this neck of the woods (Austin, Texas). Whenever I mentioned him in later years, every farrier I ran across knew of him and spoke of him with awe. He looked a lot like Santa Claus.

I found him because, while the farrier that I was using, that was the farrier for the stables where I worked and boarded my horses, was just fine and did a very good job, I wanted to find someone who was used to working with Morgans, for a variety of reasons. I started looking at horses' feet any time I went to any horse event anywhere in the area, and when I saw one with particularly good feet, I'd ask the owner who the farrier was. This guy's name kept coming up, and when I started using him, I found out why. (My mare was besotted with him. He'd do one hoof, put it down, have to walk out to his truck outside the barn to get something, come back in and he'd be 20 feet away from her and she'd be standing there in the middle of the barn holding the next hoof up for him.)

I ask people for recommendations, but just like with finding a good trainer, who I really ask is the horses. THEY know a good one when they see one!
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Old 11-05-2011, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,779 posts, read 6,691,169 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ognend View Post
I hope it all works out for you. I would get a second opinion from a teaching hospital associated with a University (if you really have the money to spend...). We have gone through no less than 8 farriers. Two of them were GREAT but too far. Of the rest one was decent. We have also gone through about 3 vets. I had a horse with a sinus cyst who got operated on and ended up with 3 follow up surgeries with a local fool of a vet (developed bone infection, pus oozing out of his face, spent a month on antibiotics not getting better) before I took him to Ocala to a Boiard certified surgeon who actually charged less (!) for her surgery at a great clinic with 20+ vets and specialists, the horse was in great shape 7 days later...

Last week I had a son of a "local-farrier-legend" show up. This guy supposedly does corrective trimming, that's his specialty. His father teaches clinics on therapeutic shoeing, he is a big farrier name around Austin, TX. This was the first time we had this guy since we just moved to TX, we are new and acted on a recommendation. He started on my wife's horse and 5 minutes later there are drops of blood coming out of the hoof wall. The incompetent fool said "oh, look, drops of blood - I have never seen this before, I wonder what kind of condition or history this horse has". I picked up the trimmed piece and you could see where he made a line where he was going to trim but I guess the nippers went an INCH above. I thought I was going to faint when I saw it. Needless to say he was sent home immediately, I am going to have another farrier come out (this time supposedly a certified journeyman if that means anything these days) and am going to send his bill to the idiot that came out. I am intent on seeing this one through a small claims court if he doesn't pay up, I saved the hoof fragment and took photos. Anybody (even a lay person like me) could have seen that he cut the hoof way too short. The horse is now on bute waiting for the other farrier to come out and hopefully make him more comfortable.

One of the farriers we had was also a gem - he trimmed down the foot to fit a smaller shoe, kept trying to make the foot smaller with each visit.

OD
Oh my! good for you going after him. I used to have a great farrier but he is since deceased. He was so good, I didn't know there was such a thing as a bad farrier. Then I tried getting another farrier, and while some of them might have worked out, I think they realised all of a sudden that it can be pretty hard work, and they would get out of the business.

It is very hard to find a good farrier around here - it's really not horse country in the way that Alberta is. The good farriers aren't taking new clients on. And that is the problem with my horse - for a long time I thought it was a farrier problem - which maybe it is, I don't know yet, because with my new farrier I haven't had enough time for the hoof to grow out and see what proper farriering will do.

I had a farrier before the last one who came out, kicked my horse in the chest with his boot without her having done a thing but stand there, "to see if she'd rear."

I was sorry she didn't stomp him into the ground. And then I see in the paper he's hosting a clinic for people to trim their own horses.

So this last one actually comes from Alberta - a long, long way and the only reason he comes out here is because he has family here. I came across him by accident, checked out his credentials, talked to him at long length over the phone first, and he said all the right things. And when he came down, his actions backed up his words.

But so far it is a one time thing - he's next out in December. He knows about my horse's situation, and we'll evaluate it then together with the vet.

Money is always an issue when it comes to horses. It isn't like I have expensive horses that I show or make a living from, so there's always factoring in how far you go to save a horse. I will go pretty far actually, but there are limits. We are nowhere near a vet teaching hospital.
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Canada
5,779 posts, read 6,691,169 times
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Originally Posted by TexasHorseLady View Post
You're absolutely right, netwit. Unfortunately, I haven't had experience with navicular, only with laminitis and with a very serious suspensory ligament injury of a horse that was 3-legged lame for a month, even with everything that my excellent vet AND Texas A&M could come up with, and we were discussing the euthanasia option, until I thought, with my vet's enthusiastic approval, to consult the local equine vet/acupuncturist. (She gives lectures at the AAEP conventions on alternative therapies, but is an A&M trained vet as well as holistic vet.) One treatment and he was on his way back; we gave a second but he didn't really need it but he was really happy to see her arrive with her needles. Anyone who's been acupunctured themselves will understand. That horse lived happily and soundly for another 11 years.

There's a YahooGroups equine list that I'm on where you might find some useful information from horse people all over the world - I'd bet good money there'd be several on there who have had experience with this and would be more than happy to share their experiences. (It is, after all, what we do!) If you're interested, PM me and I'll give you the link to it.

You might want to look into acupuncture for it, too. I've used it for that one horse, and for a dog who had a spinal embolysm and had plateaued in her recovery, both times with excellent results.

Oh, and I hear you about the farrier. Once you find a good one, you'll do anything to keep them!

I've actually been looking into that as well. While I certainly will listen to my vet and farrier, I am the kind of person that likes to see what other options might be available even though for people, I'm not much of a believer in acupuncture - my sister-in-law is one, and judging from my brother's back, it hasn't worked even with regular freebies in the house - but I will give anything a try.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:10 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,120 posts, read 7,661,294 times
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we had a quarter horse that seemed sound until Wifie started doing some cutting on it, came up lame with Navicular. After six months of no riding or exercise it seemed ok until she put a little pressure on it, it became nothing but a pasture pet for someone else....
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Old 11-06-2011, 06:29 PM
 
2,878 posts, read 3,927,056 times
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
Oh my! good for you going after him. I used to have a great farrier but he is since deceased. He was so good, I didn't know there was such a thing as a bad farrier. Then I tried getting another farrier, and while some of them might have worked out, I think they realised all of a sudden that it can be pretty hard work, and they would get out of the business.
Well, I ordinarily wouldn't. But, I have let too many people take advantage of my wife and me being quiet and not speaking up. This time, I am going to make this guy remember the last time he did a lousy job.

My wife and I lived in Saskatoon for 5 years! Brrr.....

But, I miss Canada. I would go back if there was cheap, scenic horse country to be had cheap

OD
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Lake Coeur D’Alene
4,998 posts, read 6,810,070 times
Reputation: 4975
I've had one incorrectly diagnosed with it (he eventually recovered though it took years for the deep flexor tendon to heal after the damage an incompetent farrier inflicted) and the horse died after a good long life at age 30. The other was correctly diagnosed and I eventually put the horse down due to a variety of factors including the fact of the navicular disease and his discomfort.
It's odd that there isn't a good equine forum here but I recommend you try homesteadingtoday.com's horse board. There are a lot of super experienced horse folks there and a few very good farriers who give great advice.
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