Today the farrier came and have feet trimmed is probably her biggest fear. She rebelled a few times and at one point he said she stepped on his foot. The way he turned loose of her front leg, I was afraid he would break it. Later he was doing a back leg and she started pulling and trying to get away from him. He grabbed the rope from me, pulled down a few times, then slammed her into a wall 3 times.
I'm very concerned about how much damage he has done. What, if anything, can I do to counter the damage he did?
(Of course, he will never touch my horse again.)
First difference, Apollo was a gelding & only about 3/4 Arab. He was about 12 when I got him. He had definitely been abused but he was wonderful - disconnected me from all of it, and I made plenty of mistakes! All of which he forgave me for. My suggestions are that you routinely lift her feet - but don't push her from her comfort zone for several days - till she shows you she is relaxing with it. Research local farriers, but when you contact them recount this story with your obvious objections & review their responses. If available I'd suggest a female farrier but that's not always a possibility/ better. What your mare needs is for you to believe in her & for you to find a trusted farrier who can meet her needs.
Do you have a Dually headcollar? If not, you need one! My homebred, Kirk, is a perfect example of how farriers get it wrong. Kirky boy decided to play push me pull you with the farrier - pulling these guys about at will. Their training was - never let go of the foot. This went on for over a year. Then I intervened. I gobsmacked the not so newly qualified guy by stating it was not his job to train Kirk so I would pay him 50p a minute to do so - qualified by - I've no intention of giving you much money but you need to follow my instructions. Dually halter on, farrier instructed to drop foot like red hot the second Kirk resisted, off we went. At the first sign of resistance, farrier stepped away & I backed Kirk 3 steps the brought him back to the same spot. By the fourth leg Kirk was totally compliant. No, that wasn't him cured but it was 85% there. This was trimming not shoeing so really quick. Farrier really impressed! His learning curve as well as Kirks. Together, Kirk & I have educated a young farrier - so we gave him a black Dually halter & £3.00 over & above his fee. That's a couple of years ago. Kirk no longer has farrier issues. There is no reason why your mare should not make a similar connection with the right minded farrier & become totally confident about having her feet attended, despite this setback. Be brave on her behalf - she deserves someone who will fight for her. Cheers, Jo.