Ever wondered why your farrier is a bit, well, grumpy? The following things could have something to do with it...

1. You’re late for your appointment

Farriers have a busy schedule and someone not turning up on time throws it all out. Anyway, being late is just rude and disrespectful. Don’t do it. If you can’t make the appointment so someone at your yard is going to be holding your horse for you while he’s shod, make sure they’re clear about what time they’re needed.

2. Your horse is still in the field

See above. If the horse isn’t actually ready to be shod, it’s no different to you being late.

3. Your horse is filthy

OK, so a lot of horses live out, and yes, there’s a slight tendency towards rain and mud in the UK in autumn. So get to the yard ahead of your appointment, brush off your horse’s legs and pick out his feet. You wouldn’t go to the dentist without cleaning your teeth first, would you? This is no different.

4. Your horse has got wet legs

You may have thought washing the mud off your horse’s legs or giving him a proper bath before shoeing was a good idea — but farrier’s rasps are designed to work on dry feet, and wet hooves can blunt them, plus wet hooves retain moisture so the shoeing isn’t as accurate. And farriers don’t want to have to go to their next client with wet trousers! Again, the soggy British weather has a lot to answer for, but if you’re able to give your farrier a dry horse and a dry area to work with, you’ll soon become his/her favourite client.

5. You’ve read some articles about horse’s hooves and now think you’re an expert

Maybe you’ve read something about how all horses are better off barefoot. Maybe you’re convinced your horse needs remedial shoeing. Good luck with convincing your farrier that any of this is necessary. (Clue: you won’t. It’s really not worth it. Shhhh!)

6. You’ve completely ignored all the helpful advice you were given at your last appointment

Your farrier thinks it would be better for your horse’s hooves if your horse came in at night instead of living out. You think that’s a great idea — only what with family and work commitments, you wouldn’t actually have time to ride if you did that. So the horse stays out, and your farrier gets grumpier. Smile a lot, offer to make him/her loads of cups of tea, and change the subject every time it comes up.

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7. Your horse has just accidentally kicked him in the knackers or trod on his/her foot.

This one isn’t your fault. It happens. It’s eye-watering. And all you can do is apologise!

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