Nerving: A Farrier’s Viewpoint

As a farrier, I often get asked about the most nerve-wracking part of my job. And while trimming and shoeing horses can be challenging, it’s not the most nerve-wracking part of my job. The most nerve-wracking part of my job is dealing with the owners.

I’ve had owners who are absolutely convinced that their horse needs the biggest, heaviest shoes possible, regardless of what I think. I’ve had owners who want me to do things that are clearly outside of my scope of practice. And I’ve had owners who are just plain difficult to deal with.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But dealing with some of the owners can be a real challenge.

As a farrier, I often get asked how I deal with horses that are “nervous” or “spooky.” While every horse is different, there are some general tips that can help when it comes to dealing with nerves. First and foremost, it’s important to remember that horses are prey animals.

This means that their natural instinct is to be on the lookout for predators. As humans, we sometimes forget this and expect them to just trust us blindly. However, if a horse feels like something is wrong or dangerous, they’re going to be naturally wary of it.

This is why it’s so important to earn a horse’s trust. If they feel like they can trust you, they’re more likely to relax around you and listen to your cues. To do this, take things slow and always be consistent in your approach.

Never do anything that might startle them or make them feel uncomfortable. If you find yourself working with a particularly nervous horse, there are a few additional things you can do to help them relax. One is called “ground work.”

This involves doing things like leading the horse around on a lead rope or teaching them basic obedience commands such as “whoa” (stop) and “back” (move backwards). This helps the horse understand what you want from them and builds their confidence in you as their handler. Another option is using desensitization techniques.

This involves exposing the horse to whatever it is they’re afraid of in small increments until they no longer react fearfully to it. For example, if the horse is scared of plastic bags blowing in the wind, you would start by showing them the bag from a distance while they’re eating their dinner. Once they become used to seeing the bag, you would then move closer while still keeping their attention on their food.


No. 181. Daisy Bicking – Preventing Laminitis, A Farrier’s Perspective

Equine Neurectomy Pros And Cons

An equine neurectomy, also called a nerve block or a standing castration, is a surgical procedure in which the nerves that supply sensation to the horse’s penis are cut. This permanently prevents the horse from being able to feel pain in that area. The procedure is considered permanent, although it can be reversed with surgery.

There are both pros and cons to this procedure. Pros include the fact that it eliminates the need for repeated sedation or general anesthesia for future veterinary procedures on the horse’s genitalia, such as castration. It also significantly reduces potential behavioral problems associated with stallions, such as aggression and mounting behavior.

In addition, some owners believe that neurectomized horses are less likely to injure themselves during pasture turnout or breeding activities. Finally, because there is no sensation in the area, owners do not have to worry about their horse experiencing pain during these activities. Cons of equine neurectomy include the potential for long-term complications such as chronic lameness, infection, and urine scalding where urine drips down onto the hairless skin surface around the urethra opening and causes irritation.

There is also concern that without feeling pain, horses may be more likely to injure themselves during pasture turnout or other activities without realizing it.

Farrier Tools

As a horse owner, you may not give much thought to the tools your farrier uses. However, it’s interesting to know a little bit about the different types of tools available and how they’re used to care for your horse’s hooves. The most basic tool is the hoof knife, which is used to trim and shape the hoof.

Farriers also use rasps to smooth out the hoof after it has been trimmed. Other common tools include nippers, which are used to trim excess hoof material; hammers, which are used to drive nails into the hoof; and shoeshaping tools, which are used to custom-fit horseshoes. There are many different brands and styles of farrier tools available on the market today.

Some farriers prefer certain brands or styles based on their personal preferences. However, all of these tools serve the same basic purpose: to help keep your horse’s feet healthy and comfortable!

Nerving: A Farrier’S Viewpoint


What Does Nerving a Horse Mean?

There are a few different things that can be meant when someone uses the term “nerving” a horse. The most common definition is of a procedure that was once used to help control difficult or unmanageable horses. The nerves in the horse’s neck were cut, which caused paralysis and loss of feeling in the front legs.

This made the horse much easier to handle, but also caused it severe pain and suffering. Thankfully, this barbaric practice has been outlawed for many years. Another definition of nerving a horse could simply refer to making the animal nervous or anxious.

This could be done intentionally, as part of training or preparation for an event, or it could be accidental if the horse is not handled correctly or given enough time to acclimate to its surroundings. Either way, it’s important to try and keep your horse as calm and relaxed as possible to avoid any unnecessary stress or anxiety.

How Can You Tell If a Horse Has Been Nerved?

If you suspect that a horse has been nerved, there are several things you can look for. The first is changes in behavior. A horse that has been nerved may become more agitated or anxious, and may start to exhibit signs of pain.

You may also see changes in the horse’s gait, as the animal may begin to limp or appear uncoordinated. If you examine the horse’s legs, you may be able to see areas where there is no sensation, and the skin may appear thinner and more fragile. In some cases, horses that have been nerved will eventually develop paralysis in their affected limbs.

What Makes a Good Farrier?

A good farrier is someone who has studied and been trained in the proper care of horses’ hooves. They understand the anatomy of the hoof and how it works with the horse’s leg to provide support and movement. A good farrier will also be up-to-date on the latest techniques and products available to keep your horse’s hooves healthy.

Is It Painful to Trim Horse Hooves?

Assuming you are talking about the process of trimming a horse’s hooves, then the answer is yes, it can be painful for the horse. The hooves are very sensitive and contain a lot of nerve endings. When they are trimmed, it can cause discomfort or even pain for the horse.

However, if done correctly and carefully, the horse should not experience any significant pain.


As a farrier, I often get asked how I deal with horses that are “nervous” or “spooky.” While every horse is different, there are a few general tips that can help when it comes to dealing with a nervous horse. First of all, it’s important to understand what the horse is feeling and why they might be feeling that way.

Is the horse spooked by something in their environment? Are they in pain? Once you understand the root cause of the nerves, you can start to work on addressing it.

If the horse is spooked by something in their environment, try to remove whatever is causing the fear. If that’s not possible, then desensitizing the horse to the object or situation can be helpful. This can be done through gradual exposure and positive reinforcement.

If the horse is in pain, then obviously addressing the pain will be necessary. This may involve changes in shoeing or other types of hoof care. It’s also important to make sure that the saddle fit is good and that there aren’t any other sources of discomfort for the horse.

In general, taking things slowly and being patient will go a long way when dealing with a nervous horse. It’s also important to create a trusting relationship with the animal so they know that you’re not going to hurt them. With time and patience, most horses can overcome their nerves and become more confident creatures.


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