If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will
not know them, and what you do not know you will fear. What one fears one destroys.- Chief Dan George

A Brief Note on"Bad" Horses-
 The very brief answer on this subject is that there are no 'bad' horses. This is an excuse used by lazy horse
owners who don't want to train their horses. "Bad" is how any given behaviour is perceived. A dog who bites a
stranger is bad, a dog who bites someone trying to kill you is good. The behaviour hasn't changed, our
perception has. No matter what you're dealing with remember- behaviour is behaviour, and behaviour can be

#1- Rule Out Pain
 Pain is an extremely common cause of a horse being bad with his feet. It doesn't have to be hoof pain either,
it's often body pain. Arthritis is a common reason horses are 'bad'. Arthritic hips and hocks can make a horse
very 'jerky' in the hind end. Arthritic knees will often cause a horse to jerk his hoof away when his leg is
torqued out to be put between your knees. I will usually ask a horses age if he looks at all older, and will often
massage his butt and keep his feet low if I know he's up there. I don't put back hooves between my knees in
typical "farrier position" on any horse because of the torque to their joints, I use a HoofJack. On short, or really
old horses I trim with the hoof resting on my foot, allowing the horse to be in a completely natural position and
not straining any of those joints.

   Another common cause of a horse being jumpy in the hind end is a the lumbar-sacral junction being out. This
joint has very little side-to-side room anyways, and when it goes out it often 'pinches' on one side. Most horses
still aren't visibly 'off' with it, but when you pick up the hoof on the side that is pinched, you'll usually get a
violent reaction. Usually the horse will jerk his hoof away and slam it down. If you've got a horse who is only
'bad' with one back foot, this is almost always the culprit. I've worked on dozens of these horses, this is a very
painful thing for them. It's also very common in pony's who've had a hind leg pulled back and up high, it'll throw
them out of whack very quickly. A chiropractor can fix this very easily, and you'll see a difference in the way
your horse moves and comes under himself, as well as he will usually be immediately fine with having that hoof
handled again.

   Laminitis is a big cause of a horse being 'bad' about his front feet. Not every horse has it enough to be
obviously lame, they just have it bad enough they are sore. Usually these horses will lean on you a lot, they'll
lean backward, they'll jerk their feet, and when they get their foot away they will usually lean back, or back
away from you. The other foot hurts! Now it's double-weight bearing and they are very uncomfortable. The
best thing for these guys is often a big piece of foam to stand the other foot on, and frequent breaks. I never try
to trim the whole foot, just a few nipper bites and give it back for a break. Often I switch back and forth
between feet, setting up a good heel base on each foot will lessen the pain and allow them to stand better while
I finish each foot.

   Pain is one of the biggest reasons horses are 'bad' for the farrier, and a rasp across the butt doesn't help that
Felicia Payne        
2534 S 800 W
Kewanna, IN 46939