A Lesson in Winning


Last week my dad had horses that needed trimmed plus a few that needed new shoes. The thing is however, he doesn’t do any of his own farrier work anymore.  I think he may or may not have mentioned the “I’m getting too old” phrase. 

He’s been using his “Old Card” a lot lately.  Stop Dad, you’re making me feel old!




So anyway, the shoer arrived and proceeded to do his thing.




This guy, in addition to being a third or fourth generation Montana cattle kid and calf/steer roper/etc., raises excellent stock dogs.  I got my Elsie dog from him when I still lived in Idaho and he was still in grade school (I really do feel old now!).  He’s also not too shabby at handling horses especially the ones that require a little more patience than normal.   Not a bad trait to have in a farrier right?




He totally couldn’t have done it without me on this day though, I just want to point that out here. 




You see, I “headed” each horse for him (when I wasn’t taking pictures of him struggling with those hard hooves) and kept them “distracted” so the horse would feel compelled to stand better for him.  He had just asked me to help with the nippers when I snapped the picture above.  He was having a heck of a time.  I told him, “No”, because then who’d take pictures of me helping you do your job?




If a horse is “fussy” he will give him a break by putting him away after he finishes, say, both hind feet, he’ll then start another horse while the one being given a “time-out” stands in his stall and thinks about it and/or just plain chills out.




He comes back to the fussy horse after he finishes the one he is working on. 




And if that one needs a time out as well he’ll just switch one for the other and carry on. 




I wonder now if I should’a asked him how many times he figures he’s missed the nail and hit his thumb.  Naw…probably not.




He’s a smart man, that shoer.   You see, not only is it always a good idea imperative to always be the winner when dealing with horses, you gotta make it a positive experience for them so they’ll really learn something from it, otherwise you’ll probably never earn their respect or trust.




The End.

P.S.  Totally missing my Photoshop Elements program these days!  Are you guys noticing a difference or what?


15 thoughts on “A Lesson in Winning

    1. I know it’s weird but think of it like this:
      It’d be like poking something sharp through the tip of your fingernail. They don’t feel a thing.
      The young ones just don’t like the hammer noise or having to hold their foot up for any length of time.


  1. Totally impressed with the shoer AND the photographer! Great pix…..No doubt the horses – if they’re relaxed anyway – enjoy getting a mani-pedi just like we do! I’m not sure those photos could have been any better really…..color is spot-on, closeups great, etc. Nice!!

    Pam (and Sam)


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