I’m going to humiliate my poor little guy here, but it’s too hilarious not to share. The scariest thing my horse sees is… wait for it… his own front feet. He stands like a saint for the farrier, until the front feet go up on the stand, and it is absolutely horrifying for him-snorting (it’s more like a purr of sorts) and breathing hard, while trying desperately to behave. We have tested this theory, thinking, surely, this can’t be true. My ever so patient farrier held his hoof on his knee thinking it’s the stand upsetting him- nope. This wouldn’t be quite so amusing if he were a youngster, but he’s 15 and gets his feet done every five weeks. My farrier and I always get a good giggle as we try to keep his eyes on something other than his twinkle toes. Bless him…
I’ve even wondered if maybe the stretch is too much for him, but he gets regular chiropractic and acupuncture. When the chiropractor stretches his front legs, same reaction. I often have to distract his attention so he doesn’t look, then he can handle it, telling us this isn’t pain. His little bug eyes when I stretch him before a ride are just pitiful.
The worst of the worst was about 8 years ago, and the little guy got his first abscess. We had to pull his shoe so I tried the old fashioned diaper wrap to protect his hoof. Mind = blown.
I’ve often brainstormed how to desensitize a horse to this, thinking maybe he hates feet (I get that, I hate feet), but he doesn’t spook at anyone else’s feet. Just his own.
We love our horses for their flaws, not in spite of them 🙂