yr. old Arabian Gelding. Bay. Appx. 14.2 hands. Baxter was purchased
when he was 6 months old and has had only one owner. He is halter
needs a special home. He has had no training and would require
someone with patience and understanding. He has not been with
other horses for many years, and socializing must be taken into
consideration. Kind, but spoiled.
Update 3/18/2010 - I LOVE this farrier! He has such patience. Horses that are usually hard to handle when having their feet done just melt like butter with this guy. He is constantly talking to them, laying hands on them, giving them time to rest, thanking them, etc. I called him a few weeks ago specifically for Baxter. Baxter is quite difficult to trim. ALWAYS has been. Baxter’s feet were getting long and I really wanted to get someone out that could deal with a head case. Mike LaGrone from Oklahoma was the only farrier we ever had that could take care of Baxter’s feet without this horse losing his mind, lying down, trying to flip over, etc. Mike no longer comes to our area and other farriers were too rough, impatient, and Baxter would just get worse. I am able to to pick Baxter’s feet up, clean them out, etc., but as soon as you hand the lead rope to someone else it becomes a trainwreck.
TIER friend Debarngoddess recommended this farrier (Val Dean) and I found out he also does our Vet’s horses! So I called him, explained the situation with Baxter (I had called other farriers and they declined to work with him) and he said “Let’s give it a try.” Val Dean came out when there was still mud in the pens and I was sure it was going to be a slip sliding fest. I put the halter on Baxter and then handed the lead to the farrier. I tend to get anxious when someone is working with one of the fractious horses even though I know not to bring that feeling to the table. So, I told Val Dean that I was stepping out of the pen so he could work. He simply said “Thank You”.
Never once did Baxter escalate into his wild eyed, freaked out, I gotta get outta here state of mind! He did test Val Dean and it just didn’t work. It took some time and Baxter did take off a couple times, but Val Dean didn’t yank on the lead rope and try to manhandle him. He just let him run off (which amazingly wasn’t far) and then walked up to him, talking all the time, and brought him back to where his farrier tools were. By the time he got to Baxter’s hind feet the drama was over and it went smoothly.
Val Dean taught me to bring something different to the table when dealing with Baxter (or other flighty horses). Somewhere inside me is the pity for their past lives and I subconciously make excuses for bad behavior which causes me to lose patience after awhile and I will walk away. I try not to do this, but it is there and the horses know it. They feed off of it. Val Dean SHOWED me that Baxter (and a couple of the others) aren’t the poor scared horses they profess to be. These are usually very smart horses that have learned to manipulate a situation by acting a fool and I will make excuses. No more. Baxter has changed dramatically since I changed. Simple......and I didn’t realize I was doing this to him.