This horse's extreme reaction to a farrier indicates how traumatizing horse abuse can be.
Abuse can do terrible things to a horse. Some horses never seem to forget the darkest days of their lives, and that fear haunts them, even when they're in the kindest of hands. Some horses can, with time, move beyond their fears, but every once in a while something will trigger a memory, and you'll see the effects of past trauma surface.
For this horse, that past trauma was caused by a farrier.
This is William, a horse who has clearly been through some very dark times. As a result, William is utterly terrified of farriers, and of having his hooves shod. William's owner explained that he hoped, with training, William's fear might dissipate, but without almost full anesthesia, shoeing William wasn't possible. William's owner had even taken to trimming the horse himself, but physical issues meant that William really needed front shoes.
This video was taken when a trusted farrier arrived to attempt to work with William. Ultimately he was unable to shoe the horse, and had to give up.
Sadly, horse abuse happens every day, and it can have lifelong lasting effects. Working with horses who have previously been abused can be both tricky and dangerous, and horses with serious fear and trust issues require talented handlers.
Helping a horse past previous trauma takes time, patience, and understanding. It's not a task that just anyone is cut out for, and while some horses can be helped, others, like William here, may always live in fear of certain aspects of life. For these horses, a knowledgeable owner who can make adjustments to give them the best life possible is a must.
Have you ever worked with a horse that had experienced past trauma? Tell us in the comments below.
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