The "Falcon" story is long I suppose. He has always had issues from the beginning. But still he was great on the trail once I got on him.
Issue 1: His feet. 1/2012 One hour into a shoeing experience with him standing quietly and the farrier still didnt have his shoes fully on him but he was standing quietly until the water truck drove by and spooked him. He danced off of the mat and slipped, ended up stepping on his left newly applied shoe (that still needed more nails in it) The shoe slid sideways and he must have gotten jabbed with a nail? no clue.
But after that? there was no holding him for the shoeing. He tried rearing several times. I lunged him then brought him back. Same result. Another farrier was at the facility and saw my farriers plight and tried to help. Between the two of them they finally got him done but not without using a twitch. And not without dodging several rearing episodes...the total episode lasted 3 hours. I would have had them quit except that we had on 4 shoes which were only partially nailed on.
1 month in to his training he supposedly got a stone bruise or something and was lame. The vet came out, took some X-rays and ascertained that he had minimal ringbone issues. Several injections were given in the area for swelling and pain relief. Also, the new farrier had basically trimmed his feet down very short and it seemed to take forever for them to grow out as they were working on getting a better angle on his feet. Finally his feet were looking pretty good...
On my last visit to see him last week he had BAR shoes on the fronts and no shoes on the backs! Why? how? WHAT??? The trainer had not communicated with me at all. Then told me I owed her money for shoeing. I told her no-that the farrier had billed me and I had paid him directly for the previous shoeing but this BAR shoe thing was new and I wasn't interested in paying for something I did not know about.
When I inquired about the back feet and no shoes at all, she told me that she had not been there for the shoeing and that the farrier wouldn't shoe his back feet without her being there.
That was a red flag for me-I asked her to explain and she said "well, he is really really good with his front feet but not always with his backs and I have to give him a sedative sometimes to do his backs"
It was all I could do not to be enraged. So instead of re-educating Falcon she drugged him.
Lovely, just lovely! NOT!
I have re-read my emails to her about what type of training/desensitization that I thought he needed.
She assured me that she handled those types of behaviors. I spoke to several people who she had conditioned horses for and they gave her kudos-but what I realize now is that she didn't train any of those horses. She was only conditioning them for endurance...so...dumb me...
I am too trusting AND I have previously had horses trained in Virginia and PA. I sent my horse 4 hours away to be trained and 6 weeks later went back-went for a ride-then took my "ponies" home.
Then of course we had to "learn" each other...but at least I had honest/good trainers.
ok...this is already too long for issue 2. So I guess I will end here and now and ponder it further.
Any advice gladly taken.