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Don't Use Dale Blomquist. Get a Real Farrier!

It's now been six weeks since my gelding, Murphy, had his feet butchered – oops, I mean trimmed – by Dale Blomquist, a farrier in North Branch, Minnesota.

You can read the start of the whole story as to why I had a lame horse after a hoof trim but suffice it to say this "farrier" hacked my horse's hooves so short – and at horrible, mismatched angles – that he was dead lame on both front feet for weeks.

My gelding's getting better, but it's a long, slow process: he's on stall rest and getting Bute every single day. I've recently started letting him out into a small, unused portion of the pasture, so the snow isn't packed down and hard. He's still lame on his right front (his club foot) but IS moving much better...

SIX WEEKS after a hoof "trim" by Dale Blomquist. Why on earth is my horse still lame?

I grew up with horses, so this ain't my first rodeo. Way back when we had a farrier who'd trim our horses too short and they'd be gimpy/tender-footed for about 3 days after every trim. We got rid of him (and now refer to him as "Larry the Butcher") compared to THAT, this hoof trim hack job is beyond my scope of ever reasoning with this quack of a farrier ever again, no matter how many people said – at the beginning of this entire debacle – "give him another chance."

Even considering that this farrier pulled Murphy's shoes for the season and then it sleeted and the ground froze two days later...there's NO reason this horse should be lame for so long, except he was cut MUCH too short.

Another note about the angles of Murphy's hooves – the last time I had the vet out, she even mentioned that his feet were a) still very short (even for 5 weeks out; she said the farrier probably stunted the hoof growth by trimming the hooves far too short) and b) at vastly different angles to one another. She got out her hoof gauge and while Murphy's left front was at 55°, his right front (the club foot, which doesn't grow as much toe) was at 60°!

You can clearly see the difference in hoof angles in the picture (3 days after the trim), so it's not as though his hoof is growing out at that weird angle. Dale had taken off so much toe and left so much heel that Murphy was practically tip-toeing on that right front hoof. While I understand a slight variation between hooves is normal, I do NOT accept a five-degree difference; especially when the hoof that was at much too steep of an angle was his club foot!

Even MORE importantly, I had shown Dale the x-rays of Murphy's feet – given to me by the previous owner; they were taken 2 years ago of both front feet when they were worried about his club foot – but this "farrier" obviously has no knowledge of what a horse's bone structure should be, since Murphy's club foot also has a deviation in the coffin bone. Also in this x-ray, it was clearly laid out how he should be trimmed: less heel, a certain angle, etc. All the information was right there on the x-ray. And yet Mr. Blomquist STILL hacked off Murphy's club foot hoof to the point where I'm thinking the coffin bone had virtually NO sole underneath it.

Thankfully my vet had a pair of nippers in her truck so she carefully trimmed Murphy's heels to at least be even (she got them both to 52° in less than 3 minutes) and take pressure off his toes. The next day he was a tad sore from the stretch in his tendons, but a couple days later he was trotting around in his pen – the first I'd really seen him move "freely" since the hoof trim in November.

SO, not only did this farrier (Dale Blomquist) chop my horse's hooves beyond too short; he couldn't even get them even close to the correct angles – completely ignoring (or totally ignorant of) the x-rays I showed him minutes before the trim. PLUS, he'd told me before he trimmed my horse that he himself had a mare with a club foot so he was very familiar with club feet and how to trim them.

Evidently not.

You can read different details and more of why NOT to use Dale Blomquist as your farrier, but in short, don't let this man anywhere near your horse – this is not the first time something like this has happened (to my knowledge it's happened to 3 other horses at the same barn: the miniature horse that was trimmed immediately before mine was dead lame on all 4 feet for three weeks afterwards). If you don't want a lame horse, choose a real farrier to do the job right.


Anonymous said...

Not true dale is a real farrier and he was just doing what a good farrier does ; sees a horse with bad feet that NEEDS shoes and trimmed him for them... Communication between him and this girl was bad but he tried his best and has NEVER ever messed up on my 2 horses before. We have 8 borders, 25 horses here trimmed by him... Including minis. I have had 6 vets recommend him from different clinics.... Farriers are allowed mistakes and he has made a mends and apologized for it. But there's just one bad review versus Hundreds Of good reviews... I'd trust the ones giving good reviews :)

Sarah said...

Yes, "Anonymous," farriers are allowed mistakes. Mistakes such as, "I took a bit too much toe off" or "Should've taken more heel off" ... NOT looking at x-rays specifically denoting a horse has a slightly deviated coffin bone and then HACKING OFF ALL THE TOE AND SOLE. This horse's coffin bone was almost poking through the sole.

He does NOT need shoes in winter; he needs a farrier who knows how in hell to trim a horse properly; not just hack off as much hoof as possible. Which is what Dale does.

Go ahead and use him if you don't mind playing roulette -- your horse could be lame like mine was for THREE MONTHS.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Yeah your right I will use him cuz I don't buy a horse who's not trained at all and a bully and has bad feet then go around claiming that I'm a good rider but yet couldn't pick a good horse? Then go around and claim he's starving when I use like 50lbs a day of grain that's not for me for him... Ok I'll use dale :)

Sarah said...

That's odd...I could've sworn the topic at hand was Dale the farrier and whether or not to use him (I obviously never will again; I'll also tell anyone who asks about him what he did to my horse).

Since you've decided on taking a tangent to the original conversation, I must say you're doing a stellar job representing Lakeview Farms.

Anonymous said...

I'm not representing lakeview I just know some people are happy with dale and I never mentioned lakeview once I was just commenting on how if your horse has bad feet and a farrier trims them he will trim them for what he thinks is best and IS best for the horse... After all they went to school for it not you. it's like telling a vet how to do his job... Not smart. So he made a mistake but you are over dramatic on it.

Sarah said...

You didn't have to mention you're from/at Lakeview -- you seem to be very knowledgeable about how many boarders use Dale as their farrier. At Lakeview. Also, I never told anyone at the barn Dale apologized for his hack-job. The only people who knew about would be him, the barn owner & myself. Strange that YOU know it if you're not from Lakeview.

Also, let's (again) get another thing straight: my gelding doesn't have bad feet. What GAVE him bad feet was the butcher-job by Dale Blomquist. Thankfully, my horse is on the mend & my current farrier says he's recovering nicely and has nice, strong hooves. In fact, he mentioned we're lucky the horse didn't end up with major deviations in his coffin bone and/or laminitis from the trim by Dale.

You're right, I'm not a farrier. Neither are you, by the way. All I know is after using Dale Blomquist ONE time my horse was lame for 3 months. I haven't been able to ride my horse since November 2012. Pretty sure I don't have to be a farrier to ascertain NOT to use Dale ever again.

It's sad to think you're a horse owner and you think I'm "over dramatic" about a farrier laming my horse for several months. 6 weeks after Dale butchered my horse, new x-rays showed my gelding only had the slightest amount of sole protecting his coffin bone from the ground. That, my dear, is a big $@%^ deal.