Hind Hoof Cleaning, HELP - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 06-01-2013, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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Hind Hoof Cleaning, HELP

Let me come clean, I am a little scared of picking hind hooves. Every time i've done it my horse does NOT move or jitters around, anyone else.
What is the best way to pick hind hooves
Thanks, HorseAround

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post #2 of 12 Old 06-01-2013, 09:55 PM
Green Broke
 
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Your horse does not move or anything for you or does he for you but not anyone else? Just a little confused on your post.

If he doesn't move for you, you just need to practice more to build your confidence. If he moves for you but not others, he senses your nervousness and is getting nervous from it.
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-01-2013, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, I think it is my fault freaking out about it and my horse can sense it :)

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post #4 of 12 Old 06-01-2013, 11:01 PM
Green Broke
 
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Always stand right against his rear leg. I mean literally with your body touching him. If by chance he should kick, you will be pushed away instead of getting a full kick. Slide your hand down the back of his leg. Give him the cue to lift his leg. I say that because everyone uses different ones. I use the "knee" on the back of the leg. I'll squeeze and then turn it until they lift. If that doesn't work, I'll squeeze the tendons above the hock. Others may pull on the feathers or something else.

When he does lift, hold his hoof in one hand and take a step or two to behind him and rest his leg on your knee/thigh. Then you can clean it like normal.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-02-2013, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you soo much

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post #6 of 12 Old 06-02-2013, 11:59 AM
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And when you release the foot, don't just drop it. Set it down.
Your horse will appreciate it. : )
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-02-2013, 03:32 PM
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Also, never make a V with your hand on the back legs. Using a V shape where thumb is on one side of the leg and all fingers are on the other, when attempting to pick up hinds? Can result in broken thumb, massive bruising, if horse pulls or kicks, as all of the force is towards the rear in the hinds.

On the hinds, you need to cup the leg, so fingers and thumb is on same side, which will keep you from your thumb being dislocated.

V'ing on the fronts is fine, as horses strike forwards, and will pull leg out of your hand.
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post #8 of 12 Old 06-02-2013, 04:49 PM
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And don't be alarmed if your horse lifts a back leg and then pulls it up towards his belly. They usually like to stretch a bit. While still holding the leg, I like to reach over and scratch the other rear leg, it usually cues them to relax the one you are holding (an old farrier taught me that trick). Just do it a lot and you'll be fine!
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-02-2013, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Also, never make a V with your hand on the back legs. Using a V shape where thumb is on one side of the leg and all fingers are on the other, when attempting to pick up hinds? Can result in broken thumb, massive bruising, if horse pulls or kicks, as all of the force is towards the rear in the hinds.

On the hinds, you need to cup the leg, so fingers and thumb is on same side, which will keep you from your thumb being dislocated.

V'ing on the fronts is fine, as horses strike forwards, and will pull leg out of your hand.

Hmmm...guess I've been doing it wrong my whole 40-odd years of picking up rear hooves. And never even so much as a strained finger from all the kicking horses I've dealt with over all those years. /shrug


The following is how I was taught, and how I teach others, to teach a horse to calmly pick up all 4 feet with a simple voice cue. It works just as well on front and rear feet. Remember to reward with a quick release of pressure if he even shifts his weight the first couple times you try. Weight shifts, stop and rub the shoulder or hip for a second or two and then do it again. Ask for a little more each time until he willingly lifts the foot for you. Some will get it in one setting, some will take many repetitions, but it has worked on every horse I've ever had.

I always start facing the rear with my hand nearest the horse resting on the their shoulder for front foot, hip for rear foot. I use a voice cue of "give me your foot" as I slide my hand down the outside of the upper leg. I gently lean into the horse to give them the idea I want them to shift their weight to the opposite foot. It also helps me feel instantly when they start to lift the leg. That way I can be ready to accept and hold the foot (or get my head out of the way if it feels like a strike/kick is coming!!). Just a little contact, don't lean hard, your horse will laugh at you when s/he steps away quickly and you overbalance and fall on your face...

If the hoof hasn't been lifted by the time my hand passes the hock joint, I up the asking pressure. I wrap my hand around the back of the leg and press my fingertips into the inside tendon groove and my thumb into the outer groove of the lower leg. I apply a firm squeezing/pinching pressure as I continue slowly and firmly running my hand down the back of the leg.

If my hand reaches the fetlock without the foot being lifted yet, I use the point of my hoof pick and just start pecking at the rear of the fetlock joint. Not hard enough to draw blood of course, but certainly firmly enough to be annoying. Most of them will swish their tail and sway their hips around before finally giving up and just picking up the foot. Don't release the pressure on the tail swish or hip sway...that's protesting, not acquiescing. Wait for the hoof to at least move a bit before giving them a release and rub.

Be warned, a few of them can be very stubborn. It may take quite a long bout of pecking and then you may get a quickly jerked up hoof!! Pay attention and keep your head out of the way.

Once they have it figured out, with a bit of repetition just the voice cue and hip touch will have a hoof waiting for you in mid-air.
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post #10 of 12 Old 06-03-2013, 01:16 AM
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FaydesMom, I don't have as much time in as you. Maybe we're just lucky because I do the same.

All the horses that I've worked with that kick will do so before you even get your hand slid down the leg. If that's the case, I'll use a rope to get them used to being touched and picking up their hoof.
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