Horse lifts opposite leg when cleaning out his front hooves...
 
 

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Horse lifts opposite leg when cleaning out his front hooves...

This is a discussion on Horse lifts opposite leg when cleaning out his front hooves... within the Horse Grooming forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How do get my horse over the fear of cleaning out his hooves
  • Horse holds hind leg up when i pick out front hoof

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    06-14-2012, 03:27 PM
  #1
Foal
Horse lifts opposite leg when cleaning out his front hooves...

When picking my Geldings front hooves he likes to pick up the opposite leg putting all his weight for me to try "hold" resulting in me having to let go.

He seems to have good balance, He started doing this after I refused to let go of his hoof when he just tried jerking it out of my hand, trying to make him behave.

How can I get him to stop doing this?? I can't hold up his 1100lbs.......
     
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    06-14-2012, 03:41 PM
  #2
Trained
He's avoiding this, perhaps out of fear or pain from a past experience--might have been before you bought him.
You should factor in a good month of feet training time every day. You want it be pleasant for him when you pick up every foot. Here's what I am doing. I'm working with my 6yo QH who will freeze up if forced to do new/scary things. I tie him up for grooming and start with the back foot that is cocked. I know that he's relaxed, so I lean on his hip slightly, run my hand down to the lower back of the cannon bone, squeeze until he lifts his leg. (I lean on the shoulder for the front legs.)
PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE and petting. I work my way around asking until I get a foot, praise after each one, and make a big deal out of the effort, which ONLY has to be giving you the foot, which you just hold for about 15 seconds. Work up to holding it for longer and longer periods, then pull it forward for a few seconds, as your farrier does when he files the hoof. Sometimes I start training things like this by keeping a supply of cut carrots close by, bc it's my favorite healthy treat. He does want to please you, buy can't get past the fear. =D
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    06-14-2012, 08:37 PM
  #3
Yearling
I couldn't have said it better myself, except to point out that on occasion you will run across one who is just stubborn about hoof care. Training works the same either way :) Good Luck.
     
    06-14-2012, 08:59 PM
  #4
Yearling
When Walter does that I just hold until he goes back to standing on three legs, or I'll push his balance to make him stand on three legs, rather than the two. I don't want him to learn that when he's being silly he can get out of things.
     
    06-14-2012, 09:01 PM
  #5
Yearling
Squeezing the.. I think it's called a 'chestnut' well. The rough patch on the inside of the leg.
Every horse I've done it to pops the leg right up. But I only do it if they won't pick the leg up just by my hand around it asking, or they are being butts and yanking it down and I squeeze it to pick it back up.
     
    06-14-2012, 09:23 PM
  #6
Showing
As long as you're not on cement, suddenly drop his hoof, when you decide, not him. Often the surprise will stop that habit. You may need to do it a few times until he makes the connection.
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    06-15-2012, 05:47 PM
  #7
Foal
I can't hold him... as soon as he picks up the other leg, he starts to go down and I can't hold him up.

I have been patiently working with him for the last few weeks, but he has just been moved to a different corral a week ago so maybe I'll just continue to work with him and give him a few more weeks to adjust.

Thank you for the ideas
     
    06-15-2012, 06:16 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lindze    
I can't hold him... as soon as he picks up the other leg, he starts to go down and I can't hold him up.

I have been patiently working with him for the last few weeks, but he has just been moved to a different corral a week ago so maybe I'll just continue to work with him and give him a few more weeks to adjust.

Thank you for the ideas
I would do what saddlebag said as well. As soon as you start feeling him tense to pull that other leg up drop his hoof! He shouldn't have a chance to pick up that other foot or take too much weight off before you drop his hoof. It should catch him off guard and stop the habit. I had a horse who would do this as well and after some "scares" where he thought he was going to fall (his own fault) he stopped.
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    06-15-2012, 07:17 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Setting aside all the training and desensitization that's been suggested:

He is either in discomfort now or has been in the past as "Corporal" suggested.

My 25 yr old has hock/ankle arthritis that isn't getting any better as he ages. I trim him myself as he has gone from handing the tools to the trimmer to saying "this hurts, please hurry. He will indeed, pick up the opposite leg as an offering - he doesn't want to misbehave but some days he hurts worse than others; something my old damaged and arthritic back can relate to.

My 17 yr old foundered in March - 8 - 9 degrees rotation on the LF and 5 degrees on the RF. Either way it hurt for him to stand on three legs but for quite awhile, he would offer up the opposite hoof in terms of which leg was the least painful to stand on. Again -- a peace offering.

There could even be something wrong somewhere else in the skeletal system that is making him uncomfortable.

I would be intent on thoroughly eliminating any pain issues before "re-training" as re-training won't do a bit of good if the horse hurts:)
     
    06-15-2012, 07:44 PM
  #10
Foal
I tap the leg by the fetlock three times then squeeze the chestnut. When they start putting effort into picking the foot up I give them a cookie. Eventually you just lean down and they pick it up or just tap it once. I am careful to reward only when it's getting better otherwise it will stay the same or get worse.

Is your horse lifting the leg from fear or offering it to you? You don't have to be on the side the leg is on to clean it! Just take what he offered and teach at other times.
     

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