02-07-2011, 10:51 AM
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Well, I can give you a bit of advice on the feet. I often am put in the position of training the newer horses how to accept us picking their hooves and such. Honestly, it just comes down to being persistent...and has taught me a whole lot about patience. =-)
With some horses I work with, I know it's going to be a fight from the start. What I've started doing is blocking the horse's leg from moving with my closest leg/knee. When the horses try to put their feet back down, it is usually with a forward motion that starts with the knee (so they can get you to let go of their foot). If you block it, they can't really get any forward motion.
However, the best way is to start small if you are trying to desensitize a horse to something. Start by picking up a foot and holding it for a few seconds. If the horse doesn't resist, set it back down. If the horse resists, you can't let go. You have to hold on until they stop resisting. The moment they stop, you can let it go. Timing is very important. The instant they do what you ask, you give them the release. After that, it's just a matter of increasing the length of time until they don't have a problem with it anymore.
Hopefully that helps! I'm sure the more knowledgeable people will have some good advice for you too....