Stubborn when cleaning hooves - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 10-20-2012, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: SoCal
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Stubborn when cleaning hooves

My horse is kind of a jerk when I pick his hooves - Usually, he'll lift three of them easily, but he'll pick one leg that he's just going to keep grounded no matter what. I lean into him, but no matter what, he won't budge. It's not one particular leg, he'll just pick whichever one he doesn't feel like lifting.

Any tips?
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-20-2012, 05:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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Take the hoof pick and give him a rap of increasing sharpness and annoyance on the fetlock/pastern and bumb his body [not lean, he can just lean back].
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-20-2012, 05:59 PM
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I like to give a little squeze on the chestnut.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-20-2012, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I didn't think of that! And leaning definitely wasn't helping - he was pushing back and it was like this little tug-of-war game. Not fun!
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-20-2012, 06:13 PM
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Louisiana
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Squeezing the chestnut works, if my horse won't pick it up with a little squeeze I would squeeze harder and if he still didn't do it I would start twisting it. Praise when it comes up and sometimes a treat if he's especially good. Now I only have to run my hand gently down the inside of his leg.

My horse used to lean on me too until I started letting him fall or shoving him back REALLY hard so he'd go off balance. I think geldings lean on each other like a game? I guess I let him know that it wasn't a game.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 03:28 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Michigan
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My horse stopped picking up his feet for me for some reason this past summer. I have no idea why, I guess he just decided one day that he didn't wanna do it anymore. I leaned, I petted, I poked, I tugged the hair on his fetlocks, I pinched the chestnut... nothing!

He wasn't sore, he wasn't acting up or being feisty, he just stopped. Before this incident, he was an angel about it. He would pick them up when I asked, not grabbed, but just verbally asked. So when this started, I was really puzzled.

Finally, I said that's it... If you aren't going to pick up your feet, you're going to move them. I made him back up a few steps, then tried again. If he was still stubborn, I made him walk up a few steps. I repeated this game over and over and over again. I never got angry, never yelled, just back and fourth, back and fourth. Eventually, he got the idea that he was going to dance in the aisle or pick up those footsies. I guess dancing was worse than having his feet picked. ;)

He's back to picking them up when I ask, he's such a good boy!

"A rider who would trade partnership for obedience
will have to settle for neither."
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 07:31 AM
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Tapping with the hoof pick works Every time for me.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 12:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Hmmmm....!!! Let's take a step back and think about WHY your horse may not like to pick up his foot.
Is it really a behavior issue? Make sure to rule out pain issues first before you label your horse a jerk or a stubborn (*^&%&&.

Some horses refuse to pick up one foot when the other foot or leg is sore bearing all the weight while you clean the foot.

Give your horse the benefit of the doubt .

"My horses are my friends, not my slaves."
Dr. Reiner Klimke
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 03:00 PM
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When I was training my young geldings to pick up their feet, I'd leave them to stand tied and relax. When I see one foot cocked, I'd start with that one first bc he's already balancing on the other 3 feet. I lean on my horse to get him balanced on the other 3 feet before I run my hand down the leg and squeeze either the chestnut or the cannon bone.
Something I'm about to try in the training ring will help, too. Using a rope and isolating each foot and pulling the balance to the side. This is prep for hobbling and getting the horse to wait for you when he gets a foot caught, instead of panicking.

A Jack and Three Queens, the latest book by James C. Dedman,
Hope that you fall in love with "Trot", like I did!
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-22-2012, 07:39 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Sometimes it is the placement of the horse which is why they don't pick up their feet. If the hoof you are asking to be placed up is in front of his body, they he won't do it because he will have trouble holding himself stable. When my horse simply will not pick up his leg I ask a friend to back him up and catch his leg, only if I reaaally neeeeeeed to.
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