Odd behavior in young horse when picking up fronts
 
 

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Odd behavior in young horse when picking up fronts

This is a discussion on Odd behavior in young horse when picking up fronts within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • How to get your young horse used to picking feet up for farrier
  • How do i start picking up my young horses feet

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  • 1 Post By Annanoel
  • 1 Post By DraftyAiresMum

 
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    10-12-2012, 07:50 PM
  #1
jmc
Foal
Odd behavior in young horse when picking up fronts

My gelding is about 3.5 years old. He's very good about picking up his feet, and was for the farrier, until I moved barns. He did not like the farrier at the new barn at all!

One of the things he started to do was to fidget when a front was picked up. He'd hold it up willingly, but after a few minutes, he'd start creeping his back feet underneath himself, then start sinking. Since this was combined with other behaviors, I thought it was an avoidance behavior. He did it with me for a few days after that first trim, then stopped for a while.

I no longer use that farrier, but he's persisted in this behavior. I was pulling a wrap off his foot in the field last night, and ignored the sinking, until he finally dropped to his knee!

Again, he'd be fine for a minute or two, then start shuffling his hinds, then start sinking. He's doing this pretty consistently now.

He doesn't appear to be lame, or have any particular heat. Maybe - maybe - just a very slight warmth on the inside of his knees (and hocks).

So my question is - have you seen this as an avoidance behavior, or do you think there might be a problem somewhere?
     
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    10-12-2012, 07:52 PM
  #2
Yearling
You said pulling a wrap off his front foot? Was he injured at all? It could be some sort of pain relating to the behavior, I always rule out pain first when one of my horses acts unusal.
     
    10-12-2012, 07:59 PM
  #3
Foal
Rule out pain first, of course :)
If it is not a pain related issue...
I'd give him a pretty firm whack and a "No!".
My horse did this when he would get tired of standing on three legs for my farrier. Farrier got after him a couple times and the problem was solved. He'll try it now and then but my farrier goes "Ahhhhh..." and he knocks it off pretty quick! :)
     
    10-12-2012, 08:04 PM
  #4
Yearling
I do agree there! My little colt would do the same thing, obviously not in pain he was just tired of standing there. Instead of falling though he would lay his head on the farriers back and put all his weight into it and try to knock him over lol. Just enforce it and do NOT let him go down, then he wins and it becomes a game to him.
AndersonEquestrian likes this.
     
    10-12-2012, 08:08 PM
  #5
Showing
My 3.5yo did the same thing when I first got him (his feet hadn't been handled in almost a year, though). I'd just step out from under him and let him fall. He finally realized that I wasn't going to hold him up and I wasn't going to react to his stupidity, so he just stopped doing it.
Annanoel likes this.
     
    10-12-2012, 08:09 PM
  #6
jmc
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annanoel    
You said pulling a wrap off his front foot? Was he injured at all? It could be some sort of pain relating to the behavior, I always rule out pain first when one of my horses acts unusal.
Oh sorry. He has some seedy toe in one foot, vet carved out a largish chunk of hoof, it gets treated and wrapped - but that's the foot I'm holding up, so it's not the problem.

I've become reluctant to get after him about it until I'm sure it's not a pain issue.
     
    10-12-2012, 11:33 PM
  #7
Yearling
Are you sure he has not got a case of low grade laminitis - what you are describing is a symptom of laminitis.
     
    10-13-2012, 12:01 AM
  #8
jmc
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnavas    
Are you sure he has not got a case of low grade laminitis - what you are describing is a symptom of laminitis.
Not impossible, but not likely either. He's young, on controlled feed (grazing muzzle, no concentrates, limited hay), and has no other signs. That said, keeping his weight down is a challenge, even with 24/7 grazing muzzle.

It's something I'm going to ask the vet about though.
     
    10-13-2012, 12:30 AM
  #9
Started
My boy used to do this if you picked up his right front hoof first, after I just let him fall a few times and didn't hold his weight up he was fine, still don't know entirely why he did it though because it was only if I picked up that particular hoof first
     

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