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This is a discussion on Charlotte WON'T PICK UP FEET! within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    06-15-2012, 07:27 AM
Unhappy Charlotte WON'T PICK UP FEET!

Hi all. Ok my sweet, rescue grade mare Charlotte that I've had about 2 mo.s now is giving me "fits". She has been near to perfect in all her behaviors since I met her at the Impound where I volunteer. I never attempted to pick up her feet when she was still there, but was told she had been trimmed once while there. Since adopting her and bringing her to my trainer/friends to be boarded she's been wonderful with everything except picking up her feet at least for me. My farrier and my vet have both been able to get her front ones up (she's been trimmed once), but my husband, myself and my trainer/friend CANNOT get her to do so. I myself have tried everything I know to do. The vet had no suggestions. My farrier says she has "my number" and both say it's behaviorable. Last night I went COMPLETELY against my beliefs & actually slapped her on the rump for jerking her back foot from me & practically knocking me down which she has already done once before. Didn't improve anything except that I felt terribly guilty. When I attempt to pick them up she firmly plants them and pushes against me. I'm at a lost. The vet says she is NOT hurting anywhere and that she just knows I'm not strong enough to force her to get them up. I NEED to clean her hooves. The vet said she had just a little thrush. Please give advice. EXASPERATED! OC & Charlotte
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    06-15-2012, 07:40 AM
Well first of all, don't feel guilty! She doesn't feel guilty swinging her legs around at you, and she doesn't feel guilty for leaning on you, and being disrespectful. "Feeling bad" will get you nowhere.

As for actually getting her to pick her hooves up, I don't know too much about it. Ask her to pick her foot up, give her a chance. If she doesn't, lean well into her, dig her, unbalance her. Once you have her foot up, it's important to reward her by putting it back down when she is STILL. Try not to put it down when she is fighting because she will always win.

As I said, I don't know much about this, all the horses I deal with have pretty good manners. Maybe someone else can help more
    06-15-2012, 08:53 AM
Squeezing that rough patch on the Inside of the leg has never failed me . Just between my thumb and pointer finger. Usual softly they pop the foot right up. But id work with her some. You get her foot up, release and put it back down. Then of start asking for longer amounts of time. But always be in control and think before her, put it down before she tries to. Then pick back up. Eventually you should be able to hold longer and longer
    06-15-2012, 09:46 AM
My horse did the same thing and he was just messing with me. Put all his weight into the hoof I wanted to pick up, tried to pull away if and when I was successful. My farrier is great and showed me how to pick them up with the lead rope and reward for that, then we worked into asking, then digging my fingernails into his leg and it pops right up. We did this every day for about three days and now he's perfect.

Can your farrier work with you? Not sure all of them do that, but mine is more than happy to teach me how to train - keeps him safer in the future.
    06-15-2012, 10:15 AM
Molly used to do that when she had bad balance so felt unsecure on one side the offer side was fine. Omce she was more balanced she was much better at picking up her feet.
    06-15-2012, 02:12 PM
I use a rope so I'm not under them. Just loop the rope around the fetlock in a "U" shape with you holding both ends.. do not dally it! Steady pressure, just keep pulling increasing pressure until they lift the hoof, then hold it for a 2 or 3 count then lower it slowly, repeat, gradually increase the time the hoof is in the air. When they they are lifting it with little pressure begin to tap the horse on the shoulder and point at the hoof you want, just like you were tappping a person on the shoulder to get their attention, then point at the hoof then lift. Never seen it take longer than 3 days and you will literally tap-point grab the hoof. Then soon you will tap-point and catch the hoof as it comes up. It works, or has for me,everytime.

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