13 year old mare picking up feet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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13 year old mare picking up feet

What's the easiest and least stressful way to teach a horse who's never ha it's feet done in the 13 years of its life to pick its feet up? We just got this mare, and when asked to pick it up (even if we don't try to hold it) she stomps, HARD.
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:11 AM
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First of all... what do her feet look like? If she's honestly never had her feet done, even if they look 'okay' (ie: have chipped / broken off) she'll need to see a farrier ASAP, it might be worth it to have a vet / farrier out, get her sedated and deal with her feet to get her comfy before dealing with the respect issue. If her feet are horrendous then definitely do the above.

My current horse was owned by a farrier, so he's an angel about his feet, I've only had the 'slightly' bratty ones that were cured with a good whack, so I'll be interested to see what other say.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:12 AM
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Soft cotton rope with a hard knot, loop it over her foot and just pull her feet til she accepts it. hobble training helps too.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:17 AM
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I agree about using the rope. If you can saddle her and you use a western saddle, you can also loop the rope around the horn to keep her from stomping it free when you ask that knee to bend.

Just getting them to give to a rope around their pastern is a huge step in the right direction...without risking you getting your foot stomped or getting kicked.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you everybody, we've been doing the rope trick, and sedating her is out of question as she is pregnant right now so we want the least amount of stress possible. She is getting a little better, although her front feet are worse than her back feet. She will give to the rope, but she likes to stomp it back down when the pressure is released. Is there anyways to get her to out her foot down a little nicer? Or will it just come with time? I've dealt with many foals and younger horses (about 2/3) but never a 13 yr old mar that stomps like she does.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 12:31 AM
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Don't just release the pressure. Ease it down. I'm sure it's harder with the rope though to have the "feel". I do it the old fashioned way and use my hand. Might take longer but that's ok.
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 06:10 PM
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Unless she is lame and can't walk, it is not an emergency. She lived 13 years without being trimmed; She is not going to die from it now.

I have big, soft cotton rope 25 feet long. I pick up feet with it on anything I want to teach to be good about their feet.

To pick up a front foot, I tie the end of the rope around the horse's pastern, put the rope up over the horse's back the pull the foot up from the other side. Really big, stout horses may need you to stand on the same side, put the rope over its back and then under its belly back to you.

I usually do this tied solid and also use the soft rope to 'sack them out'. I would not do that with this mare until her foal is weaned. If she is heavy in foal, you can put her in a BIG stall or pen with a corner. Put her nose in the corner to pick up front feet and put her butt in the corner to pick up the back feet. It will take two people; one to hold her and one to work the rope. I used to do that with visiting broodmares and never put them or their pregnancy in danger. Since you don't know much about her, you do not want to set off a big fight.

You will not have taught her anything but to fight harder if she gets the foot down before she relaxes and stops fighting. But, the instant she does quit fighting, let her have it back. After the first time that you release it at the right time, it will keep getting easier and you keep it up longer, little by little.
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-27-2013, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanstrom Horses View Post
Soft cotton rope with a hard knot, loop it over her foot and just pull her feet til she accepts it. hobble training helps too.
I agree with the rope around the foot... thats what ive used with a lot of youngsters that are just learning .. keeps me out of kick range aswell!
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