Is it a Behaviour, Pain or Training issue?

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Is it a Behaviour, Pain or Training issue?

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    01-27-2009, 05:03 AM
Is it a Behaviour, Pain or Training issue?

It seems once we fix one thing with Abby another proplem comes up. :roll:

I have been having this proplem since we got her but recently it has gotten worse.

Each time I go to pick out her hooves, she would rub her face on my back, if Mum is holding her head, she would move her leg foward making me loose grip, and if I have a strong grip she will walk foward on three legs! Its quite scary when she walks foward while your holding her hoof, and of course I let go. She has also started actually falling down onto her knee's, and she also leans.

I'm sick of it being a challange to do a everyday chore like picking out the hooves. Do you think this is a Behaviour issue [just being a brat], she is doing it out of pain or do you think she just wasnt trained to stand there for her hooves to be cleaned out?

I talk to her alot when I'm cleaning them out. I tell her to pick them up, then if she stands still and let me do it she gets 'Good girl' and a rub on the head. If she moves it around she gets 'Stand Up'.

I almost forgot...she is 5 years old, recently broken undersaddle, not sure how long she has been working on ground for. If there is anything else you would like to know just ask!
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    01-27-2009, 10:06 AM
If you are unsure if it could be cause by pain, I would get the vet out just to check her and know for sure. If she is just being a brat, I would have someone hold her facing a fence with her face very close to the fence line to prevent her from walking forward on 3 feet. No matter what, if you can, you must not let go when she starts to throw a fit because she is associating her fighting you with having her foot put down. If you are able, then keep ahold of her foot until she stands quietly. If she starts to lean on you, keep her knee bent but let her go down as far as she wants to. Most horses are not willing to lay completely down. The first few times that you do this, she will probably react something like this. 1) dropping down like she is going to lay down, 2) standing back up, 3) trying to pull her foot away. Most horses will repeat these 3 actions over and over several times before they figure out they will not win. Don't let her put any weight on you and don't try to hold her up. The instant that she stands quietly, then put the foot down (try not to just drop it) and give her a scratch. It will take some time and quite a bit of work but this should at least help. Good luck.
    01-27-2009, 05:55 PM
Thankyou for that
    01-27-2009, 06:13 PM
Maybe you can get some help. If you can't hold the leg while she is doing the dance or yanking her foot away, find someone who can.
The more you let her get away with it the longer it will take for her to learn whats expected.
I usually do it with them tied to a hitching rail or tree. When the farrier comes we hold them. Saro (one of our 2 year olds) thinks its fun to do the same thing as Abby. She has gotten better after lots of picking up and putting down of the foot, but I still had to tell my farrier to feel free to give her a poke in the belly if she started to do the falling down thing. If Abby is like her, she is fine on the rear feet, just the front she likes to test us. Saro is much better when she is tied rather than held, with an object in front of her so she can't hop off. You might try doing it that way. Good luck and don't give up
    01-27-2009, 06:22 PM
Im not game enough to try the rear feet. If she gets it out of my hands she will turn around and try to kick me. Im not strong enough to keep hold of the front feet I don't think I would be able to keep a hold of the back ones.

I don't really have anyone else to do it, my Mum isnt expreinced enough and she would loose grip too. I will try tieing her up though and see how that helps me.
    01-27-2009, 06:57 PM
My first mare always done that until one day my farrier was out and he was working on her left front and she was putting alot of weight on him. He just slipped out from under her with a grip on her hoof and bam....she hit ground. It was a rude awaking for her because he wouldnt tolerate it. Yeah it was startling but she done it as in being a brat.
    01-27-2009, 07:06 PM
Im getting the farrier out sometime, and he worked with my first horse. He isnt nasty, but he wont take no crap from them.

Someone else is cleaning out her hooves for me [they must think I'm useless :roll:] and I have no idea who...but I would like to know if she plays up with them or not but they havent told me so maybe she doesnt.
    01-27-2009, 07:50 PM
My app gelding does this. Instead of moving forward, he would go backwards. He doesn't put weight into his leg that's up or trys to lay down, but he does his best to jerk it away.

It took a while for us to be able to pick it up no problem. But I'll tell you what I did.

First, I did his rears because he had no problem with that. Then when I was going to do his front feet, I changed it up. Sometimes I would take a brush and just brush his leg, other times I would massage it. When I did finally ask him to pick it up, it would only be for a little bit. If he fought me, I held on and moved with him (if he tried taking a step) He then realized that I wasn't going anywhere, and would stand, and as soon as he would do that, I'd rub his belly, while still holding his hoof and then place it down. And then I would rub him and do it again.

He is great on his left front, but his right front still can be a problem, but we're getting there.

Also, giving him a treat when we were done with each hoof helped out too.

If you have someone that can hold her and maybe occupy her (either with a treat or some hay) she might be better (She'd be thinking about the food and not the hoof)
    01-27-2009, 08:09 PM
Yeah I have someone that could occupy her. Thankyou for your advice!
    01-27-2009, 09:59 PM
Originally Posted by CrazyChester    
Im getting the farrier out sometime, and he worked with my first horse. He isnt nasty, but he wont take no crap from them.

Someone else is cleaning out her hooves for me [they must think I'm useless :roll:] and I have no idea who...but I would like to know if she plays up with them or not but they havent told me so maybe she doesnt.
Someone is cleaning our your horse's feet and you don't know who? I would have a large problem with this especially if I hadn't asked. For all you know they could be exacerbating the issue. There are very few people I would allow to handle my personal horses without my supervision and express permission.

My method of dealing with issues like this (assuming it isn't a pain issue) is always to hold on like heck and the second they stop moving for five seconds to drop the foot, reward them and move on. If you do not feel confident doing this, however, I would enlist the help of someone.

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