Breaking Mare's Habit Of Kicking/Rearing When Being Trimmed
My one mare is an absolute cow when it comes to having her feet trimmed.I've had her just a few months,and it took numerous tries with different farriers,before she got a complete trim job,and even then it's a very 'basic' trim job.
When I got her,I was told that 'Yup,she's good for the farrier,never a problem,except for one hind she tries to pull away sometimes." Her feet were very over grown,so I was suspicious,but she let me pick up and hold/handle all four with no problem,and all the horses on the property were needing a trim,so didn't think too much more of it..
Well,turns out she's an absolute terror when it comes to being trimmed;biting,kicking,rearing,pulling feet away,dancing around,you name it she tries it! Needless to say,after the first episode,which only resulted in one front being partially done before the farrier quit,it was back to square one on Feet Handling and Manners 101. After using different approaches,having her checked over for pain issues,consulting with others who watched her behavior,ect.,I would say it's more of a defiance issue than a fear or pain issue.She behaves fine until she decides she doesn't want to do this anymore,then it's fight on! If you watch her,she'll be completely chill,then it's like she suddenly decides,I don't want my foot being held anymore, and then the tantrum starts.Sometimes it's within seconds,other times she'll wait until the foot's almost done.I've been working with her,but I'm not making much progress in regards to the rearing when her fronts are being done,and kicking when the backs are being handled.She'll be good one day,and back to square one the next.
Any ideas on how to break these habits? I've never had to deal with the rearing issue in this kind of situation before,so not sure what else to try..
Last edited by countryryder; 04-28-2013 at 08:12 PM.