Breaking Mare's Habit Of Kicking/Rearing When Being Trimmed
 
 

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Breaking Mare's Habit Of Kicking/Rearing When Being Trimmed

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  • Mare only kicks when being trimmed
  • Kicking mare

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    04-28-2013, 08:08 PM
  #1
Yearling
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..
     
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    04-28-2013, 08:27 PM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by countryryder    
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..
I remember having to sedate a mare during her episodes. Anyways. Be careful when you work with her since you've seen her dark side. I went and bought a rasp and just took a small rubber hammer out with me. I tied her up, where she could pull away if needed and didn't hurt herself. I picked her feet up to begin with, just holding them. I pulled them forwards, backwards, tucked them between my legs and played patty-cake with them every time. After that, I took the small rubber hammer and while holding her feet acted like I was shoing her, increasing in pressure on the edges on her hoof where the nails would be. Even if it's not shoeing, it lets them get used to the extre handling. It takes time. I also went around tne did a tiny amount of running the rasp over her toes, not enough to make a difference, but enough to jerk her foot around a bit. Now if she kicks, bites, or rears...If she kicks at you, you can pop her under the belly to make sure she knows it's not okay. Rearing, i've found a special little tie down. It goes over their poll, and it's a bungee like material so it pulls her head back down and will tire her neck out. As for biting, pop her on the nose or the chest. All three of those are no no's.
     
    05-02-2013, 11:36 PM
  #3
Yearling
Thanks for the pointers,Aesthetic.

Any other ideas/experiences with this,folks?
     
    05-02-2013, 11:40 PM
  #4
Started
Have the farriers tried twitching her?
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    05-02-2013, 11:47 PM
  #5
Started
Has she ever been hobble trained?

Not that my horse is hobble trained, but I've been thinking and reading on it, and it sounds like the same training might help your horse learn that she must give her legs to pressure rather than deciding to have a fit. And even if it didn't fix the issue entirely, I can't imagine it not helping somewhat. And then, she's hobble trained, so that might come in handy when she's getting trimmed all by itself.
     
    05-03-2013, 12:01 AM
  #6
Banned
Ooo! My mares favorite move-- squish me or she liked to bend down so low I had to leg go of her hoof or shed crush me under her shoulder.. she would also paw at your head, knock over your stuff, paw things, paw the ground, snatch her foot away, try to run away on 3 legs, bite my butt, bite my leg, bite my boot, lol. She was awful..

Till I picked up her feet every day and scolded her when she did wrong-- shed go ta actin a fool and id poke her in the butt with the nippers and that changed her whole demeanor once she realized I could hold her front hoof and poke her butt, lol. .. now if she even flinches I just say 'quit' and she acts like a lady, lol.
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    05-03-2013, 08:01 AM
  #7
Green Broke
If you have to get her trimmed immediately for her own good (ie. To avoid lameness or damage to the hoof wall), I'd go ahead and sedate her or even put her on the ground.

I've had to do this to a couple because they were so new to being handled, and a couple others who were terribly spoiled, and the condition of their hooves needed immediate attention. It really didn't interfere with my teaching manners related to the handling of their feet and legs.

Beyond that, it is back breaking work, but constant handling of the feet increasing the time they have to tolerate having their foot held is the best way.

I have noticed, however, that on otherwise "trained" horses who highly object to having their feet trimmed or shod, there are usually signs of disrespect toward their handlers in other areas, too.
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    05-03-2013, 08:19 AM
  #8
Green Broke
I was always taught to hold on. Never let go until the horse relaxes enough to leave the foot with you and not pull or anything. If a helmet/vest/pads need worn, wear them. That's how I deal with it..It seems I always get the horses that like to kick and pull.
If the horse wants to sit down or drop their front shoulder to the ground, let them. Hold on (out of the way) and let them go down. They'll learn, hasn't failed yet for me and a few others.

In this case..I wouldn't to that route. Only hold it long enough until JUST before she explodes and put it down. Leave her alone or love on her as a reward. Keep doing that and she should learn that you do plan on putting it down, you just decide when, not her.
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    05-03-2013, 09:15 AM
  #9
Started
Ask the vet for a little drug cocktail..... just Ace is not as good. Used as a training tool, there is research to show it works. Most of the time, one non-traumatic experience is all it takes. YMMV

Good Luck!
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    05-03-2013, 10:27 AM
  #10
Green Broke
If she's really exploding this isn't going to work. You'll have to be the judge.
My grey sometimes likes to stretch her front legs out as far as she can when I do her feet. I hold onto the foot and don't let her put it down. When she gives to me and relaxes the leg, I release her foot and let her put it down.
You can also untie her as soon as she starts to pull back (gotta luv slip knots) and take her off to the side to lunge her in circles. When she starts behaving and listening, you take her back to the rail and start again.
Basically you are making the right behavior easy and the bad behavior hard.
But honestly, I would check the pain thing again. The only horse I've had rear when having their feet done, had a shoulder problem. Also, my buckskin started pulling away when I was doing her hinds about the same time she started having problems with her stifles. She'll take so much, but need breaks during a trim.
You got watch your farriers and trimmers too. Some will really crank that leg out to the side and pull it up high. Which can be painful to a horse especially if they got any joint issues.
     

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