Cleaning hooves... :S - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Question Cleaning hooves... :S

My mare is great when it comes to cleaning hooves. She lifts her leg before I even get to it and holds it calmly for me. But the hind ones... She really loves to put ALL her weight on the leg I'm holding. And she is heavy! Sometimes when she lifts her hind leg, she puts it close to her belly and it's hard for me to get it in the right position. I'm cleaning her hooves every day, twice a day and I have her for 3 years. It's always the same. Is there anything I could do to teach her not to put so much weight on me? I'm going to college in 2 years and mom won't be able to hold her hoof to clean it, when I'll be gone. That gets me worried

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post #2 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 06:35 PM
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I used to know a mare who'd do this, & her owner would growl, "MARE!", & she'd stop! :)

In case that doesn't work, you could drop her hoof, starting with an inch, which'll make her feel like she wants to stand on her own 3 feet. I'd drop it inch by inch if necessary, to dropping it completely, as needed. It's not pretty, but then her leaning on you isn't pretty, either.
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 09:50 PM
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When she lifts her foot for you, grab the hoof itself--not the leg--and make her bend at the pastern joint but cupping the hoof into her leg. Then lift straight up so that her hock bends as well. This won't hurt her in the slightest, but it should help with the issues you're having.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-10-2011, 10:08 PM
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It sounds like you are trying to clean her hind feet with it right under her? You need to pull her leg a little behind her, not let her pull it up to her tummy; that is a VERY dangerous position for you, especially if she gets spooked...I could ramble off any number of things that could happen if she were to move suddenly, but I won't for now.

This is definitely a training issue. When she picks up her foot, you have to start slightly extending it backwards...if you find that she pulls it away, fine, as soon as she gets it on the ground yield her hips; if she want's to fuss, then get something 'productive' about it done. After you've done some yielding both directions, and maybe some shoulder yields just for good measure, go back to what you were doing; ask for the foot, when she lifts, gently retract it backwards...if she does so willingly, for the sake of simply retraining her mind, release, and pat her. Rinse, wash, repeat...until she lifts those back feet nicely, and willingly how YOU want, not how she wants. It will not take sweat, blood, and tears to retrain her mind...but it will take several meaningful, and consistant lessons, as well as teaching who ever will be responsible for her when you leave in how to deal with it, should she decide to revert for a short time. Usually once you have retrained them, they don't quickly revert; they sometimes test, but the reminder training will quickly set them back where they need to be (thus the reason you need to show who ever will be handling her, how to deal with this).

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post #5 of 10 Old 04-11-2011, 06:59 AM
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First of all, some horses needs some time to adjust to the hoof being picked up (to re-balance itself). So I'd let her stand for 10-20 secs when she picks it up, then grab a hoof/lower leg and gently push (extent) it back, keeping leg under the belly (don't try to pull it out like farriers do sometime). This way she'll balance herself better. How long do you have her? For some horses it takes quite long time to learn how to balance and keep a leg properly for the person.

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post #6 of 10 Old 04-11-2011, 01:15 PM
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All advice has been good pieces of the puzzle; I'll just add to make sure the horse isn't scared/green, but is just leaning on you because it's physically easier.

If the horse is scared or green at holding up its hoof, then naturally your response'd be different.
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-11-2011, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Well that's a lot of advices Thanks :)
So:
Quote:
I used to know a mare who'd do this, & her owner would growl, "MARE!", & she'd stop! :)
I tried this before, but it doesn't really help.

Quote:
In case that doesn't work, you could drop her hoof, starting with an inch, which'll make her feel like she wants to stand on her own 3 feet. I'd drop it inch by inch if necessary, to dropping it completely, as needed. It's not pretty, but then her leaning on you isn't pretty, either.
Quote:
When she lifts her foot for you, grab the hoof itself--not the leg--and make her bend at the pastern joint but cupping the hoof into her leg. Then lift straight up so that her hock bends as well. This won't hurt her in the slightest, but it should help with the issues you're having.
I'll try that, thank you :)

Quote:
It sounds like you are trying to clean her hind feet with it right under her? You need to pull her leg a little behind her, not let her pull it up to her tummy; that is a VERY dangerous position for you, especially if she gets spooked...I could ramble off any number of things that could happen if she were to move suddenly, but I won't for now.
Nope, I pull her leg forward and lean it on my leg. I think it would be hard for me to even try to clean it under her, plus all the dangerous risks...

Quote:
This is definitely a training issue. When she picks up her foot, you have to start slightly extending it backwards...if you find that she pulls it away, fine, as soon as she gets it on the ground yield her hips; if she want's to fuss, then get something 'productive' about it done. After you've done some yielding both directions, and maybe some shoulder yields just for good measure, go back to what you were doing; ask for the foot, when she lifts, gently retract it backwards...if she does so willingly, for the sake of simply retraining her mind, release, and pat her. Rinse, wash, repeat...until she lifts those back feet nicely, and willingly how YOU want, not how she wants. It will not take sweat, blood, and tears to retrain her mind...but it will take several meaningful, and consistant lessons, as well as teaching who ever will be responsible for her when you leave in how to deal with it, should she decide to revert for a short time. Usually once you have retrained them, they don't quickly revert; they sometimes test, but the reminder training will quickly set them back where they need to be (thus the reason you need to show who ever will be handling her, how to deal with this).
I start just like you said. She doesn't really pull it away from me, I just have to put an effort to move her leg. But she doesn't do anything to take the leg back to her belly or to the ground. It's just hard to extend it...
I'm going to work on this a often as I can. I really hope that it will be better in time and mom will be able to do it. If not I'll have to get someone strong just to clean her hooves Well I have 2 years till then.

Quote:
First of all, some horses needs some time to adjust to the hoof being picked up (to re-balance itself). So I'd let her stand for 10-20 secs when she picks it up, then grab a hoof/lower leg and gently push (extent) it back, keeping leg under the belly (don't try to pull it out like farriers do sometime). This way she'll balance herself better. How long do you have her? For some horses it takes quite long time to learn how to balance and keep a leg properly for the person.
This may be the problem. But if I let her stand for 10secs (without touching her leg) she'll drop her hoof back. I'm going to ask her for a hoof and hold it lightly (then she won't drop it) in the position she has and after 10secs slowly pull her leg in the right position. I'll see in few days if that's the problem. I have for 3 years, but I never took time to solve this issue.

Quote:
If the horse is scared or green at holding up its hoof, then naturally your response'd be different.
She is 14years old, well broken, was competing too...

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post #8 of 10 Old 04-11-2011, 08:03 PM
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If she puts weight on you then you should lean on her back. Don't let her put her feet where she wants you need to take control. So lean on her back. For her hind legs when you pick it up hold it where you want it when she goes to take it away say no no, and don't give up. Eventually she will give up and she will be pefect for you. Hope this helps!

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post #9 of 10 Old 04-16-2011, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I found out that if I wait with her leg up for 5secs, she doesn't lean on me :) Guess she has a balance problem :P
Thanks everybody for advices

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post #10 of 10 Old 04-16-2011, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13 View Post
When she lifts her foot for you, grab the hoof itself--not the leg--and make her bend at the pastern joint but cupping the hoof into her leg. Then lift straight up so that her hock bends as well. This won't hurt her in the slightest, but it should help with the issues you're having.
Exactly!!

"If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys." - Chief Dan George
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