02-19-2010, 08:27 AM
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The part about the horse almost falling over and hopping back kind of stood out to me. I was wondering if she knows how to balance correctly on three legs. There have been occasional times when I'll pick up one of Frida's front feet and she will start to almost lay down, and then I look and she has unevenly distributed her weight on her remaining legs. Most of the times it looks like the other front foot is slightly underneath her, and normally when I let the hoof down she will correct herself. My horse has been pretty good about picking up her feet, she even preps them for me as I walk over to each one. I concentrated on front feet first, once she was really good at that I worked with the back feet. I would let her smell/see the hoofpick, run my entire hand down her leg, and put pressure on the chestnut. If she lift it herself, I wouldn't even go to pick out the feet at first, I would just praise her and let her put it down, then stroke her legs and ask again. It was all pretty gradual, and a simple thing like picking up a hoof and cleaning it out took pretty much a whole training session. I always think of what a submission it must be for the horse to do this, allow us to take away the only guarantee that he has for survival momentarily. I ran into problems later because she was too eager to pick up her feet, it came to a point that even when I just wanted to brush her legs she would start to lift her hoof up. Now I change directions when I want to brush her legs. I face her head when I brush them, and face my back to her when I want to clean them out. Good luck!