Foot in a bucket - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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Foot in a bucket

I'm posting this here in the training thread as opposed to the health thread because the problem is not so much the abscess, but getting Elwood to put his foot in a bucket.

Some years ago I was doing an exercise where you get the horse to put front feet in a hula-hoop lying on the ground then move the hind feet around it in a circle, no problem for my other horses, but Elwood no. Eventually I could get his front feet in and stand there for a bit, but never relaxed.

2 summers ago I tried getting him to put his foot in a bucket, no success, and ended up cold hosing. When I took him in for a Coggins I asked the vet how to train a horse to put a foot in a bucket. He laughed and said he is not a trainer, he is a vet. If they don't put their foot in a bucket he just gives them another shot.

Now he has an abscess and could use to soak it in Epsom salts before packing and wrapping. My daughter suggested using a large soft rubber feed pan rather than a bucket. He did finally stand there with his foot in the pan, but by that time all the water and salts were splashed out, so I just let him stand there in the empty pan for a while and called it a small measure of success.

He has a history of being skittish and watching where his feet go, no matter how many hula hoops I set out and tried nonchalantly leading/riding him by until he accidentally stepped in one he always managed to avoid them.

So, how can I get him to put his foot in a bucket? Whether in time for this abscess or not, I'd like to work on this until he will.


PS He has no problem going in mud, water, puddles, etc. So I am thinking of putting Epsom salts in a puddle and having him stand in there :)

Last edited by anndankev; 07-23-2013 at 10:20 AM. Reason: PS
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 10:35 AM
Green Broke
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Here's how I do it. Get a bag from IV fluids from your vet. Cut the top off. Put your horses foot in, like a sock, then put your liquid in and duct tape around the top, to hold it on the leg. Portable soaker bucket that they cannot knock over.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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^^ Thanks, will try for immediate need.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 11:09 AM
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Soaking boots are GREAT. My TB needed one of his soaked due to possible abscess, and he kept skillfully picking his hoof up and placing it next to the bucket.
Finally I caved and bought him a soaking boot-miracle it was!
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 11:27 AM
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I use a soaking boot but when I didn't have that then I used a flat feed dish, placed his foot in it first and then added the epsom salt/water mix. I also cheat and feed grain while he soaks. May not be the accepted training method but it works for me, less hassle and it works...
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-23-2013, 04:34 PM
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Not sure if this will work, but if it were me, I'd teach the 'stand' cue so that the verbal cue means that he does not move his feet. Once that is solidly engrained, you could place his foot in the bucket and give the cue.

I'm teaching my yearling to stand right now. I give the verbal cue, drape the lead over him and always within my reach, and go about my business. If he moves, I move him so that he feet are just where they were before and remind him to 'stand'. I do it in short sessions while performing a variety of activities. He is starting to get the picture pretty well, but I think it will be a while before it's solid.

Might be worth trying...
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