Getting This Mare To Pick Up Her Feet!

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Getting This Mare To Pick Up Her Feet!

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    08-22-2012, 12:31 PM
Getting This Mare To Pick Up Her Feet!

Some of you may be familliar with Tenakee, the 18 year old Curly broodmare who I've had for about 6 months now. She currently is pregnant and not due for another month or so. When we got her, she hadn't had a decent trim in a very long time but her hooves were still very nice considering. When we got her home within the first week we had the farrier come out and trim her hooves. I hadn't picked up her feet at all that first week but she was a gem for the farrier. Stood near perfect with minimal leaning and no attempts to walk away. I was impressed, and she made my gelding, who I've been working hard getting him to stand decent for that long, look like a yearling who has never been touched!

So I left it at that, thinking I had a horse that I wouldn't have to worry about... at least when it comes to the farrier. The last times the farrier was out, she was TERRIBLE. She tries to pull her feet away, lean, she'll dance around, and even stand on two legs. Dx Even the last time the farrier came out she was bad and I picked her feet EVERY SINGLE DAY. I would even 'play ferrier' and put her hooves up on a stand and rasp them a little bit here and there.

We have even done a bit of trimming ourselves, but she has a few things going on with her hooves that I would rather a real farrier look over than just shrug off or try to fix myself.

With her she is very difficult to get to pick up her foot. Unless you have long nails or a hoof pick handy there isn't a chance of prying her foot of the ground. Pinching her chesnuts only make her stretch her foot forwards, and she knows you will try to pick it up so she just slides it forward and pushes it down. I have had other people help me with this but the second she pulls a little they drop her foot and just stand there, reinforcing that if she wants her foot, she gets it. Of course I shove them out of the way and get on that foot like a puma, but still that old lady has already figured out her plan.

Most horses I would lunge and get paying attention or if they were antsy make them move around so they figure out standing is so much better, but seeing as she is pregnant and quite out of shape I don't want to get her all worked up. (Before we got her she did nothing for quite a few years except her career as a pasture puff and a broodmare.) I know some farriers like to take the rasp and give them a good whack on the side, but if they did that to a very clearly pregnant mare that farrier would probably not be coming back.

I mainly try to hold onto the leg untill I am done and want to give her the foot back. I with take the hoof pick and lightly put constant pressure on her fetlock, then increasing untill she picks it up. (Same thing I do with my nails, I just have a bit more bite with a hoofpick than my nails.) She will pick it up decent most of the times, but sometimes it is near impossible. Sometimes she will dance around just when I go to pick her foot up and move away from me. I make her come back, then go for the foot again. I always fly spray her, but she insists on standing on the least ammount of feet she can manage even without little flies bothering her.

She always insits on walking around, and cannot just stand there on three feet. My other Curly is like this, too. It is almost like they just forgot how to stand decent, or got away with too much. All my other horses I can work threw it, but I am not quite sure what is going to work with her. I have tried many times, even have picked her feet up every day for a month, and still does not work. I've tried good cop and bad cop and neither seems to work. Give her hay and 'all of a sudden' she isn't hungry, make her circle and switch directions, back up, yield hind and forequarters to no avail!

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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    08-22-2012, 05:46 PM
Green Broke
If she's suddenly "not hungry" when you are doing it that should show that it is a confidence issue and not stubborness. Horses wont eat when they are upset.
It can be hard to give advice on these things without seeing it, but a horse's attitude can change drastically depending on the environment.
If she does not like to stand, tie her up. You can also use a rope to get her foot up and hold it in place until she stands calm.
Just a soft, cotton rope, looped around the pastern. You wrap the long end around the base of their neck and hold it so that you have some leverage and pull it up.
Sometimes pregnant mares can have issues with their feet because of all the weight and they can get cramps in funny areas. When my mare was preggers she would not let the farrier pick up her hind legs. My farrier said to make her back up a little ways and then she was fine. Just had to work the cramp out.

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