Help Handling Feet/Legs ASAP - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 12-27-2011, 10:04 AM Thread Starter
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Help Handling Feet/Legs ASAP

So, I've adopted a mustang yearling as of last October. He's been coming along pretty well in terms of being caught, led, groomed, free longed, etc. Our next big goal is getting him to where he'll pick up his feet and allow me to handle them. His hooves haven't been trimmed since I've had him, and they're getting to that iffy point where they aren't good... but not horrifically terrible either. Point being, I need to get to where his feet can be trimmed sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have tips for getting a young/untrained horse to allow you to mess with his feet? So far I've just been trying to desensitize his legs. He'll fidget and move away more often than not when I run my hands down his legs. A couple of times he's twitched his hind legs like he's considering a kick. I don't know if I should discipline him for this or wait until it's more obviously a kick? By the end of a 'session' with him, I can run my hands and a dressage whip up and down his legs without him moving. I still haven't tried to get him to pick up his feet and allow me hold them though.
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post #2 of 4 Old 12-27-2011, 10:58 AM
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Mustang feet

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Originally Posted by Eolith View Post
So, I've adopted a mustang yearling as of last October. He's been coming along pretty well in terms of being caught, led, groomed, free longed, etc. Our next big goal is getting him to where he'll pick up his feet and allow me to handle them. His hooves haven't been trimmed since I've had him, and they're getting to that iffy point where they aren't good... but not horrifically terrible either. Point being, I need to get to where his feet can be trimmed sooner rather than later.

Does anyone have tips for getting a young/untrained horse to allow you to mess with his feet? So far I've just been trying to desensitize his legs. He'll fidget and move away more often than not when I run my hands down his legs. A couple of times he's twitched his hind legs like he's considering a kick. I don't know if I should discipline him for this or wait until it's more obviously a kick? By the end of a 'session' with him, I can run my hands and a dressage whip up and down his legs without him moving. I still haven't tried to get him to pick up his feet and allow me hold them though.
I also adopted a mustang (5yr old) but back in February. When I had her to the point where she trusted me to walk up and touch her all over I began working on her feet because like yours she was starting to need a trim. All I did was keep her on a lead rope and attempt to lift a leg. If she tried to pull away even a little I made her WORK by going around in circles a couple times both ways and then I would attempt to lift the leg again. After a few times of this she stood there and let me lift it. At that time a called it a day and let her stew on the lesson. The next time I started with with the leg we worked on already and and then progressed to another one. In all it took about a week and she was standing pretty for the farrier to trim. The point is that when she said no I made her work and she realized it was easier to do what I was askeing. Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 4 Old 12-27-2011, 06:55 PM
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Flag his legs for desensitation. Rub a rope, a whip, a broom...anything down there until his comfortable and not kicking. Then use your hands, gradually ask him to lift, then set back down. Start holding for longer periods of time until he's accustomed to the whole shebang.
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post #4 of 4 Old 12-28-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. It's especially helpful hearing from a fellow mustang owner.

The basic ideas are pretty congruent with what I was thinking I would need to do... it's just a matter of getting it done. We'll see how we do today when I go out there.
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