Help with picking up hooves? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-27-2008, 08:02 PM
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Some horses really do get picky about how their ankles are bent and that makes them pull or play mean games. The adice about being the boss is completely on point as far as I am concerned. If you find that your horse will give you their foot, but doesn't want you to keep it, it may be the angle. Placing it along the thigh or, better yet letting them rest it at an angle they prefer on the top of a bucket or hoof stand often helps keep them content. Some ferriers carry these stands for just this reason, plus, its easier to work on a foot when you can move around some.

The best index to a person's character is (a) how he treats people who can't do him any good, and (b) how he treats people who can't fight back ---Abigail Van Buren
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post #12 of 17 Old 12-29-2008, 05:45 PM
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Use a lead rope to get her to pick up her feet for a couple times before you actually pick it up. Put a lead around her fetlock then pull it toward the front of the horse to get her to pick it up and then try it the way you normally would. If she leans on you then you need to drop her hoof. Then try again.
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-31-2008, 03:22 PM
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My foal tried the whole 'walking away' thing when I was teaching him to pick up his feet as well. Then he started to stretch out and bow, almost as if he was trying to get me to have pitty on him that he was about to fall over or something. lol. He had a very calm disposition though, and me and him had a very good bond... So he never tried anything rash. In no time I could just walk up to him without haltering him and pick up all 4 feet.

Before this we've had horses that wouldn't pick up their feet, and we did exactly what the others wrote to do. Don't let go. They'll usually fight you on it, and try to step away, but you still have to have hold of that foot. As soon as you let go when they do either, they are going to keep doing it; they got away with it before, and they'll want to get away with it again. As soon as they stop fighting you for a second or two, you can guide their foot back to the ground. (Don't just 'drop' their foot; it banging against the ground isn't going to help with them giving you their feet. ie: you want them to give it to you nicely, then be kind back. Makes them more willing.) Then as the others have said, just slowly increase the amount of time you hold their feet.

Now, for a horse that takes more than 'a few steps', consider having someone else hold the horse for you until they get better about picking their feet up. This limits them to only being able to take a step or two, instead of flat out 'leaving'. Then, once they get better about that, then you can simply drape the leadroap over the horses neck/back, that way if they think about stepping away, you can give them a light pull on the leadrope to remind them that you didn't say they can go yet (I also tell my horses to 'stand' when picking up their feet. Then they know that I want them to hold still. lol). It's kinda one of those things you want to make sure they get down really well before you go to the next step. Just because they do it for you once doesn't mean they are 'cured'. ;)
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-31-2008, 03:37 PM
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Oh... And since she just started getting really bad about it since she had the stone bruise, she's more than likely fighting you about giving you her foot because it's sore. (whether it be messing with the sore hoof, or the other one.. Which can be just as much of a issue, considering horses bear the majority of their weight on their front end. Picking up the non bruised hoof results in extra weight on the bruised one.) Like if I'm sick in bed with the flu, my friends coming over for an unexpected visit to hang out and 'see how I'm doing', though very nice and thoughtful, is probably on the bottom of my list of enjoyable things. lol. I've never really had experience with stone bruises much... but I'm guessing that just letting it heal up before wanting to deal with her feet is a good bet. Once it's better, then try picking up her feet. Once it's better, there should be no excuse for her not wanting to pick up her feet, and then you could do what everyone's suggested above. Just a thought. :)

Good luck!

Last edited by Amanda Marie; 12-31-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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post #15 of 17 Old 01-01-2009, 04:08 PM
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On a sise note to Amanda's post, I agree with what she said about guiding their foot to the ground....I just wanted to add, you can also say "OK" or "alright, down" when you set their foot down - this tells them that 'hey, this is MY idea to put your foot down, not yours.' Just another indicator that you are the boss.

How are you progressing with this, BTW.
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post #16 of 17 Old 01-01-2009, 04:19 PM
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I am new here but not to horses.
How old is your horse and what is your horses back ground with training?
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-04-2009, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks alot guys,

Candy is 4yo QH and was broken during the year she was 2. I'm fairly sure she was trained by the lady I bought her off who is also my instructor.

She was acutally reluctant to pick up her sore foot which I thought was strange as common sense tells me that taking the weight OFF it would make it feel better? Anyway, my trainer/instructor came out to have a look at her and picked up all 4 feet (with some fight) and even though Candy was hopping around she held it there until she stopped then placed it back down.

This is was most of you have suggested so I have been doing that and she is getting better, great on the front but still funny with the back ones. I try to pull her back leg out so it rests on my thy but she doesn't like this so it's kinda hard!
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