I have a 7 year old TB mare who is bad with her feet. When picking them, or when the farrier trims them she fusses and pulls.
I've had her for two years now, and when I first got her, her feet looked quite neglected, and I could barely pick up the rear ones to pick them, she would kick them back and pull them forward constantly, usually pulling them out of my hands at first. I started out by just holding onto her feet as best I could until she relaxed and stopped pulling, and that helped a lot. It was always mostly a problem with her back feet, she is fine with her front feet now, but she still has issues with her back feet, though not near as bad. Now when I pick up her back feet, she will tug them forward. Not hard enough to pull it right out of my hands, but just enough to make holding her feet a real pain. When she is doing this, she does not seem to be irritated or upset at all. She looks completely relaxed, if you were just looking at her front end you would have no idea she was doing anything.
I'm sure it is not a soreness issue, because she never shows signs of being sore or stiff, some days she will not pull at all.
I have tried just holding the foot and not letting go until she stops pulling, but I never saw any results. The problem just got worse. So now I've been giving her a quick tap on the rump with a riding crop everytime she pulls, and this works short term, for instance, she'll be pulling, get a smack, then smarten up and be good, but she just does it all over again next time I pick her feet. I would like to put an end to this so that we don't have to go through this everytime I pick up her feet.
Its as if she is just doing this to be difficult, but that is not at all her personality. She is very pleasant to ride, she is very very rarely "marish". I'm thinking she just got away with being bad with her feet for so long that its become habit, I just don't know what to do to get her over this.
I'm just looking for ideas on what I could do to stop this behavior.
Thanks, and sorry for such a long post.