Horse will NOT pick up his feet for picking.

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Horse will NOT pick up his feet for picking.

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  • Callous inside horses legs from birth
  • Horse won't pick up his feet

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    10-08-2008, 02:40 AM
Horse will NOT pick up his feet for picking.

Okay, here's the scoop. I have a 4 year old QH gelding named Kiwi. When I first got him he would pick up his feet fine so I know this is my fault because before I moved him to a closer stable (last week), I was not giving him the attention and training he needed... so he basically has no ground manners. Plus I was a student doing about 60-hour weeks and the place I had him at was 30 minutes down the interstate. (The new place is about 2 minutes from my house)

Anyways, he picks up his back feet just fine; but he absolutely will not pick up his front ones. I have literally tried everything!
-Gently leaning on him, lightly rubbing my hand down his leg.
-Stepping on his toe.
-Pinching his chestnuts.
-More aggressively trying to pick up his leg.
-Pushing on him to move him so I could snatch up his leg as soon as he lifted it.

I don't know what else to do. No, he doesn't "sense" that I'm getting frustrated because I'm usually very calm about it. He'll usually pick them up for other people. It's a pain in the butt and I don't know what else to do. Any pointers?
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    10-08-2008, 03:55 AM
Green Broke
Try gently but firmly tapping his heel with the hoof pick while doing your normal routine of trying to pick up his foot.

What are chestnuts?? Because it sounds like something that made me giggle lol
    10-08-2008, 07:36 AM
Put a lead rope around the leg (just above the hoof) and pull it up. I found it's easier to pick up that way. Do NOT clean it after that, but just keep doing it, say 10-15 times every day and each time try to hold it in air longer. That's how I started my horses. Personally I think you are lucky he's like that with FRONT and not back feet.
    10-08-2008, 07:39 AM
I agree with the tapping - tap softly and slowly to start with and get harder and faster until he picks it up. He is guaranteed to because he won't like being tapped. When he picks it up, stop tapping immediately so he gets a reward. Don't pick up his hoof to hold, until he gets good with the tapping thing.
    10-08-2008, 09:03 AM
Chestnuts are the dark callous growths on the inside of a horse's legs up by their knees. They are there to cushion a horse's legs while they are squeezed together during birth
    10-08-2008, 01:34 PM
I've also tried the tapping before...

When he actually does pick his feet up (which is a miracle) he'll hold them there fine for me to pick, he doesn't struggle. I think he's just stubborn.
    10-08-2008, 08:32 PM
Green Broke
Put pressure down his leg. Like squeeze his leg with your fingers so it will get annoying to him. That's how I got my stubborn horses to pick there feet up.
    10-08-2008, 08:52 PM
If you've tried tapping and it didn't work, you need to tap harder. Do it on his cannon bone because this will hurt him if you do it hard enough. ONLY do it hard if you've first tapped lightly and given him a chance to respond when you've asked nicely. Can I ask what you are tapping with? If its your hand, it won't be very effective lol
    10-08-2008, 11:50 PM
Have you checked to see if there's any heat on his front hooves? Has he ever had any lameness or founder issues?

My one gelding was almost impossible to pick up his front feet. It was always a hassle. But when he would finally pick up his feet it wouldn't be for long.
When we moved him and my other horse back in June, I started to pick up his feet and reward him (with either a treat or a rub) anytime he tried (at first, shifting weight, then picking it up a little bit, etc etc until I was able to pick it up and hold it there for a while.)

On his one leg, that has caused him the most pain (he has arthritis), I would take the end of the hook pick and press into his leg. I'm not sure on the exact location. I can point it out, but not describe it (but I will look it up in a second). It made it uncomfortable and he would lift his hoof. After just a few sessions of doing it, I can now pick it up fine.

This will take a lot of time and patience, but if you're determined, and the horse is healthy and sound there shouldn't be a problem.
    10-09-2008, 11:05 PM
He's perfectly healthy. He's gotten a little better about the left one but is still just as stubborn with the right. I've been tapping with the rounded part of my hoof pick. That's what seemed to do the trick today, but tried the same for the right and he wouldn't do it, I even tried the lead rope thing. I tried tapping all over his leg lol. Hard and soft and kept doing it and doing it. Whenever he picks up his leg I reward him with a treat or some pets. And when I'm holding it up, he's fine. He doesn't try to get it out of my hand.

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