How to solve a kicking horse when picking feet...

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How to solve a kicking horse when picking feet...

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  • Horse kicks when picking up back feet
  • Horse tries to kick while picking up rear feet

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    01-14-2012, 07:03 PM
How to solve a kicking horse when picking feet...

I'm just curious as to what you guys do when you grab a back foot and the horse kicks.

I've never dealt with a horse so bad that tries to kick..most horses with this problem I can hold onto until they settle..while Jersey will keep kicking.

*I know this was discussed on my other thread about how she may be in pain. I'm not going to try this right now, like I said I'm curious on the techniques*
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    01-14-2012, 07:14 PM
If there is such a high probability it is because of pain and it hurts to be handled; a vet is in check, possibly a farrier if something is up with her feet.

Then you can look into the training issues. You can't punish pain.
    01-14-2012, 07:15 PM
Well of course if she is in pain, take away the pain, step number 1

Step number two, well I use a rope around the leg, then I can lift it and hold while standing safely up by the horses shoulder. Work on just getting off of the ground first, just a couple of inches and hold it, then gradually bring it higher and higher up.

I wondered if Ben had pain in his off hind when I first got him, but using the rope and softly softly technique we eventually got it sorted
Tianimalz likes this.
    01-14-2012, 07:23 PM
Thanks GH.

I did the rope trick last week and she was kicking away. It was the second time I tried touching her back feet....first time was when I rode her/first saw her, and went to pick her foot out and she kicked me leg.

And the vet is getting called as soon as I get money...
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Tianimalz likes this.
    01-14-2012, 07:27 PM
Lubylol, while it's good to be prepared, make sure that once you have her health issues dealt with and she is ready for some basic training (re-training probably) that you don't go into it negatively as she will read that from you.

If you just pick up her feet quickly to clean quickly for now, it will set a good groundwork for later.
Northernstar likes this.
    01-14-2012, 07:29 PM
Learned this from Parelli: your problem is actually keeping her hooves on the ground! ;) You need to stroke her legs, starting from the top, & work your way down so that horse is comfortable with your massaging even the hooves. Giving you a hoof is a huge trust issue for horses. Only when you've got all 4 staying on ground with horse comfy with that, go to the rope as described by Golden, & just lift it a little & place it an inch to the side, then progress to placing it at a walk, then to lifting it for a hand-hold.

Hope that helps!
kevinshorses likes this.
    01-14-2012, 07:29 PM
The biggest thing with using a rope is as SOON as she stops fighting, take the rope off or drop the pressure.
    01-14-2012, 07:30 PM
NM that's the problem....she's fine with her front feet getting picked, but when you go to get her back feet, she kicks. And they aren't just, "shoo fly" kicks, they're like "omg I'm going to kill you" kicks O.O
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    01-14-2012, 07:31 PM
And Kimmy...I made the mistake to drop her because she was fighting SO much, that I could barely hold was so bad! And it was so frustrating it almost made me cry :'(
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    01-14-2012, 08:29 PM
Step 1 be sure there is no pain. And then...

What does this mare do when you run your hand down her back leg? When does the kicking start?
Treat her like a baby. Put your hand on her leg in front of the hock and hold. When she lifts let go right away *pat pat pat* and do something else. You've got plenty of time to work with her, no rush. Teach her to accept just lifting it without kicking. Then slowly work on holding it with your hand for a few seconds. Then ten seconds. We are talking days or even a couple of weeks. Literally, if she'll pick it up and set it down nicely without kicking that is good for the day.

One of my Thoroughbred mares did not know that she had a butt so picking up her back feet was traumatizing. She'd also had rough handling people do the 'back horse in corner and twitch nose' move one to many times so she would knock your block off for even looking at her back feet. The rope thing would have turned this mare aggressive on the handler SO I did the above. (First I made sure she realized that her butt is, oddly enough, actually attached to the rest of her and people can, shockingly, touch this whole hind end at any given moment) It took literally four months for her to accept a farrier AND to this day (1.5 years later) she prefers that her hind legs be kept very low when you trim. In her mind its that or nothing at all, take it or leave it ;)

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