picking feet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 04-02-2008, 05:35 AM Thread Starter
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picking feet

my new yearling (almost 2) doesn't know how to pick up her feet i can pick them up and set them back down but if i try to hold it she panics i dont know what to do also i need to do this without her being tied up
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post #2 of 15 Old 04-02-2008, 06:29 AM
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My both yearlings never had their feet handled when I got them. I started with picking the foot wit the soft lead rope. Up, hold for sec, down. Then I started to ask and pick by hand. DO NOT hurry her. They have their own pace of learning. If she panics - pick up for 1 sec, put back before she gets too worried, praise. I used lots of carrots too to praise. Again pick up etc... It doesn't come in 1 day. In fact took me month to teach them to hold it and let me clean.
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post #3 of 15 Old 04-02-2008, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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thanks should she be on a short lead or a loung line
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post #4 of 15 Old 04-02-2008, 11:57 AM
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I just kept them both on 10 feet lead. In the beginning I asked the helper to hold the youngster while I was working. Just take it easy and be prepared to spend lots of time on that. :) If you horse is people-friendly it should take less time.
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post #5 of 15 Old 04-02-2008, 07:42 PM
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If she picks them up fine, then just increase the the amount of time that you ask her to hold her feet up. If you can't tie her right away, ask someone to hold her, then work on tying, then work on being tied and picking the feet up. You have to establish that YOU get to decide when she gets to put her feet down, not her.

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post #6 of 15 Old 04-03-2008, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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i can pick up her hooves to move them (thats how i got her into the trailer picking up and setting down one hoof at a time and she was fine its when i bend her leg up she will panic and there no way in hell i would be able to hold onto it
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post #7 of 15 Old 04-03-2008, 02:11 AM
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Define "panic"? Does she rear, run off, swing her leg, kick at you, try to bite you?

Do this in a stall or somewhere small, safe and secure. Have a strong assistant, one who can moose her around if needed(or one who knows the right pressure points), hold her. Have her next to a wall, and even though I don't like it very much, maybe backed up to one.

Have your assistant hold her, that way you can work with both hands and free to jump out of the way if needed, and your bum will be safe from nips.

Start working your way down, and press the chestnut or the fetlock or however you ask, and ask her to pick it up. Don't anticipate a reaction(but be prepared to move). If you press the chestnut, I have found, it helps to make them unlock thier knee(which is what you want). If that happens, good. Stop, and praise gently, and then ask again, this time, ask to hold her foot, even if it is closer to the ground. Next time, ask to actually hold it. If she bends it hold it for a couple seconds and let it down. Good girl! Do the other side.

Take all she will give you for free. Meaning, don't get into a war with her. Keep working with her consistently, and don't get angry.

Stay as quiet as possible in your demeanor, both you and your assistant. If she freaks out, do your absolute best to not change the tone of your voice.

Being able to handle thier feet is one of my TOP things that a baby must learn. You will have a better relationship with your farrier that is for sure.
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post #8 of 15 Old 04-03-2008, 05:33 AM
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1.Check it when you picjk up her feet, her weight is on the other feet. Foals usually becoma frightened if you try to pick up their feet while they are standing on it.

2. Be sure you don't move her feet further than it's possible. Don't pull or push her feet back, forward, or sideways, just flex and hold it with your hand for some seconds. Pulling and pushing their feet might make them anxious too.
After than let her to put down the leg, don't out it down for her.
Have this yearling learned to stand calm on a tie or a rope for a longer time?

This is a very serious situation, because she will learn that by falling in panic she can resfuse the thing you've asked. And after a while this will be hard to decide if this is panic or hysteria. You should avoid every situation that may cause panic, otherwise she will think that panic is a communication method between you and her, and a dialogue will work out every time you ask something new from her:
"Look, filly, you have to do this.."
"Oh, no, no, I'm inpanic, I'm so frightened...!"
"Ok I'm not going to ask you this. I'll leave you be."
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post #9 of 15 Old 04-03-2008, 08:33 AM
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quite often as a youngster, horses have poor balance too when they have one foot off the ground. my wb, who even though is 8 years old, was never really taught much. he used to try and kick us when we tried to pick up his back feet and he would slam down his front feet and swing sideways most of the time knocking me over

anyways, we did exactly what everyone else has already mentioned. pick up one foot and hold it for a second then put it down and praise/treat and so on. if you can, try and hold the foot even if he tries to pull away. just let your arm go with the movement. do this for only a second and then put it down and slowly get to the point where you can hold him and he will give up pretty quick as he learns that its going to happen anyway and its not really that bad.

ive found with my wb that doing balance groundwork has helped with his balance when we pick his feet

"I whisper but my horse doesnt listen...So I yell!!...He still doesnt listen"

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post #10 of 15 Old 04-03-2008, 11:42 AM
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Hi, I am new to the furm and saw this as a topic.

I worked with 10 newborns and we started working with them and their feet.

Basically as stated above in a few posts. Just start by simply picking the hoof up, dont bother picking it right away...and take like a week until its just natural for the horse to respond to you bending over and asking for them to raise their foot.
After that start rubbing the bottum on the foot with some pressure, so start to desensitize them from that.
then start by using a pick brush, and then a pick, by repeating the first step ( a week or more or time per additional stimulus)

Hope it works out for you.
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