Picking up back feet

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Picking up back feet

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  • Tips on picking feet uip on foals
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    02-10-2012, 01:38 AM
Picking up back feet

Well my gelding seems to be a bit stubborn with his back feet, he'll pick them up but then tends to try and kick out with the foot. Im not sure if he's trying to kick or just pull the hoof away, either way, its a problem. The person I got him from really didnt handle him much since fall because she found out she had cancer. He does ok with the front hooves, he just wants to pull them from you after a few seconds. Anyways, i've worked with horses who didnt like picking up there feet but normally there just babies who want to put it back down. With him I can't tell if he's trying to kick out or put his foot back down. Were scheduling our farrier for next week, and even though his feet don't look to need a trim (he has awesome hoofs ), i'd still like my farrier to take a look at him. So i'd like to work with him on this before he comes out. Any tips I can try? He really is a sweet heart, you can go right behind him and he's never tried anything, I honestly don't believe he's meaning to kick. But he just really dislikes picking his back feet up :/, he also loves to paw haha. Were working on the quirks, so far he's a big baby who loves attention. Just want to get him over this back feet hurtle. So far everytime I pick it up and he does his "jerk/kick out" I smack him in the rump and try again. I feel bad giving him a slap in the butt because he acts like im the devil coming to get him lol. So just looking for some safe methods to get him to overcome this.

PS: when I say slap him in the butt, i've never smacked him hard or used anything other than my hand. I think he's just sensitive.
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    02-10-2012, 04:31 AM
Clinton Anderson: Help for Fussy Feet - YouTube
Corporal and sporthorsegirl like this.
    02-10-2012, 05:33 AM
Is it possible that he needs to learn to trust you? If so I'd spend some time with him doing things such as grooming,sitting talking to him and maybe even some groundwork. I could be completely wrong but just a suggestion.
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    02-10-2012, 11:09 AM
Work on picking it up with the lead rope: slide it around the leg just above the hoof and gently pull up, keep it there, and gently put it back (preferably before he tries to pull it back or kick out). And just keep increasing the time in air with lots of praise when he does it right. This way you keep yourself safe, and rope gives better leverage to pick it up.
    02-10-2012, 11:20 AM
When he does kick/try to take his foot away just keep holding it. You can use a lead rope or something else to hold it further away from you if you are worried about getting kicked. Hold the foot until his is relaxed and standing quietly then put it down. Do not let go if he is fighting or else he wins and you lose.
    02-10-2012, 11:26 AM
Originally Posted by LynnF    
Do not let go if he is fighting or else he wins and you lose.
I respectfully disagree. Holding horse's hoof when it goes into serious fight (especially if it also falls into the panic) may end up with the hoof in face or the knee, or the horse falling down on you losing it's balance. It's much safer for both to pick it up and put it back the moment before the horse starts to fight even if it only takes 2-3 secs. This way you win indeed, simply because the horse (and you) did what you wanted to do.
    02-10-2012, 11:41 AM
My mare used to do this, she looked like she was kicking, but really she was quickly stamping. I kept making actions to pick up her hoof, until she slowed and allowed me to pick it up, and is fine now. If your horse is kicking out, you could try rubbing/ touching a crop on his back leg until he stops kicking. If it seems lime a dangerous situation, I suggest you wait for the farrier;)
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    02-10-2012, 12:21 PM
My mare did something like that when I first got her. She picked her back feet up so fast I sometimes wasn't ready. And then when I had hold she would kind of jerk it forward or back, not really a kick, but worrisome for me. I just did a lot of pick it up, put it down stuff. Try to beat her to to punch so to speak. She also had the habit of stomping all four down really quick when I let go. After she learn I was just going to pick it up and put it down (after the first day ot two she got this) I would hold it for longer and longer periods. Instead of slapping her I would just jiggle her hoof when I felt her tense to pull or push away. The whole time I would talk calmly to her, but when I jiggled her foot my tone would change just enough for her to know I wasn't happy with that. Now I can say "pick it up" and she does. (even if its the farrier picking it up, not me).
Patience and more patience. He'll get it.
    02-10-2012, 12:25 PM
Could be possibly be unbalanced and is nervous about picking up his feet because he thinks he'll fall? I know when I first got my boy, he did not like picking up his feet as he was very unbalanced and didn't know how to balance on three feet.
It took a few months of slowely improving his balance, but now he stands perfectly fine and relaxed for the farrier.
Just another thing to think about...
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    02-10-2012, 12:27 PM
I agree with Val. If he is kicking, start with a rope. It will give you leverage and keep you out of the danger zone. Start slow, lift, release, over & over. Gradually up the time you expect him to hold it up. Once he's accepting of that work your way back to that leg while using the rope and just transfer his leg to your free hand. Should he get fussy, you've still got the rope and can back off if need be to avoid a kick. It usually doesn't take too long to get them over it that way.
sporthorsegirl and mildot like this.

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