Picking Up Feet - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Picking Up Feet

How do I teach a horse to pick up his feet? I've got a young horse who will pick up his feet with just a little hesitation, but as the days go by he's becoming more and more reluctant. How can I keep hoof picking something positive that Cholo doesn't mind?

Thanks so much!

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 06:23 PM
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There are some things that horses just need to do, and picking up their feet is one of them. It only takes 5 minutes and as long as there isn't anything negative about it, there doesn't need to be anything positive about it. If he enjoys brushing, you can give me a good brush after, but I would stay away from bribes or rewards in general for this simple chore. Just keep practicing.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 07:06 PM
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How do you encourage a horse to pick up its feet that is reluctant to do so?

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 07:22 PM
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This is what I did with a hard case I had at one time. The horse was very gentle well broke but came to me with this problem of not wanting its feet picked. He simply wouldn't pick them up and if he did he would take them away from me.
I put him on a long line in the round pen and work him out going through various common excersizes. Making him change directions side pass, back up, etc.
Then I rubbed all four legs and everytime he moved away I worked him some more. If he stood still then I just rubbed his legs a little and walked away. Then I pickup up a foot and held onto it and put it down before he took it away from me. If he took it away I worked him some more. It took about an hour the first day, but by the third day he figured out that if he would just hold still and let me peck on his foot I would soon put it down. Getting to stand and not do excersize became his reward. He stands quietly all the time now.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QHDragon View Post
How do you encourage a horse to pick up its feet that is reluctant to do so?
There are a number of things to try. Rubbing the lower leg, squeezing slightly around the fetlock, and tapping the back of the fetlock are some. Some folks will wrap a lead rope around the foot and lift it. Personally, for a reluctant horse, I just lean my shoulder into them to get them to shift their weight and lift it. Do not allow the horse to put their foot down until you are ready. If you hold the top of the hoof in your hand, it takes very little effort to keep their foot up even if they decide to fuss a bit.
Practice just lifting the foot for a few seconds, but it down, pick it up again, etc...the more you handle their legs and feet, the easier it gets. With time, many horses will get so used to it that they will lift their foot automatically when you reach for it.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purplefoal View Post
How do I teach a horse to pick up his feet? I've got a young horse who will pick up his feet with just a little hesitation, but as the days go by he's becoming more and more reluctant. How can I keep hoof picking something positive that Cholo doesn't mind?

Thanks so much!
How often do you pick the hoofs? From my experience if you do it on daily basis they get better not worse. How do you hold it and for how long? If he's off balance too much every time you pick he may just respond to the bad experience. With some horses you have to pick the back foot and hold it for 10 secs for them to adjust the balance before pulling it in "cleaning" position. How easy is he in everything else (ground work)?
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-11-2010, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
How often do you pick the hoofs? From my experience if you do it on daily basis they get better not worse. How do you hold it and for how long? If he's off balance too much every time you pick he may just respond to the bad experience. With some horses you have to pick the back foot and hold it for 10 secs for them to adjust the balance before pulling it in "cleaning" position. How easy is he in everything else (ground work)?
I've been picking (or attempting) their hooves once a day... okay, I haven't had them for very long, so maybe it will start getting better. I hold the hoof for maybe 30-40 seconds-- just long enough to get it cleaned off. Hmm, that's a good idea. Hold the hoof for 10 seconds so they can get balanced. In everything else he's... okay. One thing he does do, is dart the opposite direction randomly when we're lunging, so that'll need some work, too. But otherwise he's really eager to please and under saddle he's a doll.

I also think it's a great idea to try the lunging, rubbing, lunging, rubbing, lunging, lifting strategy!! I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning, hopefully!

Thanks for all the other tips, too! Any more??

Ask me to show you poetry in motion, and I will show you a horse.
-purplefoal
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