Picking up feet- Pain issues
 
 

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Picking up feet- Pain issues

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  • Picking pain feet
  • Horse rear in pain when picking foot up

 
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    07-28-2011, 03:21 PM
  #1
Foal
Picking up feet- Pain issues

So as a few people might know, I ended up adopting a Mustang from the BLM. He's a lovely horse, but there's one problem: feet! I said "OmG" and debated not even taking him home, they're that bad. They would be slipper feet, only they cracked in two/ places each foot and are just giant scraggly platters. Ouch.
So all training ideas went out the window and for 10 days we've been doing nothing but 'please give me your foot.' kinda interesting with ony one person and a horse who didn't really want anytone near him.

As of now he will pick up both front feet for all of half a second before he tries to put them down. I really don't know how much is pain and how much is trust/training issues. He'll let you hold them up while he tries to paw, but after a few 'swings' he'll half rear (more like levade, the front doesn't go up at all) and try to get your hand off with his other front. Because he's so darn polite about it (and still not 100% on the trust thing) I really hesitate to reprimand him too harshly.

Yesterday he did try pawing when I went to ask for his foot, that we did deal with, and he only tried once today before giving up.

He has been making improvements in general, which is why I wonder if it might be training. Then I wonder if he's just getting better at dealing with the pain in his feet.

The farrier is coming out in a week. However, he is very very wary about working with a mustang and I do not doubt that at first sign of trouble he will give up. It was all I could do to get him here in the first place! I can't do injections and he has refused any kind of grain other then a forage block, so tranqing is also out.

With that (excessive) history, can anyone make any recommendations on how to proceed? Tips, tricks, and general reassurances all appreciated.
     
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    07-28-2011, 03:38 PM
  #2
Doe
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaprica9    
So as a few people might know, I ended up adopting a Mustang from the BLM. He's a lovely horse, but there's one problem: feet! I said "OmG" and debated not even taking him home, they're that bad. They would be slipper feet, only they cracked in two/ places each foot and are just giant scraggly platters. Ouch.
So all training ideas went out the window and for 10 days we've been doing nothing but 'please give me your foot.' kinda interesting with ony one person and a horse who didn't really want anytone near him.

As of now he will pick up both front feet for all of half a second before he tries to put them down. I really don't know how much is pain and how much is trust/training issues. He'll let you hold them up while he tries to paw, but after a few 'swings' he'll half rear (more like levade, the front doesn't go up at all) and try to get your hand off with his other front. Because he's so darn polite about it (and still not 100% on the trust thing) I really hesitate to reprimand him too harshly.

Yesterday he did try pawing when I went to ask for his foot, that we did deal with, and he only tried once today before giving up.

He has been making improvements in general, which is why I wonder if it might be training. Then I wonder if he's just getting better at dealing with the pain in his feet.

The farrier is coming out in a week. However, he is very very wary about working with a mustang and I do not doubt that at first sign of trouble he will give up. It was all I could do to get him here in the first place! I can't do injections and he has refused any kind of grain other then a forage block, so tranqing is also out.

With that (excessive) history, can anyone make any recommendations on how to proceed? Tips, tricks, and general reassurances all appreciated.
Well all the usual foot training methods can apply, pre-release, hold and release, rope lifting etc etc. However one I have used with a wild horse that worked fast (Pyrenees) was clicker training.

This particular horse had joint problems and it was uncomfortable to stand. Clicker training helped her try harder. She was so focussed on getting the reward, she would hold for longer even to the point of shaking as she was losing balance but determined not to let go. Ultimately it meant we could get done what needed to be done to make her comfortable. Went from no-hope to vet work and podiatrist in a couple of days practice. If you haven't used Clicker training before however (and I only use it in certain cases) then please don't just use as per dogs. Theres some specific ways to extend release on horses etc. I think it's Maxwell who's book is a good place to start. Nothing too heavy to begin with.
     
    07-28-2011, 03:50 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doe    
Well all the usual foot training methods can apply, pre-release, hold and release, rope lifting etc etc. However one I have used with a wild horse that worked fast (Pyrenees) was clicker training.

This particular horse had joint problems and it was uncomfortable to stand. Clicker training helped her try harder. She was so focussed on getting the reward, she would hold for longer even to the point of shaking as she was losing balance but determined not to let go. Ultimately it meant we could get done what needed to be done to make her comfortable. Went from no-hope to vet work and podiatrist in a couple of days practice. If you haven't used Clicker training before however (and I only use it in certain cases) then please don't just use as per dogs. Theres some specific ways to extend release on horses etc. I think it's Maxwell who's book is a good place to start. Nothing too heavy to begin with.
Well, he's certainly smart enough. The only book of his (I assume you mean Richard Maxwell?) that I know of is the '20 minutes a day" one. Know if that's any good for beginners?
     
    07-28-2011, 03:56 PM
  #4
Doe
Weanling
Sorry got them all mixed up, it's actually Ben Hart 'Clicker training for horses'
A good very basic intro to some of the eccentricities of clicker for horses specifically and for horse specific tasks like say jumping etc.
     
    07-28-2011, 04:20 PM
  #5
Yearling
I am sorta confused, does he not pick up his feet because of pain or because of lack of doing it for his entire life?
     
    07-28-2011, 04:26 PM
  #6
Foal
Doe: Thanks, I guess I'll see if I can find a copy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nicole25    
I am sorta confused, does he not pick up his feet because of pain or because of lack of doing it for his entire life?
Well the whole 'feral horse' thing probably doesn't help XD. The problem is not picking it up, it's keeping it up and I don't know if it's because putting too much weight in the opposite foot hurts, or if it's just a training obstacle.

...Also don't know how to fix it in a week...
     
    07-28-2011, 04:34 PM
  #7
Yearling
If the farrier comes and refuses to do his job, find a new farrier. Ask around for one that knows something about Mustangs and their feet. Also, ask the place that you got him from who their farrier is, if it is local. The farrier should be able to tell if the horse is experiencing pain due to something that is wrong versus him just being a pain in the butt with picking his feet up. It sounds like what you are doing is slowly working. I would continue with that, if he starts to get worse about it maybe contact your vet. Who knows if any tendons or anything in his legs are damaged. Best of luck to you!
     
    07-28-2011, 05:14 PM
  #8
Foal
If you think his feet are really bad you could take him to the vet have your farrier meet you there have the vet tranquilize him and farrier do his feet...and the vet would be able to check make sure there is no permanent damage as well
     
    07-28-2011, 05:43 PM
  #9
Showing
With slipper toes the horse's foot remains on the ground while the farrier saws off the excess. Do reward the horse with a small treat for holding it's hoof up, even if for only a few seconds and inches. Make a cluck sound then stretch your hand out so he reaches a little for the treat. They catch on quick when food is the incentive. The cluck tells the horse is was the correct action (when the hoof is up) and that a treat is forthcoming.
     
    07-28-2011, 05:59 PM
  #10
Trained
I suggest you have look at these videos

Hoof Desensitizing training at One True Media - share slideshows, slide shows, Facebook slideshows, free video sharing, video montages.

Natisha shared them with me when I was struggling to be able to handle Big Bert feet, 9 years with no trim and couldn't see why she should have her feet messed with now thank you.

I had got to the stage that I could lift her fronts pretty well but was still struggling big time with the backs. A couple of weeks of using this method and we had the farrier out and she was trimmed as good as gold, it really really worked well for her.
     

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