01-09-2009, 07:57 AM
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Here is one method that works well (it works well for front feet too): Take a lead rope and stand at your horse's side, facing towards their rear. You will need to have them tied or have someone hold them for you. First, rub them all over with the lead rope to get them use to it, rub it over their rump and down their rear legs. Once they seem to accept that will, run the lead rope behind their fetlock and hold both ends of the rope in each hand (this should form a V between you and the horse's foot. Now, standing near your horse's shoulder (or slightly behind it) out of kicking range, gentle pull back on the rope. Use gentle pressure to start with and slowly increase it. As soon as the horse even tries to lift the foot, release the pressure and pat your horse. Repeat this, slowly increasing the amount of time and the height the horse must lift their leg before they get relief. Eventually you want them to lift their leg and remain relaxed. If they fight with you and kick, keep holding the pressure until they relax. This can take awhile to teach but if you do it a little bit each day as part of your normal grooming routine then she should learn to pick up here feet in no time.
For the front feet you do it exactly the same except you stand in front of the horse and slightly to the side, out of striking range.
This method can actually save a horse's life because it teaches a horse to relax when their feet are caught on something instead of thrashing. I have heard of many cases where a horse got caught in a fence but made it out unscathed because they were taught this way and just waited for someone to come and get them out.