Picking up Hoof w/ Rope but Mare Keeps Moving - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
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Picking up Hoof w/ Rope but Mare Keeps Moving

Sorry if this sounds ignorant but here we go...

I've been working with my mare to allow me to pick up her hind feet again (short story is that she had an infected hoof from thrush that after a trim was tender from removing manure/thrush matter from deep in the sulcus and became reluctant to let us touch her feet again).

It's just me working with her.

Right now she picks up fine with a rope and we typically work in her stall as she has less "wiggle" room. If I put her in cross ties, she swings her butt around more so than I can safely deal with.

Once I go to pick her feet and approach her hindquarters even closer, however, after she has picked up her feet from pressure from the rope...she begins to move and avoid me.

What can I do to hold her still to continue the next step of picking her hooves? Do I need someone else to hold her head and/or keep her against a wall? She's not mean or ill tempered but last night she scared herself in the crossties while I tried picking and she busted a rope :(

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post #2 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 12:15 PM
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Skip the cross ties, tie her with a lead to the wall, and pin her against the wall to restrict movement. That also gives unsteady horses something to lean on besides you.
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post #3 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares View Post
Skip the cross ties, tie her with a lead to the wall, and pin her against the wall to restrict movement. That also gives unsteady horses something to lean on besides you.
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Good idea!
What should I do if she potentially begins to try to move out away from the wall and/or swings a leg at me? Thump her and continue until I get her foot accomplished?

It's been aggravating but I know with persistence I'll win her over.

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post #4 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 12:25 PM
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That's what your shoulder is for When tied and pinned, they really can't move much when you're holding that foot (except try to hop). Shout a "quit" and lean into her.
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post #5 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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That's what your shoulder is for When tied and pinned, they really can't move much when you're holding that foot (except try to hop). Shout a "quit" and lean into her.
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woot! Thanks so much :) I may have to update how it goes later this evening

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post #6 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 01:32 PM
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You are well armed if you are doing her feet - keep a hold of the hoof pick and if she goes to swing into you, use your voice to tell her to quit, a low strong tone is best, and then if she still swings towards you use the pointed end of the pick to push her back.
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post #7 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 07:43 PM
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Also, when you have free time to do some ground work with her, at least once a day, take a lunge whip and tap her hind legs lightly around the fetlock. Just de-sensitize her to her feet being tapped and touched. Rub all up and down her lower legs. Then start to que her to pick her feet up by tapping progressively harder until she picks it up in any form, then immediately stop tapping and back away for her reward. Make sure you start with the hind leg that she has the least problem with. Then, do the same thing again to the other side. Keep doing them more and more each day getting closer and closer so she realizes that lifting her foot when asked isn't such a bad thing. Be as gentle as possible but as firm as necessary. Just be sure to take your time and not get frustrated if it takes her a while. Any sign of her trying to please you should be rewarded.
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post #8 of 8 Old 05-09-2013, 08:27 PM
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Work like this should be done out in the open. The last thing your need is her swinging her body and pushing you up against a wall or feeder. Use a good long lead on her and run it over your elbow. If you have a dressage or lunge whip keep it at your feet. If she starts moving her hip away, drop the rope, grab the whip and tap her hip and make her circle you so that her hips make a larger circle than the fronts. Make her circle three times then begin with the rope again. She likely won't have learned from the first circling so you'll have to repeat it. Now she's kinda catching on. You may have to do a third circling session but by now she's figured out she can stand still and let you pick up her hoof or she can work and horses have an innate need to conserve energy.
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