At least around here, no one seems to train their horses to easily pick up their feet for routine hoof stuff! I have met SO many horses that are really rank about having their feet handled, older horses, especially, should know this stuff! I don't want the horse leaning on me, s/he needs to hold him/herself up and s/he should pop his/her hooves up with very little prodding on my part.
It's not hard either! Lacey used to always lean on me, she actually fell over a few times when I first started working with her, and I'd have to practically drag her feet up myself. After only a few months of picking them out twice a week in the same order, in a low drama sort of way, yknow what? She stopped leaning on me and started picking up her feet as soon as I squeeze her fetlock. Nowadays she picks the hoof up before I even touch her leg and she'll move herself around if she's in a bad spot to be able to take her weight off of her leg.
My farrier has actually complimented me on how easy it is to get Lacey to lift her feet, which I find rather sad since Lacey isn't nearly as good as I would like to see her be. Sure, she's better than the average horse around here but she's not "perfect" yet. Haha
Maybe it's because I always let her see the hoof pick so she has a cue but still! It's not hard! That really makes me irritated, especially since hooves are SO important and can be so dangerous without the proper training. For instance, at my camp that I volunteer at (the horses mostly come directly from the auction) I was messing with a pretty calm horse and I went to pick out his back feet. I ran my hand down his back leg (after having an easy time with the fronts) and as soon as I picked up his foot, he was freaking out and trying very hard to kick me! Not fun. Needless to say, that horse got a bunch more comfortable with having his feet touched that summer.
But yeah, how can people let a horse get to be 15 without being good about it's feet? I just don't get it.
Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzaner gelding
Hazel - 14 year old Angora goat
Atticus - 4 year old LaMancha/Alpine cross goat
Rest peacefully, Lacey.
Last edited by Wallaby; 03-14-2010 at 12:16 AM.