Proper response for kicking out when picking up back foot?

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Proper response for kicking out when picking up back foot?

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    06-17-2010, 09:23 PM
Proper response for kicking out when picking up back foot?

My mare, who I've had for about 3 months has a habit of pulling her foot back and half heartedly trying to kick when I clean out her back hoofs.

I've been refusing to let the leg go when she does this until she stops and settles. She will usually give it one or two tries before she quits and I'm able to finish.

I've always had a hard time knowing when I should scold a horse and when I should simply continue doing what I'm doing until they stop.

She is very good at being handled in all other areas. Should I be scolding her harshly since kicking is a nasty habit (even though she hasn't ever actually kicked me) or is simply holding the leg until she stops a clear enough message that I don't like that behavior?
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    06-17-2010, 09:44 PM
Green Broke
It really depends if she's just being touchy with her back legs or actually trying to kick you. My mare does her "popping" sometimes, almost like a test to see if she can get her leg back. Despite being handled since birth and never having a bad experience, at 11 years old, she's always been touchy about her back legs. She's never kicked and never would, but she'll hug her leg up tight and then "pop" it, usually when a stranger is trying to pick it up.

In my case, if you scold her, you're screwed for trimming her feet because she won't relax again. A loud quit and a poke in the bum from me is enough to make her cut it out, but with a stranger, they HAVE to be gentle with her or she shuts down on them.

It's really up to you. I've met many horses that "popped" their back legs, and it's never meant as a kick, they just don't feel like holding their leg up. I certainly wouldn't wallop a horse over it, I may get a little loud and give the foot a shake to remind them they need to listen to me.
    06-17-2010, 09:46 PM
My advice: put a rope halter on her, tied to a rope, sling the rope over her withers on the near side. When she tries to kick, immediately jerk twice quickly on the rope, wait a few seconds, and try to pick up the foot again. Repeat if necessary for as many times as she needs, or if she listens, pat her on the rump and give her a 'good girl'.
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    06-17-2010, 09:52 PM
My horse goes in and out of that particular game. I've had better results by not reacting at all. I just keep holding the leg while he hops around and pulls back like it's not happening and then put the leg down as soon as he relaxes it. He relaxes = I put foot down.
    06-17-2010, 09:53 PM
I'm with Macabre, mine try this once in awhile too. Usually a poke in the bum and a gruff word is enough. If she's not really trying to kick out and just wanting her foot back or testing to see if she can get it back what your doing is great, expecially if she's giving in.

You could also be putting too much torque on her leg by lifting it too high or bending it out oo much and it's uncomfortable for her.

It's not something I get too bent out of shape about.
    06-17-2010, 09:54 PM
My method probably pertains more to more violent kicking; I have a huge Paint Clydesdale who I bought with a kicking and biting problem. I cured him with the above method
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    06-17-2010, 09:56 PM
Green Broke
I have a couple that do this too. I also tend to just growl and keep a hold of the leg. Once they have relaxed in to my hand they get a "good boy" and a rub on the bum.
    06-17-2010, 09:56 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
My method probably pertains more to more violent kicking; I have a huge Paint Clydesdale who I bought with a kicking and biting problem. I cured him with the above method
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I also cured my mare's dam from violent frightened kicking using the rope method - she was actually trying to kick though. Both methods work well, depending on the intensity required for the situation.
    06-18-2010, 04:18 AM
Agree with MyBoyPuck as a rule. Just try to ensure the 'bad' behaviour doesn't work for her, and ensure her 'good' behaviour does. Eg. Make a practice of not doing too much at once, giving her her foot back before she gets fed up & tries to take it. If/when she does try to 'tell you' tho, keep hold if possible, then give it to her as soon as she relaxes, to reinforce her 'good' behaviour.
    06-18-2010, 04:36 AM
Will she do it if you just pick up her hoof and hold it there without touching the sole? Or does she only do it when you clean out the hoof?

If it's the latter it could be possible it's thrush and it's causing her pain when the hoof pick touches the thrushy region.

My boys will sometimes kinda tugg back their rear legs a few times before they settle. I just gently hold the hoof in my hand until they relax and I also hold their rear hoofs low so it's comfortable for em. If the rear hoof is held too high it could be uncomfortable for your horse.

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