Sensitive Back legs - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 05-01-2009, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montana
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Sensitive Back legs

Hi all,

New to these boards and have already learned a ton. I've been out of the horse world for many years and just now starting get back in. I bought a really nice mare last year and she's great to ride. But, she is not the easiest to work with on her back legs, specially with men. She will lift them up and slam back down or kick out a bit. Not with force but really doesn't want them touched. My farrier is very patient with her and can get shoes on her without incident most of the time. Recently she injured her back leg, flesh wound but had many staples put in and now really doesn't want them touched. Anyways, I'm looking for suggestions on how to work with them and get her to relax and I guess desensitize them. I should also mention I'm a bit scared of the back end so I'm sure that doesn't help. Working on the confidence part every day! :)
Gettinbusylivin is offline  
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-01-2009, 02:05 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 1,284
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Start with a nice soft lead rope, one about 10 feet long and gently fling it at her legs. Let it wrap around the legs, keep doing it until she stands still for it.

Next step is take the rope and try to pick her feet up with it. Not high, just a little. Using the rope instead of your hand keeps you safer.

Also, when picking them up with your hand do the same, little bit at a time. Try to hold the hoof and YOU place it back down, she doesn't get to decide when.

If you google "training to pick up feet - horse" there are tons of good articles.
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-01-2009, 02:12 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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You'll need a confident buddy to help you. Since you are both nervous - you are feeding off each other. She flicks and you flinch. In essence she is training you. There is absolutely no shame in being nervous. We all have our odd things when it comes to horse handling.

Your friend will be able to pick up her back legs and boost your confidence that you can do it too. Your mare will trust that you are caring for her vs being scared of her.

I assume she was tranqued for the staples? Your vet will love you (and so will your checkbook) if you can work on this before the staples need to be removed.
mls is offline  
post #4 of 5 Old 05-01-2009, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Montana
Posts: 6
• Horses: 2
Thanks so much for your replies. Yes, she was tranqued when he put the staples in and I know both my vet and farrier will appreciate it if I can do this. She just got staples out a week ago but he had to give her a little extra dose. :) She seems to be worse when she's in heat but I think everything comes out a little bit more during that time. I really don't want this to get worse and I think if I'm consistent with it she will get better. She never did this before I had her...well at least that's what they said.
Gettinbusylivin is offline  
post #5 of 5 Old 05-01-2009, 02:39 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
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Originally Posted by Gettinbusylivin View Post
She never did this before I had her...well
at least that's what they said.

I would take that piece of information with a grain of salt. There are people that like to pass the blame.

However, I do have boarders horses pull stunts with their owners they know better than to even attempt with me. Could be she is simply taking advantage of your gentle nature.
mls is offline  

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