Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Gallant, Alabama
Throwing a horse... (horse 'threw' himself...)
I posted in another thread about how one of my horses is hard to pick up his hooves... He lets me pick them up, but jerks away and rears to get his leg back if I don't let it go when he wants it back...
I was given lots of advice, and today, since I got off work early, I decided to work with him some.
I took a cotton rope and looped around his front hoof to try an hold the hoof in the air until he relaxed... well, it didn't work... he would sling around until he got his hoof back on the ground... so I decided to do what I've done with another of our horses before when she was being a brat about her hooves... I put an old saddle on my boy and looped the cotton rope around his hoof and around the saddlehorn, to let him 'figure it out' himself. (When I did this with the mare a few years ago, she fought it and eventually figured out that it wasn't going to hurt her and relaxed).
The second my boy tried to get his hoof back and couldn't, he exploded... leaping around and freaking out, rearing, etc... I was holding onto the lead rope to his halter, but kept it loose enough that he couldn't brace against it.
My boy fought for several minutes and went down on his knees twice and leapt back up before he went down and just lay down. He was panicked, but once I started petting him and talking to him and rubbing him all over, he relaxed and closed his eyes, and when I took the rope from around his leg he just layed there and let me play with his hooves and pat on them and when I asked him to finally get up, he did and stood perfectly still.
He let me pick up all four of his hooves several times and let me hold them and pat on them and rub them and all until I chose to let him have his legs back. I did this several, several times all in the same order and he started to pick up his legs and shift his weight onto his other three legs before I even asked him to.
I was a bit nervous about him being scared of the saddle, since I thought he might 'put' it, in his mind, with his leg being taken from him and all... so I put it on and off him from both sides several times after finishing with his hooves and he stood perfectly without even seeming concerned about it.
I'm going to go out tomorrow sometime, since I'm off work, and see how he is with me picking his hooves up without being 'thrown' again... working with him and all about staying relaxed while one of his legs is 'caught'...
It wasn't my intention to 'throw' him, he really just did it himself because I didn't actively pull him over or anything, he just lay down on his own... but was it maybe a good thing that he did? Since he let me pick up all his hooves without a problem afterwards and was calm about it?
He also got fed after I finished with him, so I'm hoping he'll sort of see it as a 'treat' for letting me handle his hooves and all...
Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (1994 TWH mare), Dakota (2006 TWH gelding), Jo (2012 TWH filly) & Minnie (1992 Paint mare)