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Training to pick up feet on a spooky/kicky horse?

This is a discussion on Training to pick up feet on a spooky/kicky horse? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Best way to teach a kicker to pick up feet horse
  • HOW TO TRAIN A KICKY HORSE TO PICK UP BACK FEET

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    10-24-2012, 01:45 AM
  #11
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
How many farriers screw around with all this stuff and still get their work done?
I don't think I get your comments, but I know a fair number of farriers with the "Stand up ya ba*****d" approach that will attempt to manhandle any horse. Many of them hate horses & have been kicked & injured repeatedly. Many of them succeed in getting the job done & many horses put up with it out of fear. But many more become gradually worse about having feet handled & become a problem for anyone with less brawn. I would not allow this type anywhere near my horses.

Good farriers I know of will take the time to calm and trim an 'edgy' horse or one who hasn't had much training, but will tell the owner the horse is not safe & needs more training before it can have it's hooves trimmed if/when that applies. Most of them understandably want to get the job done that they're being paid for & don't get offered extra to spend the time to train.... or unnecessarily risk injuries. Of course there are countless occurences of farriers just not returning the calls of owners of 'difficult' horses & there are also known 'blacklisted' horses(& owners) that the local professionals know not to have a bar of.

Quote:
Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed that good ones don't seem to get bothered by anything that a horse does.
Not just you. IMO that's one measure of a good horseperson.

Quote:
Next time try to give it back before he has to take it. If he won't stand due to having too much energy, you'll have a lot easier of a time if you do something to get some of that out of his system before fooling with his feet.
Very good advice IMO.

Quote:
It's really just common sense stuff, but for some reason we seem to think that we need to do all these training exercises before we can deal with the feet. But it's not the case.
Well since you brought up 'common sense', considering we're dealing with a large prey/flight animal & we're talking about handling the most dangerous part of their anatomy and taking away their ability of flight, I consider it 'common sense stuff' & good safety precautions to get the horse comfortable & confident with me being handled generally before I direct my focus at their feet. I actually doubt there's much sense involved at all if someone just attempts to get in & focus on picking up/trimming a horse's feet regardless of the horse's preparation, behaviour, bodylanguage, etc.
     
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    10-24-2012, 10:18 AM
  #12
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by loosie    
Well since you brought up 'common sense', considering we're dealing with a large prey/flight animal & we're talking about handling the most dangerous part of their anatomy and taking away their ability of flight, I consider it 'common sense stuff' & good safety precautions to get the horse comfortable & confident with me being handled generally before I direct my focus at their feet. I actually doubt there's much sense involved at all if someone just attempts to get in & focus on picking up/trimming a horse's feet regardless of the horse's preparation, behaviour, bodylanguage, etc.
Maybe. XD though I can tell you that the better you get, the more you can get straight to the point with these horses and actually make them better (do your 'training') as you're working on their feet. It requires the human to have a little more courage though.
     
    10-24-2012, 11:22 PM
  #13
Showing
You have to decide if he is truly spooky or is skillful at using his jumpiness to get out of doing what you want. Take the horse and lunge him at the trot, both ways for about 10 min. He doesn't really want to do this as he'd rather save his energy for that fast getaway should a predator show up. Now is the time to ask for a foot, then do as I've mentioned in my earlier post. If you have to send (chase) him out he's really thinking about conserving energy. Life would be easier for farriers if horses got a good workout before his arrival, so the horse is enjoying a rest as the farrier works on the hooves.
     
    10-25-2012, 08:24 AM
  #14
Super Moderator
I think a lot of people are missing entirely what I am doing with the long rope and the 'sacking out' process. I am 'teaching' the horse that there is nothing to fear and all of the 'perceived scary objects or moves' are actually no threat to his safety.

I, in no way, 'force' a terrified horse to stand tied. Unless a horse is very spoiled and mad from the git-go, they do very little. They seldom set back because I have tied them a lot BEFORE I start sacking out.

Remember my outline for ALL training? Never ask a horse to do anything that he is not ready and able to do!

When I sack a horse out, reactive or not, he is already tying well. I do not approach a horse like I am trying to scare him. I never get right up in a horse's face. I am trying to show him there is nothing to be feared -- I am not trying to see if I can get him to react violently. Any dummy can get a horse to throw a fit. If one goes about it intelligently, you can teach a horse to accept that soft rope everywhere, can teach him to yield to any pressure from this rope and can have each hind foot picked up very quickly. I use 'approach and retreat' for every move the rope or I make. I back off and take all pressure off the instant the horse does the right thing.

Now, if a horse is already very spoiled and already has learned to kick at people, to threaten people, to make people step back away from them, then they may get really mad. This is a safe way to 'outlast' the most spoiled kicker while he is making it hard on himself and the easy thing for him to do is to 'give it up'. You never punish the horse and sure never hit the horse. You just let him decide that fighting is the hard thing to do and standing and 'giving' is the easy thing to do. You never have to do anything that the horse EVER resents.

As for a 'sneaking' around an untrained horse --- yes, there are good farriers (not a whole lot of them) that can sneak around a pretty green and a pretty tough horse and get him trimmed. A lot fewer can get one shod. Shame on you if you think this is the 'ideal' situation and all anyone needs is a better farrier.

It should NOT be the farrier's problem. Around here, most would just pack up their tools and drive off -- and not come back. They are not getting paid to train anyone's horse, unless, of course, that person has actually hired them to take the extra time to train and trim their horse. This is the owner's job. Farriers do not get paid enough to try to trim your rank, spoiled horse.

I have mentioned before that almost all of our shoeing is done by the Oklahoma State Horseshoeing School in Ardmore, OK, 30 miles from home. We keep shoes on 20 to 25 horses at all times. Seven or 8 of them are young, green horses while the others are pretty solid horses. Every young horse that I haul down there for their first shoes must let a student (oftentimes pretty ineptly) take most of a day to get shoes on their feet. They all come home shod and I never get any complaints from the students or the instructors. That is because I 'train' then first.

When I sell a horse, it will stand tied anywhere and let anyone that knows how to handle a horse's feet step up and trim or shoe them. I never want to hand a person the lead-rope and then give them a 'list' of what the handler does and does not have to do to get along with the horse. Every item on a 'list' is a hole in a horse's training. Same was true when I trained for the public. Horses had to go home without a list.

As for 'running a horse around' when it does not do the right thing --- I won't even consider going there. I have had horses that would bolt and run every time they did something wrong because that is what someone did before I got them. Can it work? Sure, on some horses. 'Actual training' always works better. I have seen 'hot-bloods' that could run in circles for 10 miles and still want to grab a foot away and run off. If this is how you 'train' a horse (and I use 'train' very loosely), I hate to see what happens if the horse is lame or has some leg or foot problem that preceded the farrier visit. If I ever encourage a horse to move away from me, you can bet it will be backing up and not running forward.

JMHO on how it works at my house. Cherie
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    10-25-2012, 11:30 AM
  #15
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Shame on you if you think this is the 'ideal' situation and all anyone needs is a better farrier.


LOL I can't speak for everyone but I understood what you meant about the long rope. Craig Cameron uses a similar method as his personal style of getting things done. You can see it in action on his "Darkness into Light" DVD. You can also use a reata for the same purpose, rope the hind feet and teach them to lead up by the front feet like Ray Hunt used to do. Though usually it's tough for the less experienced person do deal with having extra rope, but they really do need to just suck it up and learn to if they want to get good haha. Personally, I usually start with La Reata and once they're cool with that, hobble break them. Then I rarely have much trouble with the feet. But that's just me.

Btw I don't sneak around a horse. I make them better.
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    10-25-2012, 06:24 PM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
Remember my outline for ALL training? Never ask a horse to do anything that he is not ready and able to do!
............
As for a 'sneaking' around an untrained horse --- yes, there are good farriers (not a whole lot of them) that can sneak around a pretty green and a pretty tough horse and get him trimmed. A lot fewer can get one shod. Shame on you if you think this is the 'ideal' situation and all anyone needs is a better farrier.

It should NOT be the farrier's problem. Around here, most would just pack up their tools and drive off -- and not come back. They are not getting paid to train anyone's horse, unless, of course, that person has actually hired them to take the extra time to train and trim their horse. This is the owner's job. Farriers do not get paid enough to try to trim your rank, spoiled horse.
.......
As for 'running a horse around' when it does not do the right thing --- I won't even consider going there. I have had horses that would bolt and run every time they did something wrong because that is what someone did before I got them. Can it work? Sure, on some horses. 'Actual training' always works better....
Just thought those bits especially wouldn't hurt to be repeated!
     
    10-25-2012, 07:29 PM
  #17
Green Broke
I absolutely LOVE a hobble broke horse. I hobble broke ALL my horses. It was interesting when I took a Warm Blood or a Thoroughbred and threw a set of hobbles on them when I went somewhere and everyone was riding English (as was I).

I still have those hobbles I used to hobble break a horse.

I did have one horse that would take off and could move as fast with hobbles as without them. She needed 3 way hobbles or you were walking home. LOL
     
    10-25-2012, 10:58 PM
  #18
Foal
I have to wonder how often farriers has to work with horses that will not stand for them. I know the farrier we use has commented in the past on how pain in the butt a lot of horses are getting because they are not taught to stand there and not lean or chew on the farrier. My mom did a lot of the farrier work growing up and she drilled into both my head and the horses that they have to stand quiet and absolutely no touching or leaning on the farrier. As for training, I have used the "run you into the ground if you are an arsehole" on a few horses who where both lazy and spoiled. The problem is that lot of the horses I have worked with love to move anyway so it would have defeated it being a punishment.

With my new guy, he's more of a honest idiot. He doesn't have a whole lot of foundation to work with or act up in defiance of. And never fear, he is getting a really in depth foundation on ground manners, right now the feet are our main concern because he's never had them done and now that he's on softer ground he's not going to be able to grind them down like before. With that though, I got him out yesterday and by the end of an hour I could take a brush and get down to his hock area with him being relaxed.
     
    10-26-2012, 03:25 PM
  #19
Green Broke
When we first got Harley, you couldn't touch his back legs. The only way one could trim them was to tie or chain his back leg to a tree. Yes, they did use a chain. After I was able to work with him, he now lifts his back leg before you can reach for it.

Here's what I did. Some may reiterate some things already mentioned. I started with sacking out with the rope. Getting him comfortable with the rope being tossed anywhere around his body. Use approach and retreat, keep tossing the rope at the same area if he reacts, stop when he stands calmly. When he stands calmly no matter where you toss the rope, start rubbing him down with your hand. Start at his neck and move towards his back end and down his legs. If he tries to move away, keep rubbing the same spot until he stops moving. At that point, go back towards his neck a little and start over.

Once you can run your hand down both back legs, take your rope again and loop around one back leg. I don't stand at their shoulder but straight out from their butt on th side. Use a second rope to their halter or a helper to keep the horse from turning away from you. Pull slightly on the looped rope until the horse lifts that leg. If the horse tries to kick out of the rope and you are standing out to the side, the force of the kick will be side to side for you where you can keep steady pressure on the rope. If you are standing at his side, you can easily be puled towards his kicking leg or have the rope pulled from you which releases the pressure. That release can enforce that his kicking is the correct answer. You want the pressure to remain until he stops kicking, then release the pressure.

When he doesn't kick using the rope, go back to using your hand. Start with letting go as soon as he lifts his hoof comes off the ground and slowly increase the time he keeps it off the ground. When you let go, rub him on his back and let him stand for a few seconds before you try again.

As for farriers tollerating horses that won't stand still or kick out, that is not their job. That is up to the owner to have the horse stand nicely. All the farriers I know would quit with the horse until the behavior was fixed. I also have no issue with a farrier giving correction to the horse if needed. Sometimes a horse will behave for the owner but will test a new or infrequent person.
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