Trimming at liberty
 
 

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Trimming at liberty

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  • Liberty trimming

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    07-27-2013, 06:35 PM
  #1
Trained
Trimming at liberty

I thought I would just throw this up here on the outside chance it could prove to be of use to anyone that does their own trimming and prefers to do so at liberty.

This describes how I got my filly w no prior training to calmly and willingly allow me to trim her feet at liberty. It is still a work in progress, but....

When I got my filly she was a stout 2.5 yo and had no training of any kind. She didn't willingly lift her feet, much less hold them up/let them be held. I had no one to hold her. DH can some how mess up holding a young horse for trim work, which I've just chalked off to the 8th wonder of the world.

I used cotton ropes to get her to lift her feet. That effort went swimmingly and she became very compliant about lifting them. However, getting her to willingly hold them up/be held for any meaningful period of time was a different story.

I found that if she had her face in a pile of hay she didn't care what I did to her within reason - unlike my mare, which has the prima donna "I'm eating" attitude. So, I picked up the filly's feet and worked on them for short periods of time as she ate her curds and whey, and eventually was able to do so for long periods of time. Not surprisingly, she didn't position her balance "right" for the foot I would ask for, so I worked on whichever foot she was balanced for. It was a bit trying to switch back and forth according to her "hoof positions", but I wasn't in a hurry. I praised her exactly as I would have under "normal" circumstance (no food) and I never scolded her, after all it was her meal time.

Every so often I would try working on her fronts w a halter and lead across her neck (the only real purpose the tie serves is to be able get her to reposition her feet for balance). She got better and better about getting a trim this way (w just a lead, no hay) until I was able to trim/clean/whatnot her fronts w no problem. I still do her hinds whilst she is munching b/c otherwise she tends to want to "come see" me with her front end, and in the summer heat that can get exhaustive. We will "get there". And, she still hasn't quite caught on to repositioning her feet on her own. I think she is a little slow at "getting that" b/c I have, essentially, always done it "for her". Minor draw back.

I far prefer to trim when it is purely the horse's choice to "be there" (i.e., at liberty). There is always a "way"....and this is but one of them. Of course, as always it depends on the horse's temperament and one's patience.
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    07-27-2013, 07:59 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Up to you, your horse, your life.

But to me, this is extreme foolishness. You have no control over what may happen doing it this way. And are putting yourself in harm's way too.

Bee, dog, or whatever can come along and all of a sudden you are on the ground, possibly hurt, or mortally wounded.

And what, if you do get hurt, will happen to your horses, if you are paralyzed and can't care for them?

I just can't see any value in doing this at all.
     
    07-27-2013, 08:15 PM
  #3
Super Moderator
I also see no value in it at all. I do not understand what anyone is trying to prove with this little showoff stunt and do not understand how they fix it when it goes wrong. Probably 90% of the horses in my pasture would let me go around them, pick up any foot and stand for trimming if that was what I wanted. I just see no point in it.
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    07-27-2013, 08:32 PM
  #4
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie    
I also see no value in it at all. I do not understand what anyone is trying to prove with this little showoff stunt and do not understand how they fix it when it goes wrong. Probably 90% of the horses in my pasture would let me go around them, pick up any foot and stand for trimming if that was what I wanted. I just see no point in it.
Well, I am really sorry you see no point or value in it. But, I am truly impressed with your own and very humble accounting of how many of yours you can trim at liberty. That is great! Maybe you missed the part about how she initially would not stand at liberty for a trim - or that it was addressed to people that prefer to trim at liberty, such as myself.
     
    07-27-2013, 08:33 PM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy May    
I far prefer to trim when it is purely the horse's choice to "be there" (i.e., at liberty). There is always a "way"....and this is but one of them. Of course, as always it depends on the horse's temperament and one's patience.
Every horse I ever had would rather be in a huge field eating grass with other horses than be with me doing ANYTHING.

... Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
     
    07-27-2013, 08:40 PM
  #6
Trained
[QUOTE=Missy May;3181721](the only real purpose the tie serves is to be able get her to reposition her feet for balance).

I far prefer to trim when it is purely the horse's choice to "be there" (i.e., at liberty). QUOTE]

The tie, I'm assuming you mean when a horse is tied to something, absolutely does not serve the purpose of repositioning feet for balance. The tie is to ensure the horse isn't able to break away from you/the work area.

When working with my horse, it is NEVER her choice to do anything. Just asking for trouble. She has to do things only as I dictate and only when I choose is she permitted to do anything. Eg. Hand grazing. Allowing a horse to choose whether or not (s)he does something is asking for trouble. The human must be the leader at all times. You just can't let an animal 10 times your size/weight and ?x your strength EVER be the boss.

I agree with Palomine - this could be dangerous.

However, it is good training to teach your horse that you can work with her feet without being tied. I have used on occasion on the trail when the nearest tree or post was 1/4 mile down the field and I had to check her feet for something. And it is great that you did take so much time to gain her confidence. Now you need to ensure you have her respect as well.
     
    07-27-2013, 08:40 PM
  #7
Weanling
I see a point and value to it, Missy May.
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    07-27-2013, 08:48 PM
  #8
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lopin N Paint    
Every horse I ever had would rather be in a huge field eating grass with other horses than be with me doing ANYTHING.

... Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
haha. My mare stays with me in the pasture when she is on pasture - albeit the exception - but I'd rather not lug tools to her. By "at liberty" I mean, not held or tied. I ordinarily bring them in from the pasture (when they are on pasture) to do anything.
     
    07-27-2013, 09:10 PM
  #9
Super Moderator
Quote:
But, I am truly impressed with your own and very humble accounting of how many of yours you can trim at liberty.
I didn't say I go out and trim them at liberty. I said I could. They are just broke enough that I can pick up any foot on just about any one of them out in the pasture. I carry a hoof pick and pocket knife in my pocket at all times. If I see a horse take an 'off step' I will pick up a foot and check if there is anything in it. I sure would not bother to drag trimming tools out to the pasture.

As a matter of fact, I cannot handle a hoof for more than a few seconds without sitting down. If I have to trim a horse, it has to give me its hoof, let me put in on a hoof cradle and let me sit in a chair to trim it. But, I don't do it without a halter and lead on it and the rope thrown over the fence -- not tied. Since I cannot get out of one's way should it NOT want to just stand there, I want it to be able to go somewhere other than on top of me. Getting too crippled to do much has its disadvantages, but it means every horse I handle has to be well-mannered. That is just good manners that every horse should be taught.
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    07-27-2013, 09:12 PM
  #10
Trained
[quote=NorthernMama;3182665]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missy May    
(the only real purpose the tie serves is to be able get her to reposition her feet for balance).

I far prefer to trim when it is purely the horse's choice to "be there" (i.e., at liberty). QUOTE]

The tie, I'm assuming you mean when a horse is tied to something, absolutely does not serve the purpose of repositioning feet for balance. The tie is to ensure the horse isn't able to break away from you/the work area.

When working with my horse, it is NEVER her choice to do anything. Just asking for trouble. She has to do things only as I dictate and only when I choose is she permitted to do anything. Eg. Hand grazing. Allowing a horse to choose whether or not (s)he does something is asking for trouble. The human must be the leader at all times. You just can't let an animal 10 times your size/weight and ?x your strength EVER be the boss.

I agree with Palomine - this could be dangerous.

However, it is good training to teach your horse that you can work with her feet without being tied. I have used on occasion on the trail when the nearest tree or post was 1/4 mile down the field and I had to check her feet for something. And it is great that you did take so much time to gain her confidence. Now you need to ensure you have her respect as well.
No, I guess I worded that poorly...I meant the lead rope - I just place it over her neck for some place to hang it until I need her to move her feet a bit. Like I said, it depends on the horses temperament. There are plenty, plenty that don't belong to me that I wouldn't do myself - tied or otherwise - maybe drugged. I never thought of the trail aspect, I take it for granted that my mare will pick up any foot - and w this much rock and cactus, I often have to. That made me thankful for something, thank you. The filly is a haffie, very respectful when she wants to be. Otherwise, I carry a big stick and speak softly to make sure she is when she doesn't want to be.
     

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