Weanling + Hoof cleaning = sudden issue? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Weanling + Hoof cleaning = sudden issue?

I'm a fairly new horse owner, and I'd rather take care of this before it becomes an issue.
I got my filly Kiera in October. She had never been wormed, and maybe that was why she was mostly easygoing with things like hoof cleaning. I don't know. In any case in the last couple of times I've tried to clean out her hooves, she's been really irritable about it.
Two times ago she kicked her back foot, not at me, but it was unacceptable. I persisted and cleaned her feet, telling her a very firm "No!". This last time, she started kind of stomping her front foot repeatedly. Again, I persisted and cleaned her feet.

Is this to be expected when dealing with young horses, or am I going about this wrong? I am not hurting her, nor lifting her feet too high. I've had the BO check, she did not have rocks in her feet...she just seems to not like her front feet (especially) done. Do I persist until she gets over it, and learns cleaning is going to happen regardless of her attitude, or is there another method?
*She was for the most part unhandled when I bought her*
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post #2 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:02 PM
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That's pretty usual. She's testing to see if you'll just give up and go away. Persist until she quits. I start handling feet as soon as they're born and still, eventually we'll have to have a pretty good tussle about it. If you can take her foot in your hand and just hold it without doing anything until she just stands and tolerates that, then pick, then set the hoof down on YOUR time, not hers it will eventually stop. Just keep on at it, be patient and don't lose your temper with her. Remember, in the wild a horse with one foot in a trap can't run from a predator. She just has to learn to trust that it's ok for you to hold her foot.

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post #3 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
That's pretty usual. She's testing to see if you'll just give up and go away. Persist until she quits. I start handling feet as soon as they're born and still, eventually we'll have to have a pretty good tussle about it. If you can take her foot in your hand and just hold it without doing anything until she just stands and tolerates that, then pick, then set the hoof down on YOUR time, not hers it will eventually stop. Just keep on at it, be patient and don't lose your temper with her. Remember, in the wild a horse with one foot in a trap can't run from a predator. She just has to learn to trust that it's ok for you to hold her foot.
Ok, can do. She has been dancing around with the fronts, but usually she'll let me do the back. When she lets me set them down, I praise her and scratch her neck. Hopefully it starts to sink in soon. =)

ETS: Thank you =)
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post #4 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:08 PM
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Yeah, she's a baby and has a baby's attention span. And your restraining her little horsey self from expressing something VERY important. She has no idea what though....LOL! Babies are just fun to raise, though I prefer to do it from birth, they are my favorites to train. Keep it short, sweet and be generous with your scritches and she'll come around. I find it funny that she's ok with the backs and not so much in the fronts. Most of mine are the opposite, much more touchy behind until they really learn to trust me.

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post #5 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:35 PM
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It's also a time of year when all horses tend to be a bit more feisty/springy/inattentive. The wind, the freshness, the openess... Spring does this too.

The only thing you could check is to see if there is any place that she might be sore on the front. So if you are picking up one foot, more weight is placed on the other front and if something is sore on her shoulder or below, it might cause her to be resistance. If both fronts are equal in resistance, check her chest area. But quite possibly, she is just being a kid.
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post #6 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:43 PM
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It makes perfect sense that some horses, especially youngsters, find it more difficult with the fronts, seeing as they carry most of their weight on the forehand. This means that they have to re balance a lot to stand on one front foot, which some find difficult.
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post #7 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 09:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
It makes perfect sense that some horses, especially youngsters, find it more difficult with the fronts, seeing as they carry most of their weight on the forehand. This means that they have to re balance a lot to stand on one front foot, which some find difficult.
This might be the case. My husband often comes along, and he says that he feels like she is uncomfortable balancing on one front.
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post #8 of 13 Old 11-13-2011, 11:06 PM
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Youngsters like to take backwards steps in training. I would expect several examples of this between birth and 6 or 7 years old. They key is patience and persistance, with both they'll go back to doing what they already know how to do.
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post #9 of 13 Old 11-14-2011, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
It makes perfect sense that some horses, especially youngsters, find it more difficult with the fronts, seeing as they carry most of their weight on the forehand. This means that they have to re balance a lot to stand on one front foot, which some find difficult.
Yes - it's a balance issue. You need to pick them up slowly and carefully so they can adjust their weight. Also at that age, it's easier on them to have someone hold them so they can lower their head to adjust for the weight shift. Tying is too restricting.
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post #10 of 13 Old 11-14-2011, 11:01 AM
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Cool, you learn new things every day. I never knew that a youngsters are balanced more forward. Anyone know why that is? Is it a physical development thing where their head is proportionately larger or something? Or is it more of a learning to walk kind of thing?
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