rear feet for the farrier - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By Saddlebag
  • 2 Post By yadlim
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2011
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rear feet for the farrier

My new mare refuses to pick up rear feet, or hold them up for any length of time. Her front feet are fine but she seems to get scared and wants to move away when you try to pick up rear. I have cross ties and a round pen available also a slant load trailer with tight dividers. Any suggestions to get me started ?
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post #2 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 08:39 AM
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I'm not NH, but I've had success with using a rope to lift fronts and hinds. After checking for any kind of pain, of course.

I wouldn't do it in the crossties, either have someone hold her or tie her safely.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 7 Old 05-08-2012, 08:57 AM
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Joe, if you have a paddock, take her in there and don't tie her-just drop the lead rope. Fear is her issue. When you tie her then ask for a hind leg you remove her ability to escape. Do a front first. If she walks off, wait until she stops then put her back exactly where you were working. Then proceed again. Altho her walking off may seem annoying to you she is learning to trust, that there will be no repercussions. I have found that in most cases when the horse realizes it can leave, it will stay because it feels safer. The more you restrict her at this time the worse she will get.
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post #4 of 7 Old 05-10-2012, 05:36 AM
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Check out the 'trouble lifting legs' thread & the clicker training one. I think using a rope to help her can be handy, but being new to you & apparently doing this in fear, I wouldn't attempt this sort of method, at least until you've developed a trusting relationship with her in a non-confrontational way.
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post #5 of 7 Old 05-11-2012, 10:08 AM
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OK - we are currently working on this same thing with my daughter's only recently tamed filly.

This is what we are doing. I asked the farrier if he had any better suggestions and he thought it was great what we were doing, just keep at it.

In the round pen where she can't get very far, she is rubbed all over with a long (20 foot) cotton rope unitl she is bored with it. Then startign with the front feet and at complete liberity, the rope is looped over her fetlock and pressure applied. If she takes a step or two away, it is fine, that is why the rope is so long. If the horse goes to panic, drop one side of the rope. As it is not tied on, it will come off - then start over.

Eventually, the pressure will cause the horse to pick up the foot. Praise and lots of love. repeat, asking for a few seconds before you put it down. Praise and love, repeat, each time adding more time it is up in the air. You don't want to over do any one foot, about ten minutes working per foot is more than enough - less if the horse is stressed about it.

Do this with the back feet too. The rope keeps you out of kicking distance and a bit of tugging/kicking does not put you in danger. Do not react to this stuff. Just keep asking for the foot to be up and for longer periods of time. For the first session, five seconds is probably a great achievement for hte back feet.

Having the horse at liberty takes away a lot of the thought that they are being forced and makes them have to think - which I find gets faster results.

My daughter's filly has had four such sessions now and will hold the fronts up for about five minutes and the backs for about two minutes.
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-20-2012, 12:02 PM
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Have we had any success here?
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post #7 of 7 Old 05-20-2012, 11:10 PM
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OMG Yadlim you scared me! You didn't have an avatar and I thought you got banned and I got really sad...!!!

Glad that's not the case, phew!

But yeah, any updates?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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