The Horse Forum

The Horse Forum (/)
-   Horse Grooming (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-grooming/)
-   -   Wont pick up feet? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-grooming/wont-pick-up-feet-32902/)

polkapiggy 07-31-2009 02:06 PM

Wont pick up feet?
 
I groomed my new loan pony for the first time today, she was wonderful except for picking up her feet. With a lot of persuading and some fast picking i managed to get her front feet done but she is just awful about her back feet, I ended up leaving them unpicked. She's a big cob so its not like i can just lift her feet. Im also quite nervous about it because when i touch her hooves she tries to kick me (strangely she doesn't try and bite, just kicks). What's really weird about it is when i went near her legs with a brush she imediatley lifted them to kick, but with a hoof pick she wouldn't even lift them. My instructor told me just to try and catch her feet when she attempts a kick but i really don't think thats safe, as i said she's a big cob and she's very powerfull. Does anyone have any advice as how i could coax her to pick up her feet? And how i can stop her trying to kick me when i brush or touch her legs?

oh and another point is that whenever she is on uneven ground she stumbles a lot. I don't know why this is but when we went on a hack today we were on graveled ground and she was just constantly stumbeling when all the other horses were fine. I was thinking the two issues may be linked :? (or maybe she's just a moody mare :-()

Chella 07-31-2009 09:03 PM

Well I agree it is scary to pick out a large horses hooves. I have 4 horses and one went through a bout of thrush and during that time he would not allow me to pick that hoof it I am sure hurt. The stumbling part? Has he been trimmed by a farrier lately? If his toes are to long he might have a hard time with the break over, the natural role of the toe hitting and rolling over as he walks. Plus if they are to long they could be pulling away from the hoof wall and causing pain thus not wanting them touched.

Scoutrider 07-31-2009 09:24 PM

She could be moody, but that doesn't excuse kicking, IMHO. I don't know the full situation (you describe her as a loan...), but if you are the one dealing with her feet day to day, this should be resolved. My only reason for the qualification is that it takes consistency, and if the primary handler isn't following through, life will be harder for all involved.

I would start with a lunge whip or other "arm extender" and get her comfortable with you touching her everywhere with it, especially around her hind end. Trace her outline, search out the trigger spots and rub them away. Keep touching her until she relaxes, then remove the whip. When the whip doesn't bother her (no kick threats, pinned ears, tension, etc.), and you feel safe, try tracing her again with your hand. If she reacts negatively, go back to the whip and get the relaxed attitude back. Next, try a brush. When she's good for all that, pick up her feet.

If she won't lift them nicely, you can pinch the tendon area at the back of the cannon, or the chestnut. Either of these places will probably get her to lift, but some horses work better with one or the other. If you've done the preliminary stuff, she shouldn't kick, but if she does, try to stay close (reduces force of kicks if she hits you) and hang on. If you let go, she got her release of pressure. Try to stay with her until she relaxes, then drop the foot. Work your way up to holding the hoof up longer and longer, and picking it out while it's up. When she's good for the whole bit, you can set her foot down, but for now it's more important to keep her polite and not leaning.

When she stumbles, is it more in her front end or her back end? It could be the length of her toes, but if she's tender in her back end, that could contribute to her "goosiness" and her stumbling. As always, check with a vet, chiro, etc. and do your best to rule out any physical cause of behavioral problems.

I hope that was a bit helpful, and good luck!

azarni 07-31-2009 10:44 PM

My Percheron mare was SO bad for this when I first got her! She didn't try to kick or anything, but she'd plant her foot on the ground and put all of her weight onto it on purpose. She had absolutely no respect for me, which translated into "No, I don't think I'll pick my feet up for you. You're not worth the effort." This might be what your mare is doing, too.

I'm not really sure how I resolved the problem. I just kept at it. The first day it took me almost 5 minutes to pick up each hind hoof. I tapped her fetlock with the blunt side of the hoof pick, and pulled up on her feathers, as well as asking her to move her hind end away from me after maybe 20 seconds, to move the weight off her hoof. Once she learned that I'd just keep at it until she picked her hoof up, she improved quickly. Now, about a month later, I have no issues with her feet at all.

polkapiggy 08-01-2009 10:57 AM

Thanks guys! i tried to pick out her feet again today and she's starting to get the idea im not going to leave her alone until she picks them up :P I was bathing her after my lesson and she let me touch her legs and even let me sponge them off! She seems to be improving a lot and she's starting to trust me =)

as for the stumbling, i talked to my instructor and the farrier saw her only a few weeks ago. The stumbling was from her front end but today she wasnt stumbling at all, i have a feeling she was testing me ;) I talked to a couple of people about her history and it turns out she was a hacking horse before she came to the stables i go to and before then she'd never been ridden in a ring before so that explains why she's a bit moody in the school.

I love your guys ideas to get her to pick up her feet and i'll definatley try them out! thanks!

VintageMatch 08-04-2009 12:48 AM

Vinty has the same problem she was fine when I got her but the farrier beat her up so now she rears and kicks. But what I did was stand with a chain over her nose and I had a dressage whip and taped and rubbed her legs with it and once she was fine with that I spent 20 min. Rubbing her legs with my hands and her brush then when that was accepted I told her to stand and went to pick up her foot and if she moved or kicked out she got a light tug on the chain and was told to stand then I was finally able to pick up her foot and as soon as it was up I gently set it back down then praised her and did it again for longer and longer periods until I could hold her foot for 20 slow seconds then I picked her hoof only a little and each time you get longer and longer praiseing her all the way.

VintageMatch 08-04-2009 01:00 AM

Vinty has the same problem she was fine when I got her but the farrier beat her up so now she rears and kicks. But what I did was stand with a chain over her nose and I had a dressage whip and taped and rubbed her legs with it and once she was fine with that I spent 20 min. Rubbing her legs with my hands and her brush then when that was accepted I told her to stand and went to pick up her foot and if she moved or kicked out she got a light tug on the chain and was told to stand then I was finally able to pick up her foot and as soon as it was up I gently set it back down then praised her and did it again for longer and longer periods until I could hold her foot for 20 slow seconds then I picked her hoof only a little and each time you get longer and longer praiseing her all the way.

Beloved Killer 08-04-2009 02:03 AM

My guess would be that it's just a dominance thing.

barebackcowgirl99 08-07-2009 07:26 PM

well we have an anglo arab that wont pick up his feet wen he walks and he trips over everything and it is sooooooo andoying we have even put him on hot feed to see if that helps but it doesnt.

stephnpierre 08-16-2009 09:07 AM

I had a stocky 2 y/o 15hh cob mare, and we had the same problem. All we did was lean on her completely and use her feathers against her by pulling them, she'd eventually lift them and just rest it on your knee so its not easy for her to stamp. The back ones we used to do the same, lift it and just cling on during the kicks, just remember, the closer you are to a kicking horse the less it's gonna hurt! Just keep working at it, I used to give her a hard tap on her rump when she misbehaved and a big handful of polos and lots of hugging and praise when she did it right. We got there in the end, and she was picking them up with just a touch after a month :)


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:43 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0