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Green Jasper 09-29-2007 03:32 PM

Struggle to pick up feet.
Hey... I have problem picking up my mares feet... I lease her on Saterdays because its all I can afford... But I spend most of an hour trying to groom her (mostly picking her feet). I find it vertually impossible to pick up her front feet, probably because of a cart injury that she got before she was rescued by her curent owner. Does anyone have any tips?

appylover31803 09-29-2007 05:47 PM

My mare had some trouble picking up her front feet as well. It was because what she was standing on was not even. As soon as she was on level ground, she would pick them up. I also say to her "foot up" when i have run my hand down her leg. Im assuming you know how to pick up feet. It has worked very well, where all i have to say is "foot up" and she'll pick it up. I also say "foot down" when i put it down and reward her, first with treats, then with just a pat and saying "Good girl".

My boyfriend's gelding also has trouble picking up his feet. He would let you pick it up if he was eating hay or something. That worked well as it took his mind off of what we were doing. My boyfriend also used "foot up" and "foot down" and that has worked well aswell.

If you want, ask someone to be the treat dispenser at her head as you pick up her feet. To start, i would say just pick them up, hold them for a second or two, then put it down. One she realizes that nothing bad is going to come out of it, she shouldn't have a problem when you have to pick it.

This is going to take time, and if she doesn't cooperate, take a breather, walk away if you have to, and come back with a clear head. If you get frustrated, she'll sense that and in turn, she will get frustrated as well.

I hope this helps Green Jasper. Keep me updated on how it goes, and if you run into a problem, i'll do my best to tell you how to resolve the problem. :)

KANSAS_TWISTER 09-29-2007 11:34 PM

got to love 4-h for questions like this....i've been around horses for over 30 years and only learn't this this year when my daughter went to a meeting hoasted by a horse chiroprator!! if you gentley squeze the chestnut a horse will bring up it's hoof, i tried it on abby and it works

Delregans Way 09-30-2007 05:19 PM

Yes, KANSAS TWISTER you are right. Squeezing or twisting the chestnut does work. My farrier use to use it when i had youngsters. Also another trick that i use, is to run your hand down their leg as you would normally do. And then lean on them with your shoulder. It makes them put more weight on the other leg that you can't pick up. It makes it so easy. Try it, its really easy! :D

BluMagic 09-30-2007 05:24 PM

Boo is just plain lazy! I lean on him, squeeze his cannon bone, and then pull his fetlock! But when I manage to pick his foot up for him, he leans his weight on me!

ilovemydun 11-02-2007 06:31 PM

i agree with squeezing the chestnut! i did that to teach my filly to pick up her feet, now as soon as i touch that spot when im running my hand down her leg, she lifts it for me. plus, you don't have to bend as far down! ahah :p

sweetypie16 11-06-2007 10:33 PM

:D My dad has been doin that (squeezing the chestnut) for years! He swears by it.

barefoothooves 11-14-2007 12:09 AM

Also, if making sure the horse is standing square, squeezing the chestnut and gently pushing the horse with your body doesn't your hand lower, squeeze the ergot (the chestnut type finger-like growth in the fetlock) and pull, if that doesn't work, squeeze the tendon...if THAT doesn't work, I take my hoofpick and just where on top of the bulbs of the heel, I push firmly. It squishes the digital cushion and most will pick up if nothing else has worked.
Also, I may push the back of their knee with my elbow if it's a front leg, or if it's a gentle horse on the hind, I wrap my arm around to the inside of the leg below the hock and shoulder it backwards, and the leg kind of scoots, and I can grab it up.
Also, the bulbs of the heel, where it kinda looks like a butt crack and the crevice of the frog is, I will dig my hoof pick there, too to get a response.

flashback 11-21-2007 06:52 AM

I have a similar problem with my very big horse but although I can pick up his hooves but when I get it up he leans on me and are very very heavy...javascript:emoticon(':roll:')
Rolling Eyes

I read this article and found it very useful with this problem

sweetypie16 11-21-2007 10:43 PM

Cool article!!! :P

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