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jwhisperj 10-26-2007 05:53 PM

any ideas on hind leg issues?
Hey everyone!
I have a 14 year old gelding that I bought about 2months ago, found out that he was treated badly. Anyway, when I brought him home I couldn't catch, touch, or pet him. once I caught him I could do anything to him except touch his legs.

I can now pet him when he is loose, catch him, pick up his front feet and run my hand down his hind legs. So today I thought he might be ready to try to pick up his hind leg, apparently not. He let me run my hand down his leg and as soon as I started to pick it up he jerked it away and kicked me. I did not get hurt luckily.

I would love some suggestions on how to get him better about this. He is not disrespectful, I think he had an old injury that was taken care of buy someone unkind.

I tried to put a rope in between his hind legs but when I threw it and tried to walk over to pick up the other end he would step over it.
Thanks for your help!!

~MavvyMyBeauty 10-26-2007 06:34 PM

Wow, that's practically the same story as me horse! 'Cept after months of work he's got back shoes now!

I would try picking up his back feet with a long rope. Get him happy with it around his back legs then ask him to lift his leg with the rope under the fetlock. Always stand nearly at his shoulder because he'll make a big fuss for the first few times. Mine ended up on the ground! Keep doing it a few times everyday until he's doing it PERFECTLY then stand beside his leg and do it. Eventually you can pick up his foot for a few seconds then longer. It'll come eventually.

This is going to take a long time so take it really slow. Hope this helps and good luck!

jwhisperj 10-26-2007 07:09 PM

Thank you so much for the reply!
One question, how do you get the rope around his leg? I can't start at his thigh and run it down, and I have tried to toss it in between his legs and pick up the end but he always moves.
Thanks again for the help I am not in a huge hurry as I think we have made pretty good progress as of yet. So if this takes several months than so be it. :wink:

jazzyrider 10-27-2007 08:45 AM

we have just been through this exact thing with my wb. my husband came within inches of copping a fair kick from a 17.2hh wb which is a scary prospect.

we had to get him to trust us and to be calm etc we did some bonding and calming techniques we learnt from frank bell. we spent a lot of time doing the pull and release on his halter to get him to bring his head down and relax. when we had him doing this, we would gently pet him all over focusing on his happy places :) when he freaked out, we would bring his head back down. when that didnt work, we bought his head around to his side so he was tucked away in his safe spot. eventually he calmed enough to let us do as we please.

you can get sent a free dvd from frank bell on the basics of the 7 steps of natural horsemanship. i cant remember the exact site but type frank bell into google and have a look around. i cant speak highly enough of the methods used and what it has done for our wb. we still have issues to work through but the change in him is so amazing and we have only had him 3 weeks now.

your horse has to understand that you arent going to hurt him. he needs to completely trust you considering he has obviously come from an unfavourable environment. once you build that friendship and trust, you will be able to do anything with him.

having said all that, is there any chance that he is suffering some kind of pain in relation to his feet?? could be either of his back feet as generally speaking, if it was that foot that was causing him trouble, lifting it should be better for him unless he has soreness under/inside the hoof. if you have a good, gentle, knowledgable farrier, it might be an idea to give him a call as well. our farrier was the first to be able to successfully pick up and deal with his feet.

good luck with it all. its so frustrating sometimes when we cant do the simplest of thigns that we normally take for granted :)

Spirithorse 10-27-2007 09:11 AM

To get him used to having a rope thrown around him, you need to keep gently tossing it around him UNTIL HE STANDS STILL AND RELAXES. Horses are naturally perceptive to people, places, changes and things, particularly DANGEROUS people, places, changes and things :wink: He precieves the rope to be dangerous and he doesn't have trust in you IN THIS SITUATION. So keep your body language really relaxed, and just keep at it until he stands still and relaxes. Use relaxation, rhythm and retreat.

It may seem silly to us that a horse is afraid of a rope, but we have to put ourselves in his place. With some horses, more extreme horses, simply getting them to relax while you toss a rope around them can take hours! But this just shows you how untrusting the horse is. So be very patient, and if you feel yourself getting frustrated, rub your horse and take a break.

~MavvyMyBeauty 10-27-2007 06:24 PM

What SpiritHorse said really. You can spend ages throwing the rope over him until he's realaxed, flicking it around his legs until he stops moving around and he's happy with it.

Also make sure you can rub your hands all over his body, including between his legs. So when he's happy with all that you can quietly pass the rope between his back legs.

jwhisperj 10-27-2007 11:46 PM

Thank you all very much for the replies!

As far as getting his trust we have come a long way, still have a ways to go though. I too have the Frank bell series. Very helpful.

I have been using the rope on him alot and he stands perfectly still for it, all over his body including the legs. I do this with him almost every time I work him. I am also getting him used to different things too.

I am pretty sure that he is not in pain, he moves very freely, picks his feet up on his own,(in the field he bounces and bucks) and is not off in any way.

As far as having a ferrier out that is not a possibility right now. I had one come out who was very good with my horses and very patient. He came out just to meet Gus and maybe try his front feet.
Gus was terrified! All the man did was talk to him, pick up a brush and start walking to him. Gus bolted. We caught him and the man was very nice and walked Gus around, petted his neck, asked him to back up and get his mind off of things but Gus was shaking so bad and covered in sweat that he decided it was too much for him. That is when it was apparent that something had happened with men. He was not like this to me or any women. Luckily his feet are in great shape from wear and tear. Thank goodness.

I am going to have a vet come out and do his teeth, so he will be tranked and I'll have the ferrier come out at the same time.
I am also looking for a female ferrier in the area.

I will definitely work with his head more and keep it at a low relaxed state.

Sorry this is so long but I thought you should know more of the story. Thanks again!!!

Appyt 10-28-2007 11:38 AM

Honestly if he is that afraid of a man you should get that farrier back out and pay him to become this horses friend. One day your life may well depend on him being ok with a man nearby.. The worst thing you can do is feed his fear by attempting to remove the feared object(man)..

Otherwise on the rope around the leg, do get him used to the rope around and all over his body, then flick toss it around(first) and over him until he falls asleep while you are doing it. If you can't place it around his leg etc by hand then he isn't ready for you to use it to lift his hooves. Make sense?

Appyt 10-28-2007 11:47 AM


Originally Posted by jazzyrider can get sent a free dvd from frank bell on the basics of the 7 steps of natural horsemanship. i cant remember the exact site but type frank bell into google and have a look around..........

I just poked around in his site and I couldn't find any sign of a free dvd..

jwhisperj 10-28-2007 01:04 PM


I fully agree that taking men out of the picture would be a big no no.
My husband has been feeding him and even saddled and rode him the other day. We have been working on the man issue as much as possible. ( we live in the middle of nowhere and there are not very many men around :) ) when ever we have company I ask them to come meet Gus, and pet him. So we are trying to get him used to others now, this is just going to take some time. We are in this for the long haul.

I use the rope alot like I said before. I can swing it all the way around his legs with no issues, and all over his body. I have the Frank bell series also.
I just started to really work him and ask things from Gus. I wanted to get him to trust me enough that I could at least catch him.

Thanks again for the ideas!!

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