Problem With Picking Up Back Hoof
I know this is pretty basic stuff, and I should be able to fix this on my own, but I honestly can't. :/
I have a 2 year old mare (the gray, Eliza) who will NOT let me touch her back feet. She's gotten better, as she used to kick out whenever I touched her hip/butt/legs, and now it's just her lower legs and feet she minds being touched. She got into big trouble for trying to kick me, haha.
What should I do to get her to let me mess with my back feet? I've owned her for four months, and the only time she's EVER had her hooves cleaned were the two farrier visits, so I'm feeling pretty bad.
She freaks if I touch them, and if I get them in the air, she either tries sitting down, or leans on me until I HAVE to let go.
Hell, the farrier had to get her to lay down to do her hooves.
The story with her is, she was born with a clubfoot, which was fixed (you can't tell anymore, and she's 100% sound). She was also pretty much ignored after that, and eventually became EXTREMELY thin and was sold at auction, where a friend of mine bought her and then sold her to me. He was able to get the clubfoot info off them, apparently.
She'll pick up her front feet, no problem. It's just the back ones.
I asked for similar advice lately, and recieved a lot of great ideas. What is helping with my horse is to use a thick soft cotton rope and loop it over the fetlock area, and lift the foot up with that everyday, until your horse gets more used to having it handled. Here is a link to the thread I started- http://www.horseforum.com/horse-trai...-hooves-56499/
Thanks! I'll scan that thread tonight. I've been trying to get the rope around her leg, as that was a trick I'd heard of before, but it isn't going too well. I'll keep up with that, though.
I learned a very safe way of starting to pick the back feet up several yrs ago. I took advantage of the colts wanting to graze and if I was wanting to pick say the left rear up I would have them step forward until that left rear foot was forward and then start working my hand down until I could pick it up while at the colts side. With the foot forward if the colt got worried the only place for the foot to go was back away from you. Once they accepted having the foot picked up forward I worked my way back with the foot. Worked great for me. Of course the cotton rope work is first. I've also had some that would give the foot but take it away while trimming. Once I know they know what I want I dont put up with that and the foot is roped and I pick it up and hold it until the colt gives, I give. Don't take long for them to quit the foolishness. Hope this makes since.
The soft cotton lead rope worked for me with Maddie. It just took time. =)
May I ask how often do you work with her on her back legs? If you need her to go over that you have to practice every day several times a day for short period of time. I got both my yearlings completely unhandled (Jemma kicked all around when I first started brushing her :wink: ), so I first made sure they are OK about me brushing their butts, and then just went lower and lower with the brush and hands on their back legs. When they were completely OK with me touching them all over the leg (from the hip to the hoof) I started to ask for the foot by gently pushing them off the balance. BTW by that time they knew how to pick up the front hoofs, so got the idea what I want pretty quickly. Very possibly your horse is still very unbalanced, so she panicks when you try to pick the hoof. In this case leaning her against the wall may help.
BTW, I tried using the rope to pick the hoofs too, but somehow working just with my hands and pushing them off balance worked better for me.
Admittedly, I don't mess with them enough - once or twice a day. She's defientally not unbalanced anymore, and is much more graceful than some of my older horses. If she was bigger and, tbh, a prettier horse, she'd be great for sports.
What really helped me was that the farrier came out to work on Maddie, knowing she was very touchy with her back feet. He looped the cotton lead around her fetlock, then hiked up her foot and tied it around her neck. He wanted her off balance so she could learn to stand on 3 legs without panicking. He kept a lead rope on her halter of course while doing this, and just let her fight it out. She finally settled down and was calm. When he looped her second leg she fought it but not as long. Now she doesn't bother with it.
I might have to try that. Like I said, they ended up having to sit on her head to do her hooves, haha.
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