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coffeeaddict 07-07-2010 12:12 AM

Picking back feet from opposite side?
I was talking with another boarder at my barn today about Cookie's bad habit of kicking while I pick out her back feet. It is her last really bad vice that I'm working on and while she has gotten much better, she will still test it sometimes and she has kicked me good before. <ouch!>

She suggested that I pick out her back feet from the opposite side, so instead of standing next to the kicking leg, I would be on the other side of the horse entirely and not in striking distance. So for example, I'd stand on the left side, and reach under the horse to pick up the right foot.

She never kicks unless the back foot is actually in the air and I'm holding it up, so I would not be worried about her kicking me for just being back there.

I can see the logic in this and am wondering if anyone here picks out their horses back feet this way? Is there any reason why I wouldn't want to just do it this way from now on?

This is the first I've heard of that and am wondering if there's anything wrong with it that I'm just not thinking of.

Oddly enough, she will stand fine for the farrier, she just wants to kill me. lol

wild_spot 07-07-2010 12:25 AM

I sometimes pick up my horses feet from the other side just to switch things up a bit, but I would make it a habit - that would just be avoiding the issue.

I would suggest keep working on it - make sure you stand nice and close to her rump so if she does kick it is more of a shove - Until you can pick her feet up without issue.

purplefoal 07-07-2010 12:28 AM

Hmm... interesting. It sounds like a good idea. Maybe I should try it. Might be kind of tricky, though, picking out a horses hoof from all the way on the other side.

Pinto 07-07-2010 03:18 AM

Hmm, I've never heard of doing that before. I would have thought it would be kind of hard. Well it would be for me... I've got short arms and I probably wouldn't be able to reach around my horses big butt xD
How much is she kicking when you pick up her hind legs? Generally, most horses kick a bit when you pick up their back legs. My boy only does it for a few seconds, but I just hold on until he eventually relaxes and lets me take the weight (I swear he thinks hoof-picking time is the chance to use me as his own personal footstool!).

coffeeaddict 07-07-2010 11:20 AM


I've got short arms and I probably wouldn't be able to reach around my horses big butt
You don't reach around the butt, you would reach under the horse and across.


How much is she kicking when you pick up her hind legs?
I have a nice purple bruise on my hip from just this problem. I get as close as I possible can so I don't know how she gets the leverage to pop me, but she does. I'm getting very sick of it. Last time it happened I was "this close" to putting her on dreamhorse and selling her to the first person with a dollar.

Then the anger worse off. She is very good about everything else, it's just this. But this is a BIG deal for me.

I have tried to "make her think she was gonna die" when she does it, but I am only 5'2 and 110lbs so I'm not very intimidating even when I try. I don't think it made much of a difference. It was suggested that I carry a crop with me from now on so I can pop her good, and I'm going to try that too.

iloveindi 07-07-2010 12:44 PM

My Thoroughbred mare does that. Only for a little bit, till she relaxes. If she keeps doing it repeatly i poke her in her belly so she knows i dont like that. She usually stops as soon as i do that. If your horse keeps kicking even after you poke him and you drop his foot, just pick it up again.
Dont let your anger get to you. You horse can sense your anger, and may act differently. Try to stay calm. :wink:

flamingauburnmustang 07-07-2010 02:16 PM

Oooooh...I know how you my old barn there was a woman who always asked me to help her with her horse when she was there, and that would include picking up his feet to clean them. The minute your hand went near his hind legs he would strike out at nothing in particular with his ears flat down. Eventually we would have to get one of the grooms to lift up one of the fore legs and then he had to just concentrate on balancing instead of kicking out, although he would then put almost all of his weight into my hands....

momo3boys 07-08-2010 08:40 AM

The women I got my horse from showed me a great way to do it. She hold the lead rope instead of tying and literally goes in circles trying to pick up the hoof until he tires out and lets her. He still wont keep it up for too long but it is getting better.

payette 07-08-2010 10:59 AM

Have you used a leadrope to pick up the foot and hold it 'till she is through kicking? Done daily, that should help her understand that you are in charge of her hoof. . .

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