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- - Picking Up Feet (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/picking-up-feet-59461/)
Picking Up Feet
How do I teach a horse to pick up his feet? I've got a young horse who will pick up his feet with just a little hesitation, but as the days go by he's becoming more and more reluctant. How can I keep hoof picking something positive that Cholo doesn't mind?
Thanks so much!
There are some things that horses just need to do, and picking up their feet is one of them. It only takes 5 minutes and as long as there isn't anything negative about it, there doesn't need to be anything positive about it. If he enjoys brushing, you can give me a good brush after, but I would stay away from bribes or rewards in general for this simple chore. Just keep practicing.
How do you encourage a horse to pick up its feet that is reluctant to do so?
This is what I did with a hard case I had at one time. The horse was very gentle well broke but came to me with this problem of not wanting its feet picked. He simply wouldn't pick them up and if he did he would take them away from me.
I put him on a long line in the round pen and work him out going through various common excersizes. Making him change directions side pass, back up, etc.
Then I rubbed all four legs and everytime he moved away I worked him some more. If he stood still then I just rubbed his legs a little and walked away. Then I pickup up a foot and held onto it and put it down before he took it away from me. If he took it away I worked him some more. It took about an hour the first day, but by the third day he figured out that if he would just hold still and let me peck on his foot I would soon put it down. Getting to stand and not do excersize became his reward. He stands quietly all the time now.
Practice just lifting the foot for a few seconds, but it down, pick it up again, etc...the more you handle their legs and feet, the easier it gets. With time, many horses will get so used to it that they will lift their foot automatically when you reach for it.
I also think it's a great idea to try the lunging, rubbing, lunging, rubbing, lunging, lifting strategy!! I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning, hopefully!
Thanks for all the other tips, too! Any more??
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