Picking front feet - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 12-25-2014, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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Picking front feet

I am a new owner to a 13 yr old paint mare. She is a great horse. She will not lift her front feet for me to pick them. She lifts the back ones just fine. Any suggestions on how to get her to let me pick them?
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post #2 of 19 Old 12-25-2014, 09:20 PM
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Try to put your weight on her shoulder and squeeze above her felt lock joint. Do these at the same time. Hope this helps!

Also, make sure she's somewhat squared up. Some horse won't pick up their feet if they feel thy are unbalanced.
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post #3 of 19 Old 12-25-2014, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thhorses View Post
Try to put your weight on her shoulder and squeeze above her felt lock joint. Do these at the same time. Hope this helps!

Also, make sure she's somewhat squared up. Some horse won't pick up their feet if they feel thy are unbalanced.
Fetlock, no felt in it.


Make sure you are standing in right place, and run hand down back of leg, and tell her to give it, at same time you either pinch with thumbnail, or I have used back edge of hoof pick too for encouragement.

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post #4 of 19 Old 12-25-2014, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by thhorses View Post
Try to put your weight on her shoulder and squeeze above her felt lock joint. Do these at the same time. Hope this helps!

Also, make sure she's somewhat squared up. Some horse won't pick up their feet if they feel thy are unbalanced.
I will try and make sure she is more squared up. She may not have been the past few times. Her previous owner had told me she didn't like picking up her front feet, now I believe him.. When I do get her foot up she kicks out of it, I guess I need to be consistent and keep trying!
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post #5 of 19 Old 12-25-2014, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
Fetlock, no felt in it.


Make sure you are standing in right place, and run hand down back of leg, and tell her to give it, at same time you either pinch with thumbnail, or I have used back edge of hoof pick too for encouragement.
Thanks, I didn't bother fixing spelling errors, I must've not notice it! (:
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post #6 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 04:25 AM
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She just leans heavier on them when you ask her to lift it.,?

Sometimes using the leadrope to make her to step forward one step, but do it so slowly that when she raises that foot, you are right next to her and can grab the lower leg and just bring it up
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post #7 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 06:44 AM
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She has obviously learned some bad habits!

As said stand level with the leg, lean into her shoulder so her weight shifts onto the other foot, riun your hand down her leg, whilst still in contact with leaning into her. As you get to her fetlock so she should lift, if she doesn't them use the point of the hoof pick in her heel.
If, when you have the foot up, she snatches it away, be ready, when she tries to snatch it away pull the hoof slightly to the outside and lift it up high so it is up to the outside of her elbow. When she relaxes lower the foot to where you can pick it out.
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post #8 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 08:53 AM
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The thing that popped into my mind was, "she picks up the hinds, so why not the hinds??".

The next thing was, "I wonder if her front feet are sore?".

I've read this in a few places, on this forum or elsewhere I don't remember. But since the weight is doubled on the front foot when one is picked up, it does make sense to at least consider the possibility.

Hondo will actually shift his weight and square up and even start to pick up a foot as I move towards another. Unless he is a little concerned about stuff going on around him. And also if there is another horse nearby. At those time he doesn't want to have ANY foot picked up. I consider that he's saying, "I may need all four of these for immediate flight so leave them alone please!"

So those are maybe a couple of more angles to check out. It's real easy for us humans to default to, "She's just being stubborn", and maybe she is. But I personally would not make that conclusion until the very last.

And if she has a really good reason, I'm thinking she could become defensive if forced for her own protection.

All FWIW.............

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post #9 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 10:36 AM
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Run your hand down to the chestnut, squeeze the chestnut a little and gradually increase the pressure until she lifts her foot, if you have to you also twist it a little bit. Most horses will pick their foot up with very little pressure when you squeeze that area. I also like to give a verbal command "lift", eventually all you will need to do is touch the chestnut, and/or say lift to get the job done.
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post #10 of 19 Old 12-26-2014, 12:06 PM
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Take a look at the clicker training thread on the forum here. You could teach her pretty quickly to lift her foot on command/signal and let her do all the work with the clicker. :)
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