Teaching a horse to watch their feet? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Teaching a horse to watch their feet?

Hey Horse people! Caden is my 11 month old foal. He doesnt watch his feet well at all and steps on us alot. His mother Daleen dooesnt really watch her feet with anybody but HER person. She doesnt care for any body but her. My little sisters mini steps on feet on purpose. It gets annoying. It is ridiculous we have to watch their feet! Apollo is the only one that watches his feet. (Thank goodness he is a 15.2 anglo-arabian!)
And I would love if the others did like he does.( hes mine)

Is there any way you know of for me to help teach them to watch there feet?
P.s can you change your profile name.
I was going to name Apollo Dreamer but the ended up being a gelding not a mare.

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 11:57 AM
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You need to give them some form of discipline when they step on you. I let mine run into my elbow if they're not paying attention to where they are putting their feet while near me. That isn't the only way to correct them and I'm sure you'll get other suggestions of what works for other people. Whichever one you decide to go with you need to stay consistent, firm and fair. The mini that does it on purpose may need a firmer correction and take longer to break the habit but the colt should learn pretty quick. Do the discipline before they actually step on you not after.

I don't think you can change your profile name but you can send a note to one of the moderators and ask.




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post #3 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 01:25 PM
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For me elbow out and a quick jab with said elbow if they are crowding. The one we had that purposefully steps on feet would get cracked across the ankle with a crop or a swift kick with the heel of my boot when the elbow didn't work. She would test first though so if you were paying attention you caught her warning step. This was a draft though not a mini so perhaps the crop would be best if too low for an elbow.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 02:35 PM
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Yikes! I would not want a draft with the habit of stepping on your toes.

All good suggestions by above posters. I would also add that you need to watch YOUR feet, and make sure that you are not placing them in the way of the horse. I have only been stepped on about three times in over ten years of working with horses. The last time was when I had my feet too close to my mare and I asked her to move, she stepped right on me. She didn't mean to, but I had to try to shove her off as fast as possible lol.

I always watch my feet and try not to get too close to a horse that fidgets when tied. My mare has a bad habit of pulling the slack out of the rope and fidgeting, so recently I have been cross tying her and she is standing still for that. For horses that crowd when leading, I just don't allow that in the first place, and not allowing it prevents them from stepping on me.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 03:57 PM
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Don't think of it as "they don't watch their feet" (I first thought this was about trail riding!). Think of it as "they don't care about my space". If you watch loose horses interact, they are 100% conscious of each others' space and their own. Nobody crowds the dominant horse, if they know what's good for them. You must be in the position of the dominant horse, because you sure don't want any other role. We can't lay our ears back and snake our necks, and horses are less than impressed if we swing our butts around at them. So we have to teach them our own threat language.

This can be quite personal. Just has to be consistent. For example, between me and my own horse, a fluttered hand means "move away". Not moving? Threaten to poke with elbow (just lift it). Still not? Jab with the nearest elbow. Still not? Twirl rope's end. Then the smack. Since she already knows this language, the progression only has a second or two between actions. About 90% of the time, the wiggling fingers is all she needs. The other 10% is almost always when she's fixated on something else and has forgotten my existence. In this case I put in a irritated, warning "Hey!" and perhaps a snap on the lead rope.

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post #6 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 04:52 PM
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That draft is a trip. If you are paying 100% attention to her then no problem. Let your mind wander and the ear cocks, the eye narrows and then she steps to the side as she is walking forward with this ho hum, la te da, crunch...Oh what I stepped on you, what do you mean I stepped on you, I was watching where I was going.... Yes, yes she was and has fooled many a person that thought the gentle giants would never intentionally lay harm to a human.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-13-2017, 06:50 PM
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If he's such a klutz, he'd get a sharp elbow or punch in the neck or shoulder whenever he's closer than a foot (no pun intended) from mine, every time. I, too, thought we are talking about trail riding, because OTTBs tend to be not well trained in navigating rough terrain, since they grew up on a groomed race track, a pasture (if lucky), and stall bedding.
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-14-2017, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Avna View Post
Don't think of it as "they don't watch their feet" (I first thought this was about trail riding!). Think of it as "they don't care about my space".
Ditto! And they aren't being clumsy, just 'not watching', you can bet they know exactly where your feet are! My horses are taught to stay out of 'my space' - that is, about an arms length away from me when walking etc. I teach them not just with 'corrections' for the 'wrong' things, but rewarding them for 'minding their manners' too.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-14-2017, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
That draft is a trip. If you are paying 100% attention to her then no problem. Let your mind wander and the ear cocks, the eye narrows and then she steps to the side as she is walking forward with this ho hum, la te da, crunch...Oh what I stepped on you, what do you mean I stepped on you, I was watching where I was going.... Yes, yes she was and has fooled many a person that thought the gentle giants would never intentionally lay harm to a human.


I had a draft cross and he sure did know he was big and out-weighed everyone! His favorite thing to do was to start slowly leaning on the leg that was picked up by the farrier. It would just keep getting heavier and heavier and heavier. I had to shake my finger at him and threaten dire consequences for him to quit!

Dang I miss that horse
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