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Well, I've had my mare almost a year now, and I have improved in confidence and knowledge SO much since I got her. And, just when I thought I had it all mastered, she comes up with a problem.
Up until now, she's had no problem lifting her feet or with me touching her feet. Then, like two days ago, she suddenly has started dancing and moving away when I get near her hind feet. I've checked her legs-there's no visible problems, she's not limping, there's no heat in her legs...so I don't think she's in discomfort, I think she's just being the five-year-old she is and testing me. Under any other circumstance, she would be receiving firm reprimanding, but I don't know if that's the right thing to do now. She'll lift her foot for a fraction of a second then twirl away. At first I thought she was just spooky but she's maintained this behaviour for the last few days, and I'm getting fed up. Of course, I always hound her until I have her foot for at least a few seconds, but it's really annoying when she won't stand so you can pick out her feet.
How should I deal with this?
 

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The problem may be higher up in the hips or back, or internally. Is she in mud? Could she have slipped? Is she in heat?

Or, have you recently changed her feed?
 

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Most likely she is doing it because she is getting away with it. If it were my mare this is what I would do: If you can put her halter on and keep the leadrope draped across your arm and keep her nose tipped toward you. If she trys to walk off immedatly back her up at least 5-10 steps and do it in a hurry. Then stop and go right back to what you were doing. Repeat the process and pretty soon she will realize that it is much easier to stand nicely and pick up her foot than it is to back up.

Here is another training article Re picking up the feet:Training ~ Feet

Stay safe and good luck!
 

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That was a goof article Ktibb, thanks for posting. It gave me some ideas for training my new baby.
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YW ilovesoyna :)

That site as tons of great training articles. And if you like NH tools (rope halters, long leads ect they have good products at a fraction of what some of the big name trainers sell them for.

www.naturalhorsesupply.com (more articles are under "Training Articles" near the bottom of the page.
 

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The problem may be higher up in the hips or back, or internally. Is she in mud? Could she have slipped? Is she in heat?

Or, have you recently changed her feed?
Always rule out the physical before looking at it being a training issue. Things don't typically happen like a light switch, one moment fine, the next, not.
 

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assuming you rule out anything medical or nutritional would it be possible to have someone elso hold here quielty and ask her to stand still whilst you pick her feet up for a couple of times then go bck to doing it your self? then if it is naughtiness she will have learned she cant get away with it and those feet will get cleaned.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all for replying. Thanks especially ktibb, who's advice seems to have helped the most. It'll take a little while for her to completely get the picture, though.
 

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Is she somewhat better now? My friends ottb gelding is like that, but its just his one leg and he kicks if you touch it. The vet is coming next week to check him out. Have you ruled out pain as Mercedes suggested?
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Yeah she gets better every time you work with her and show her that if she doesn't lift her leg she has to work..I'm almost positive it's nothing physical. I've checked her pretty thoroughly. She doesn't kick or anything, and the feet aren't tender when you touch them (yes, she was being an idiot about both hind feet). She's pretty much just testing to see what she can get away with.
 

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Have you checked out wether your horse has an abcess? One of my horses had whats called "continous subsolar abscessing" on her left fore. She kept pulling that foot away when I tried to pick it out. Once the abcessing had cleared she stopped that behavior. Subsolar abcesses often go unnoticed but the horse is very sensitive to any sort of vibration.
Did you ever consider using clicker-training? It really turns working with your horse into fun and helps you to get over problems like that without any stress. http://www.holistic-hoof-and-horsecare.com/clicker-training-horses.html
 

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Discussion Starter #12
She's totally fine now. She doesn't dance or move at all when you approach her back feet, because she knows she has to work otherwise. Just like old times-I can drop the lead on the ground and work on her feet again without having to bother holding or tying her.
 
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