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Picking up Hooves

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CMhorses
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Picking up Hooves
Is there any easy way to train an adult horse to pick up their feet when they were never trained when they were young? I fought our paint stallion for around an hour trying to train him to pick it up with little progress, and for some reason he always wanted to stomp his foot down whenever I set it down. What would be the easiest way to train?
Monsterpony
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Re: Picking up Hooves

Danger knows the best spots, but the key is not to muscle your way through it because the horse will always win. I personally l find the easiest is to grab the tendons that run on back of the cannon and squeeze, increasing the pressure until he lifts the foot. Once you have the foot, hold on to hoof rather than the leg so he can't quite feel you and you have some leverage. Don't put his foot down until he stops struggling. I had one 4-year-old fjord that was never taught to pick up his feet and he would fight me every time until he got so fed up that he leaned into me as much as he could...well, I just kept his foot off ground, but didn't support the weight so he over balanced and knocked himself onto the ground. He stopped struggling so much after that. :lol:

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Krickette
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Re: Picking up Hooves

yeah, that's what i do, mp. also, squeezing their chestnuts will work too. That's what we did when we first loaded mist on a trailer, lol! We'd pinch a chestnut and move a foot, inching our way up the ramp, lol!

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Monsterpony
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Re: Picking up Hooves

Basically whatever you can do to induce them to want to get the weight off the foot works. Trying to just grab on and pull it up will result in a tug of war that you won't win. I have found that if you try and just over-balance them by pushing on their shoulder so they rock their weight off that foot, while they will lighten up the weight on that foot so you can quickly grab it, they will promptly rock the weight back onto the foot and you are left with a sudden load of a few hundred pounds. If, instead, you make them pick the foot up themselves, then they will more likely redistribute the weight over the other three feet rather than just rocking back and forth.

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accphotography
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Re: Picking up Hooves

Basically whatever you can do to induce them to want to get the weight off the foot works. Trying to just grab on and pull it up will result in a tug of war that you won't win. I have found that if you try and just over-balance them by pushing on their shoulder so they rock their weight off that foot, while they will lighten up the weight on that foot so you can quickly grab it, they will promptly rock the weight back onto the foot and you are left with a sudden load of a few hundred pounds. If, instead, you make them pick the foot up themselves, then they will more likely redistribute the weight over the other three feet rather than just rocking back and forth.

Very concise and accurate response. Good job MP.

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Morgan
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Re: Picking up Hooves

ok its late but I'll try and give thoughts as the enter my head (rather randomly I'm afraid)

stick your thumbnail into the side of the cannon bone and scratch, if that fails press a harder object in the same way.
tickle with a hoofpick in the hollow between the bone and the tendon
tug the chestnut
tap on the front of the pastern just above the hoof
if they have feather pull on them at the back of the fetlock
in desparation I may actually step on their heel >.<
before you apply the pressure use the cue you would like them to learn. cue>light pressure>gradually heavier pressure>response> release pressure> catch hoof as it comes into your hand. if hoof doesnt make it up into your hand imediatly apply pressure again.
the cue I like is a rub on the back of the knee or hock.

once it's up:
your strongest hold is going to be to hold the toe. you can just hold the toe with a few fingers and it will take a LOT on their part to get away from you. Just keep the leg folded and move with him. When he relaxed you can move your hand around to a normal position.
If he's going to sit on you ram your shoulder into him. If he's going to pull away pull his leg out from his body OR lean him against a wall. If the horse persists in falling on you (down on his knee) I recommend a session or two with the leg hobbled up to a surcingle in a area with soft ground. They throw themselves a few times and that's the end of it.

For putting it down, just wait untill his leg is completely loose, at first put it down at the earliest relaxed momment, gradually increase the time.
dont try and hold the leg as they put it down, you can get hurt. If they put it down too violently imediatly pick it up again and continue untill they just set it down

If a horse is kicking his back legs as you try and hold it work on desensitizing first untill you can do whatever you please around his hind legs, and try tie the head higher. Try and lift hooves straight and not pulled out to the side (unless you are trying to reballance the horse).

CMhorses
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Re: Picking up Hooves

Well I think all the responses were what I already knew and tried. He has no problem picking up his front feet, he just trys to move his leg foreward a whole lot or back up and it gets to to the point where it is just impossible for me to hold it up. Had some very sore arms for a week after my last attempt of picking it up! Also you would figure he would want to pick that foot in particular up since it was sore and bothering him, but instead he would move a whole lot and then stomp his foot to the ground as hard as he could when it was released.

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lillith
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Re: Picking up Hooves

I used to tap just above the fetlock with the pick with riding school ponies that leaned, not hard, just hard enough to anoy, when the picked up the hoof to get rid of it, I took hold of the hoof in midair and held it. I would hold up the weight of the leg but the moment the leaned I let go and started tapping again. Soon learned leaning wasn't helping and the tapping seemed to stop them thinking they could get away with it when I let go.

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Re: Picking up Hooves

i would pick it up and let it down over and over. i have held a toe for a horse i knew had no issues with feet and was just being a tool that particular day(one horse in particular likes to do this, had him 4 years and he still tries every now and then), but i won't hold a toe if they don't trust people to hold their feet, that just compounds their fear...i will just do the least amount of touching i need to do to get him to pick up that foot and i don't HOLD it. as soon as the leg comes up you take your hand off without ever holding, praise them and repeat. until they stop being so upset about you touching it up in the first place and then you can start trying to hold the cannon for a second praise repeat...move down to holding the hoof for a second. praise repeat, and then start holding it longer each time. i certainly wouldn't try to fight a mature stallion, his leg weighs more then you.

Morgan
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Re: Picking up Hooves

I've been testing the cannon bone pressure thing this month and danged if it doest work on even the most stubborn horse :shock: Dont try it on the freaked out one but when they just stand there and test you just press something hard on the side of the bone is magic... :love

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Re: Picking up Hooves

i have always pulled up from the fetlock....pulled feathers when that didn't work. i will have to try this pushing on the cannon thing and see if it works for my guys.

accphotography
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Re: Picking up Hooves

I just pinch the skin behind the knee and over the cap hock. The longer they ignore me, the hard I squeeze/wiggle/pull. I haven't had any trouble doing that. However a kicky type horse may not like it... but I've used it on them too with no problem. It doesn't get much kicker than my App. mare and she learned.

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Re: Picking up Hooves

i have a sneaky trick for those annoying types that like to kick their hind legs out the back repeatedly even though they are not afraid of people handling their feet. i ask for the hind leg and when it comes off the ground i push it under the body and let them kick themselves in their own shin of the opposite leg....they don't kick their hind legs again once they have clipped themselves in their own shin a couple times. lmao and oddly, they don't seem to freak out if they have kicked THEMSELVES in the shin. its a win win.

accphotography
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Re: Picking up Hooves

:rofl Poor horsies. :rofl

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Re: Picking up Hooves

LMAO better his shin then MINE! :rofl

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