Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Duncan, pick up your feet!

We made excellent progress yesterday on hoof handling! It was a very good feeling. I had forgotten the rather frustrating difference between a horse who doesn't know how to pick up its feet and a horse who knows how not to pick up his feet.
Pretty nice for only being trimmed once in 8 years

Supposedly his hinds have never been trimmed

He isn't mean about it, he just doesn't want to do it. He backs up, moves sideways, etc. When he first came here I couldn't even touch the top of his leg without him nervously sidling away. It didn't take long before he would stand still while I rubbed his legs. He wasn't getting the picking up part very well though, and I recently hurt my back, so it was time to bring out the rope.


He isn't panicky or even worried about the rope, even when I let it drag as he walks. After all, this has been done before. The last person to work with him said she would get him good, and then the next time she tried he would be back to square one. I trust that will not be the case this time, with consistent work & no punishment. Just polite insistence. :)

When we finished I was able to hold his hoof up, rub all over his leg, pick his hooves, and even rasp a tiny bit off his toes. I didn't work with his hinds yet, but I think he will be easier with those. He lets me rub them all over without any movement.

I love his big thick legs! He's even sturdier than my mustangs. And all his super soft curls! It's like petting a foal.



Today the weather is gross, but I have to work, so I wouldn't be playing with the horses anyway. 

6 comments:

Kate said...

When I first got Red, he was terrible about hoof handling. He wouldn't pick them up, would slam them down, would hop, and even would strike or try to kick if he got frustrated. Hoof picking was almost impossible and hoof trimming was out of the question.

It took about two months of consistent work for that to completely go away. We did clicker training - I use food treats and clicker for specific things like this where a horse needs to have a positive association with doing something - works for things like dealing with fears as well. I would click my tongue and then feed him a treat every time he did what I asked, starting with just picking up a foot, then gradually increasing the time I could hold the foot, then tapping on the foot with the pick, etc. Very small increments of progress each day, and it worked like a charm. Lots of verbal praise and pats, too.

Linda said...

I didn't know a horse could go that long and not have a trim without them growing up like toboggans. Good luck with the training.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Red is lucky he found you. So much back-breaking work!

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I am thinking he must have had some rocks to wear his feet off on, and plenty of room to move. I really like the way they look without trimming, but he has to learn to let me pick them up. The ground here isn't rocky at all, so they probably won't wear as well.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I am thinking he must have had some rocks to wear his feet off on, and plenty of room to move. I really like the way they look without trimming, but he has to learn to let me pick them up. The ground here isn't rocky at all, so they probably won't wear as well.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Red is lucky he found you. So much back-breaking work!