The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2011
    Posts
    69

    Default Trouble with hoof picking

    I have had my gelding for 3 weeks now and he has this habit of swinging his back feet when I am picking his hooves. He is totally fine with the fronts and actually picks his backs up for me. He does not try to kick but more swings his feet as though he's trying to get out of my grasp and I'm worried that he's going to kick me accidentally. I don't think he is experiencing pain when I do his feet because he doesn't "jump" or act sore. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can break this habit?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2008
    Location
    AB
    Posts
    634

    Default

    Where do you hold the foot/leg when you pick it up? Some of them seem to get annoyed if you hold on by the pastern or fetlock. If you do, maybe try holding the hoof itself, see if it helps.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2011
    Posts
    69

    Default

    I have tried holding both and I've also tried holding his hoof closer to the ground... it seems that it doesn't really matter the position of my hands or the position of his hoof. He is not trained to crosstie yet (he's an OTTB) so I usually clean his feet in his stall while he's snacking on hay. Could it be that he's just distracted?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,887

    Default

    My horse likes to stretch his R hind before he lets me hoof pick it. Now that I understand what he wants, it is not a problem. I lift the foot while standing to the side. He stretches it out, then lets me take as long a I want to hoof pick. I think he may have a little stiffness that just needs to be stretched out before he is hoof picked or shod.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2002
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    5,326

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jken710 View Post
    He is not trained to crosstie yet (he's an OTTB) so I usually clean his feet in his stall while he's snacking on hay. Could it be that he's just distracted?
    Is he eating off the ground, so head down? They have a harder time holding the hind feet up and staying balanced when trying to root around on the ground with their nose. I'd try having someone hold him (head up) or tie him up if you can safely do so. OTTB should have at least been tied, right?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 19, 2011
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jken710 View Post
    I have had my gelding for 3 weeks now
    Old racehorse probably figures you're a noob, so he'll mess with you a bit to see how you'll react.

    He may simply expect you to take his hind feet into "shoeing position", with the front of his cannon across your lap, the way the farrier does. Track horses have their legs handled a lot. They're not used to a delicate approach.

    .



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2003
    Location
    Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    3,503

    Default

    Clicker Training ... works like a charm.
    --Gwen <><
    "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."
    http://www.thepenzancehorse.com



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2009
    Posts
    1,944

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Millwater, RMF View Post
    Old racehorse probably figures you're a noob, so he'll mess with you a bit to see how you'll react.

    He may simply expect you to take his hind feet into "shoeing position", with the front of his cannon across your lap, the way the farrier does. Track horses have their legs handled a lot. They're not used to a delicate approach.

    .
    If he is an ex-racer he's used to having all four picked up from the left. Until you teach him to cross tie, tie him in the stall. Most runners have been tied to the wall at sometime.

    Don't pull back or hold too tight. Simply hold the foot until he relaxes and lowers it a bit. Then clean and put down.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    I have a mare who is so tight in her hind end that she needs each hind leg swung over to the opposite side. So you don't pick up her foot and pull it out to the side and back. Left hind swings back and crosses behind her tail and ends up on the left side. Right hind swings back behind her tail and ends up on the right side. If you try to pull the legs out to the side at all, she will swing them forward under her body and try to take them away. It's just the conformation of her pelvis.

    I trim another Arab now who is exactly the same way, and used to trim an Oldenburg mare who also had to have the hind legs crossed over behind her tail to the opposite side. I was told by a farrier I was training with that this is actually fairly common.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Does anyone have any suggestions how I can break this habit?
    Same as any other habit--clarity of your signals, time, patience, repetition, and judicious punishment if the behavior is naughty or obnoxious. (as opposed to the horse just trying to stretch a bit or not being used to the way you hold the leg)
    Click here before you buy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2011
    Posts
    69

    Default

    Thank you everyone for all of your help... I will definately try tying him while doing his feet because he usually is eating his hay off the ground while I do his feet. He is getting better as time goes on and I do his feet daily (as it is getting VERY muddy around here, lately)... I will also try stretching his legs too
    Thanks again everyone!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,025

    Default

    Horses can be funny with the hind legs. My girl is very cooperative in that she picks up each foot in anticipation of hoof picking as I approach the foot. But she will sometimes pull her hind leg forward and then be a bit reluctant to relax and stretch out behind her enough for me to pick it. I just wait her out. She isn't mean spirited- I think it's just how she is.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 2, 2007
    Location
    Upper and Lower Canada
    Posts
    2,945

    Default

    My leased TB mare is uncomfortable unless I put her hind feet on my thigh, farrier style, when I am picking them out. She tends to lean on you when you are picking out... something I need to work on.

    My boy's hooves are smaller and lighter and he snaps them up almost to his elbows for me to pick out. One good thing about smaller feet...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by CFFarm View Post
    If he is an ex-racer he's used to having all four picked up from the left. Until you teach him to cross tie, tie him in the stall. Most runners have been tied to the wall at sometime.
    ^
    THIS!
    An ex-track groom taught me this & it is really a very efficient way to pick hooves.
    No walking around the horse - all 4 get done from the one side.
    And yup, OTTB have been taught to stand tied.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,780

    Default

    The OP only describes the action as a 'swing'.
    Having a tough time visualizing this.
    Could it be string halt?



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,052

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sansena View Post
    The OP only describes the action as a 'swing'.
    Having a tough time visualizing this.
    Could it be string halt?
    {shrugs} or a stifle or hock problem.
    Not uncommon for young OTTB to have OCD issues.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    22,654

    Default

    Or, he's just giving you a hard time? Is this your first horse?
    Join the Clinton 2016 campaign...Hillary For America. https://www.hillaryclinton.com/



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 18, 2011
    Posts
    69

    Default

    This is my first horse but I've been around a ton and never really experienced this problem... I can't really think of any better way to describe it other than a swinging motion. He's not kicking out but he tries to pull away a little and then swings his foot back out... not aggressively... it's like he's trying to shake me off.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,780

    Default

    Swings forward to back?
    Inside to out?
    Back toward front?

    Is he literally shaking? Or just lifting his left away from his body outward and trembling when the leg reaches its' highest point?

    Do you have a very experienced horseman to watch him? or perhaps take a vid?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar. 2, 2007
    Location
    Upper and Lower Canada
    Posts
    2,945

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jken710 View Post
    This is my first horse but I've been around a ton and never really experienced this problem... I can't really think of any better way to describe it other than a swinging motion. He's not kicking out but he tries to pull away a little and then swings his foot back out... not aggressively... it's like he's trying to shake me off.
    If this is what I think it is, my gelding did it too when I first got him at not quite three years of age but soon learned to do it correctly. I think hoof picking was a bit of a game for him for the first little while and he was testing me a bit. Now, he's the most enthusiastic hoof offerer you could imagine, snapping them up almost to his elbows and offering them before I am ready to do them.



Similar Threads

  1. So...hoof picking opinions please
    By HillnDale in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 32
    Last Post: Aug. 3, 2012, 05:42 PM
  2. Elementary hoof-picking question
    By Adamantane in forum Off Course
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: Mar. 4, 2012, 05:28 PM
  3. Replies: 30
    Last Post: Dec. 27, 2011, 07:18 PM
  4. Minimum reasonable hoof picking frequency?
    By 4Martini in forum Off Course
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: Nov. 12, 2009, 12:25 PM
  5. Strange hoof picking behavior
    By SFrost in forum Horse Care
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: Aug. 29, 2009, 08:55 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •