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picking up feet

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  • picking up feet

    My new horse picks up three feet well. She is very reluctant to pick up one hind.
    My feeling is she was not handled much on that side, every time I go to that side she gives me the evil eye....

    She was not great with the front on that side but would pick up.

    I have already used a stock whip, rubbing gently over her leg, inside and out. She is clearly not bothered by something touching her leg.
    If I tap her fetlock to encourage her to pick up this is when she offered to show me how freely she can extend her leg.
    So most likely she just got away with not picking up her hind foot and now thinks she doesn't have to.

    Given these circumstances (she has freely offered to kick my block off) how would you procede?

  • #2
    I'd probably use a long cotton rope looped around the pastern until she decided that 'up' was not cause for kicking out. Any possible pain?
    It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


    • #3
      Positive reinforcement ... clicker training.
      --Gwen <><
      "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


      • Original Poster

        I really don't think she has any pain, she moves freely at all gaits. Weight bears just fine.


        • #5
          Well, yes, clicker added to any sort of training speeds it up, but you have to get to a place where you have something to reward instead of kicking one's head off...
          It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


          • #6
            Absolutely you do! Use a long crop/whip or other tool to keep you out of harms' way yet able to touch the leg easily. Let her kick out if she feels the need to do so - she'll stop shortly after realizing that you tickling her leg is not gaining her anything. The instant she 'relaxes' that hoof, CLICK! and reward. Repeat until she's got it down at least 3 times perfectly in a row. Now you're going to NOT click until she gives you a bit more -- not full kicking out but lifting the leg off the ground. (don't click for relaxation now -- you're extending the behavior) ... The instant she lifts her leg CLICK! and reward. Continue to repeat that until she's lifting and holding ... teach her to "hold" it by giving the cues, "Lift a.n.d. ... Hold" ... extending the time she's holding her leg up by small increments and clicking WHILE she's holding it up. (the 'click' ends the behavior so she can put her hoof back down again.) ... Now, you can do the same with getting closer to her ... starting where she's comfortable with your HAND touching her ... if its all the way up on the top of her butt, so be it. Start there. C/T for relaxation. Repeat so she's 'got it' 3 or 4 times. Then move down the butt -- in small incremental steps until you're able to touch her hoof. Then ask for the "Lift" then the "Lift and Hold" ... etc. Just go slowly -- as slowly as with what SHE'S comfortable. End on a good note and always end BEFORE she gets tired with it. Spend 5 or 10 mins a day doing this. It won't take long -- promise!
            --Gwen <><
            "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


            • #7
              I just didn't want to type out all the steps
              It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.


              • Original Poster

                Great idea. I think my key with her is baby steps, and as you say stop before she gets cranky.