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mare won't let me pick out hoof

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  • mare won't let me pick out hoof

    I just brought a mare to our farm on Sunday for weaning. Her feet have not been done since the owner purchased her in March(this is not my mare,nor do I approve of it). I was picking out her feet and when I came to fourth foot....right hind she swung her butt to me and slammed her hoof down on my foot, which I think my be fractured. Anyways, I was wondering if she did this because of pain related issues in her hooves or maybe her leg was just hitting her full sore udder. She would not let me get near that hoof again and I don't want to stress her. I am planning on having my farrier out next Mon. to do her feet. Does anyone have any ideas to make her comfortable so I can keep her feet clean? Maybe a reason for the reaction?
  • Original Poster

    #2
    I just brought a mare to our farm on Sunday for weaning. Her feet have not been done since the owner purchased her in March(this is not my mare,nor do I approve of it). I was picking out her feet and when I came to fourth foot....right hind she swung her butt to me and slammed her hoof down on my foot, which I think my be fractured. Anyways, I was wondering if she did this because of pain related issues in her hooves or maybe her leg was just hitting her full sore udder. She would not let me get near that hoof again and I don't want to stress her. I am planning on having my farrier out next Mon. to do her feet. Does anyone have any ideas to make her comfortable so I can keep her feet clean? Maybe a reason for the reaction?

    Comment


    • #3
      If she's actually in pain, a gram or two of bute may be in order.

      If she's just testing you, a bit of dormosedan should keep the farrier safe.

      Comment


      • #4
        The opposite foot/leg might be painful.

        She may have problems flexing the hock of the foot you are trying to pick up.

        She may have balance problems.

        While you are waiting for the farrier to arrive, work on desensitizing her to being worked with on that quarter of her body. Every time you groom her, spend the majority of your time currying and brushing that hip and gaskin, watching her carefully the entire time. VERY CAREFULLY run your hand down her leg until she just barely thinks about reacting, then stop. Move to another part of her, then after she has relaxed come back to the "bad" side. Again, run your hand down her leg but don't push it to the reaction point. Repeat that a number of times until she seems very unconcerned with you being near that leg. The next day, do it all over again only this time see if her "reaction point" has moved farther down her leg.

        If she doesn't have any problems with you brushing her entire leg, then I would GUESS (I'm certainly no expert) that the problem might be pain or balance. Give the farrier fair warning and let him see how he makes out with her. If he has no luck then it is time to call the vet to have the leg evaluated.

        Good luck!

        Oh, and make sure your HEAD is the part of you farthest from her foot when you are working with her. Keep your body angled away from her when you are trying to pick that foot up so if she kicks, she'll get you in the leg/butt, not the brainpan. And keep your legs spread so she will have less of a chance of knocking you over.
        "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

        Comment


        • #5
          <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by myhorse:
          I just brought a mare to our farm on Sunday for weaning. Her feet have not been done since the owner purchased her in March(this is not my mare,nor do I approve of it). I was picking out her feet and when I came to fourth foot....right hind she swung her butt to me and slammed her hoof down on my foot, which I think my be fractured. Anyways, I was wondering if she did this because of pain related issues in her hooves or maybe her leg was just hitting her full sore udder. She would not let me get near that hoof again and I don't want to stress her. I am planning on having my farrier out next Mon. to do her feet. Does anyone have any ideas to make her comfortable so I can keep her feet clean? Maybe a reason for the reaction? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

          Does the term, "ill-broke puke" mean anything to you? Doubtless, this assessment will cause enough wailing to do a squadron of Sicilian widows proud, and a whole litany of "dog ate my homework" excuses for the mare's behavior, but in all likelihood, the mare is simply not broke to having her feet handled. Spare me the usual nonsense about her being in pain, her abusive former connections, or her inner child - she's just another puke that has formed the habit of dominating humans. There is one immutable law in dealing with horses: Either you dominate the horse or the horse dominates you. This mare is dominating you.

          As an aside, please be aware that it's NOT your farrier's job to break this mare to having her feet handled, that task belongs to whoever wants her feet trimmed.
          Usual disclaimers, your mileage may vary, farriers lie.

          Comment


          • #6
            Tom, why would she allow three out of four feet to be handled?

            And yes, I wholeheartedly agree that it is not the farrier's job to break a horse to stand politely. But there are times when a horse gets an owner's or handler's number and intimidates them. A new, confident person can change things around.
            "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world." ~ Jack Layton

            Comment


            • #7
              Sorry about your foot!

              My old guy has bad hocks. I can tell when he is having a bad day because he can't hold himself up very well when I pick his back feet. He will almost fall down. Any easy test for this is to give her some Bute. Paddy is much better with a little Bute.

              If she is still bad, could she be unsure of her footing (are you on concrete?)?

              If not, good luck!

              Comment


              • #8
                Boy this I can relate to. I think it could be a combination of things. We have one mare who to this day we have to slightly sedate to do her feet. We have had her goin gon three years. When I first got her you could not even pick up one foot. Through consistent training she has come a long way! She knows I am the dominate one.

                She will let the farrier pick up her feet and pick them out but as soon as she sees the equipment all hell breaks loose. We have tried everything-from cross ties, chain over the nose, twitched, "Be-Nice" halter.... over the course of time and it was getting down right dangerous for all of us. As a last resort we went to sedation. The first time she just sucked that sedation right up but we got the feet done. The last time it was just a small cocktail.


                Tom if you want to come try to trim this mare without sedation please have at it. In all other areas of her life she is very well behaved it is just some issue with trimming.

                The other mare did have medical issues (had joint mice (bone fragments) in her pastern from an old fracture. It was painful to pick up that hoof and flex the joint. This was a huge 14 year old WB mare we had in on breeding lease.

                To trim her we had to prop her against a wall. If you just asked for that foot without support she would get nervous and the proceed to pick it up so high she would tip herself over-all 1500+ pounds of her!

                It look a lot of time but we finally managed to teach her to relax and barely pick up the hoof to be trimmed. I have a great farrier who is patient and has pretty much seen it all.

                My point being that there are horses out there that may be in pain or where the issues are huge, yes there are a lot of ill-behaved horses but please don't group them all together as pukes.

                Comment


                • #9
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by classicsporthorses:
                  Boy this I can relate to. I think it could be a combination of things. We have one mare who to this day we have to slightly sedate to do her feet. We have had her goin gon three years. When I first got her you could not even pick up one foot. Through consistent training she has come a long way! She knows I am the dominate one.
                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                  Lemme see if I have this straight: A mare has been on your place for three years, you still can't pick all her feet up, and you think you're dominating her? You're kidding, right?
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                  She will let the farrier pick up her feet and pick them out but as soon as she sees the equipment all hell breaks loose. We have tried everything-from cross ties, chain over the nose, twitched, "Be-Nice" halter.... over the course of time and it was getting down right dangerous for all of us. As a last resort we went to sedation. The first time she just sucked that sedation right up but we got the feet done. The last time it was just a small cocktail.

                  Tom if you want to come try to trim this mare without sedation please have at it. In all other areas of her life she is very well behaved it is just some issue with trimming.
                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                  As anyone who knows me will gleefully attest, you can bet the farm that when I choose to trim a horse thought to have "issues" with their feet, I can get the job done without benefit of drugs or clergy. In this case, the mare would probably lose a little hide; I wouldn't.
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                  The other mare did have medical issues (had joint mice (bone fragments) in her pastern from an old fracture. It was painful to pick up that hoof and flex the joint. This was a huge 14 year old WB mare we had in on breeding lease.

                  To trim her we had to prop her against a wall. If you just asked for that foot without support she would get nervous and the proceed to pick it up so high she would tip herself over-all 1500+ pounds of her!

                  It look a lot of time but we finally managed to teach her to relax and barely pick up the hoof to be trimmed. I have a great farrier who is patient and has pretty much seen it all.
                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                  I don't doubt your farrier is a good hand, but did anyone in your camp ever think about tying the mare down when she does her "tip herself over" thing?

                  IME, when a horse willfully goes down, it seldom takes more than a single session of being tied down while somebody sits on their head and recites bad cowboy poetry to convince the beast that the habit that led her to go down is not worth keeping. Horses aren't made out of glass and it's often possible to replace a bad habit with a new habit one deems more desirable without waiting interminably or placing oneself in harm's way.
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                  My point being that there are horses out there that may be in pain or where the issues are huge, yes there are a lot of ill-behaved horses but please don't group them all together as pukes.
                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                  Broke is as broke does and "puke" is about the nicest and most accurate description one can use in polite society. I've heard most of the excuses for equine behaviors that are dangerous to humans and none of them - not a single one - is worth a bucket of warm spit. When some ill broke puke kicks, bites, or strikes, hematomas and fractures can be the price a farrier pays for an owner's ineptitude.
                  Usual disclaimers, your mileage may vary, farriers lie.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    I omly know some about this mare. She was green broke then turned into a broodmare at the show barn she was raised. She was sold in March to my friend that says she has had no problem picking the mares feet but has not done so in the past month. She has only been here since Sunday. This morning when I went to take off her sheet she was fine until I got to that side and went to unhook the leg strap. When I reached down to get it she kicked out and started freaking. I got her to settle and got it unhooked. I am not intimidated by her at all. I do not however want to go straight to displine if not needed.I do not feel that it is right to get after a horse in pain. If after I bute her and she still reacts in such a way then I will take action.

                    I also never expect a farrier to fix or train any of my horses to stand for them. This is not my horse and I have only had her for a few days and will be working with her. Was just looking for answers before I go dishing out responses.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Tom, I gotta say you generally sound like you're a capable farrier but I'm glad you aren't mine! It was my farrier who originally found the problems in Zarah's right hind end when the rest of us were all thinking it was a training issue. She did similar things...was great for all three other feet but really fought on the right hind...would rear & bolt if you pushed it. Give her 2 bute tablets twice a day for 36 hours before the farrier comes & she's perfectly fine and will even doze while he works.

                      Some horses are spoiled, some have real physical problems. It is up to the whole team of owner, farrier, vet, & trainer to figure out which is which.
                      My Photo Albums

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Critters Everywhere:
                        Tom, I gotta say you generally sound like you're a capable farrier but I'm glad you aren't mine!
                        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                        Me too, I'd hate to think I'd lowered my standards and was reduced to working for civilians.
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                        It was my farrier who originally found the problems in Zarah's right hind end when the rest of us were all thinking it was a training issue. She did similar things...was great for all three other feet but really fought on the right hind...would rear & bolt if you pushed it...
                        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                        Why'd it take a farrier to tell you something was wrong with your mare's hind? You should've known something wasn't kosher the first time you picked up her foot. Civilians!
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                        Give her 2 bute tablets twice a day for 36 hours before the farrier comes & she's perfectly fine and will even doze while he works.
                        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                        NSAIDs as a substitute for training? If you say so.
                        <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                        Some horses are spoiled, some have real physical problems. It is up to the whole team of owner, farrier, vet, & trainer to figure out which is which.
                        <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                        No ma'am. Farriers trim and shoe; owners are responsible for training; and a veterinarian is responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of pathologies. Any horse that has not formed the habit of having its feet handled without incident is the responsibility of the owner. There is NO excuse for an owner's attempting to shirk this responsibility - but farriers hear them every day.
                        Usual disclaimers, your mileage may vary, farriers lie.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Why it took the farrier to see it was in the hind end, not behavioral, was because the horse only gets ridden about twice a year though I have the farrier out every 6 weeks. At the time, the arthritis was just developing and was mostly manifesting as occasional back soreness (which we were treating). She was always fine for me picking up the foot to pick it out (which I do every day even though she's not ridden) but the angle the farrier had to hold it at to work put just enough extra torque on her joints that it was painful.

                          As for bute substituting for training, I hate to think that you would consider it prudent to teach a horse not to react to pain. Ever had a child? Ever had them sprain or break an ankle playing sports? Sure, they can be intimidated/bribed/blackmailed into continuing to play through the pain, but why in the hell would you possibly think it was better to force them to continue to put pressure on it rather than treating the problem? I think I now know why you seem to raise so many hackles on this board....

                          Oh, by the way, this mare has SERIOUS ground training on her...so much so that when she was in a trailer accident & I had to saw her halter off her while a piece of twisted metal was embedded into her jaw and had sliced an artery, she waited quietly and allowed me to lead her out the emergency door for humans (the rear was unusable & took a lot of welding to get open again), then stood with me holding pressure on the artery with one hand while I phoned the vet with the other. The farrier says she's one of the easiest horses he does AS LONG AS SHE'S ON BUTE. The fact that she relatively suddenly developed a serious aversion to having just one foot worked on and only in certain positions is NOT behavioral...it's physical.
                          My Photo Albums

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            hm, from your description sounds like it could be either behavioral or physical. does she let you brush and handle her legs in general?

                            my mom's horse is just a horse she is uncomfy holding his hind legs up, no physical problems, just holding his legs in that way is not a comfotable stance for him (and not a natural one for more than a few seconds). but he certainly doesn't kick, he just wants to put his foot down.

                            with a horse who did this kicking behavior, i've seen people pick their feet "the track/polo way". you stay on one side and reach across, bring their leg up, back behind the one on the side you are, and clean it that way. maybe try that to pick up this foot and see what kind of a response you get. that way, if she kicks out, you will be safely on the other side. best of luck please keep us updated

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Last night I gave her two grams of bute.To make her drying off period more comfortable. This evening I gave her a gram of bute. I picked out all her feet including the one she did not want me to touch yesterday. At first she did resist once then held it for me while I cleaned it out. Her feet are in bad shape. I am glad that i was able to pick it out. I also feel as though she is having pain somewhere.

                              I do have a ? regarding her front right foot. It is somewhat high healed and has a dish from the coronet to the ground that is about a 1/8 inch wide. Does anyone know what could be the cause of this? All of my horses have fairly good feet except my OTTB but even her problems are minor.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                She might be abcessing in that foot or have a stone bruise. I once picked up a hind foot to pick it out and got the wind knocked out of me when the horse kicked out and caught me in the ribs.

                                Tom, I am with you, many times horses have behavioral issues and not pain issues when they don't like their feet done. Many people let their horses ride rough shod over them.
                                "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Critters Everywhere:
                                  Why it took the farrier to see it was in the hind end, not behavioral, was because the horse only gets ridden about twice a year though I have the farrier out every 6 weeks. At the time, the arthritis was just developing and was mostly manifesting as occasional back soreness (which we were treating). She was always fine for me picking up the foot to pick it out (which I do every day even though she's not ridden) but the angle the farrier had to hold it at to work put just enough extra torque on her joints that it was painful.
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  I don't quite follow your reasoning: You could pick out the mare's feet but your farrier couldn't trim her? As a rule, farriers are more aware of horses' body language than civilians; furthermore, most farriers know that the closer to the ground and more neutral the position at which one holds a hind, the fewer problems one encounters.
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  As for bute substituting for training, I hate to think that you would consider it prudent to teach a horse not to react to pain...
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  I find it prudent to address the cause of the pain, not to interfere with the transmission of nervous impulses by chemical means.
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  Ever had a child? Ever had them sprain or break an ankle playing sports? Sure, they can be intimidated/bribed/blackmailed into continuing to play through the pain, but why in the hell would you possibly think it was better to force them to continue to put pressure on it rather than treating the problem?
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  One hates to interrupt a laughably illogical analogy, but horses are not children and your habit of loading your mare up with NSAIDs is not related to my child rearing.
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  I think I now know why you seem to raise so many hackles on this board....
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  I don't suffer fools all that well.
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  Oh, by the way, this mare has SERIOUS ground training on her...so much so that when she was in a trailer accident & I had to saw her halter off her while a piece of twisted metal was embedded into her jaw and had sliced an artery, she waited quietly and allowed me to lead her out the emergency door for humans (the rear was unusable & took a lot of welding to get open again), then stood with me holding pressure on the artery with one hand while I phoned the vet with the other.
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  No matter how much "serious" (as opposed to frivolous?) ground training you feel your mare has had, by your own admission, she's not broke to having her feet handled - and to a farrier, all else is extraneous.

                                  Just to help you keep your story straight: When one has difficulty in opening a badly bent, metal-framed door, welding is seldom involved in the process - the usual weapon of choice is a cutting torch or an abrasive saw.
                                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
                                  The farrier says she's one of the easiest horses he does AS LONG AS SHE'S ON BUTE. The fact that she relatively suddenly developed a serious aversion to having just one foot worked on and only in certain positions is NOT behavioral... it's physical.
                                  <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
                                  No ma'am, if it's a behavior, it's behavioral. All training has to do with the imposition of human will on horses and the formation of habits leading to behaviors humans find useful and desirable. Put another way, some folks are content to be able to pick up three feet; others want to pick up all four without chemical assistance.
                                  Usual disclaimers, your mileage may vary, farriers lie.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    While I am inclined to naila horse severely when it does something that endangers me or other people, I do not understand dismissing physical causes for atypical behaviour. If an otherwise saintly horse seems in pain when feet are trimmed , and no matter how quick and careful the farrier is it still takes longer to trim than pick feet, what is wrong with giving a dose or two of bute, or devil's claw or your anti inflammatory of choice before the farrier comes? Many older creatures need a bit of help to be comfortable under certain circumstances.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, the mare I lost last Dec. after 27 years had the "worst stifles" my vet and the vet clinic had ever seen, said they. I kept her as comfortable as possible with mesotherapy and Adequan and Legend and little Bute. She was still round and eating and herself when THE decision was made. ANYWAY, my farrier said she was the best behaved of horses. He was so gentle with those rear legs, lifting them no higher than he had to. I cleaned them that way as well.

                                      Six weeks ago, a TB/Paint yearling came to live with me. She'd been handled little and I was very wary about her feet. I started cleaning her front feet while she ate and she was fine. I still grooming her while eating - and other times - and she's very good. I have a 'frozen' left shoulder and am due for an MRI. It hurts greatly to pull back suddenly. I successfully picked her hind feet one day and felt I was on the right track. The next day I got near the rear foot and she picked up/kicked out and I put my hand on her side quickly because I was afraid she was coming in to me. I scared her and she ran to the back of the stall. I did a lot of cooing and called her to me and she didn't hesitate. I decided to wait for the farrier and he said he was glad I'd waited so she didn't have a bad experience. The week before he came I'd spent teaching her to soak and wrapping her for an abscess. I figure that was a great experience for us both as far as trust and handling. I bring up my old mare to point out I'm used to picking up hind feet very little and this baby picks them up HIGH and I have a hard time gracefully grabbing that foot and then she's unbalanced. I don't want to be the one to unbalance her.

                                      Since I can't reinjure this shoulder any time soon (not horse related), she may not have her hind feet picked much until the farrier is back. No, I have no help.
                                      http://www.angelfire.com/ult/irishmosaic/Dublin/

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                                      • #20
                                        Just to clarify Tom, I CAN pick up my mare's feet pick them out, handle them and have been able to just a few months into getting her (nearly 3 years ago) and so can my farrier as well as my 10 year old daughter without her being tied, have a shank or twitched.

                                        Obviously you did not read what I wrote through your anger and condescending attitude. Her issues are when the actual trimming begins. As I had said before, we have tried everything and maybe you believe in savagly beating a horse but I do not.

                                        Don't get me wrong, corrrection is correction and we have done that a lot and I am not some lightweight-I handle weanlings through large breeding stallions and horses as large as 18.2 drafts. This was a mare that prior to us getting her was thrown out in a field with a lot of other horses and we were told beaten by previous owners. Lord only knows what the farrier did to her.

                                        When we initially got her her manners were completely lacking-she reared, kicked out, bit etc. She does none of that now only when the actual trimming has to begin. After consultation with our vet, all three of us agreed that for this mare this was the safest thing to do. We don't drop her to the ground with sedation either.


                                        But if I saw a farrier "lost some hide" on one of my horses as you said, that would be the last time that farrier not only was in my barn but I would make darned sure he did not work in a lot of barns!

                                        As for the other mare, she was not throwing herself on the ground. It was a matter of balance and pain on her part, plain and simple. The isses was the joint mice, which when lodged in the joint at times was painful. It was not "puke" behavior. She would not "willfully" go down, far from it, b/c of her pastern it was difficult to stand on three legs. She was not trying to be difficult at all, my point was that we had to accommodate to her. I can only imagine what you do with horses with orthopedic issues, pregnant mares, geriatrics who just are not able to stand well.

                                        The offer still stands, without the beating.

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