If you came here from another site, please click here to see all our tips and the other great resources at the HIDEAWAY QUARTER HORSES website.

Ever try to pick up your horses foot only to have him shift his weight directly onto the foot that you are trying to pick up? Well you can very easily teach him to pick up his foot and hand it to you without painful techniques like squeezing his tendons. This is how.

You will use a short riding crop (no, you're not going to beat him with it) or other stick-like tool to assist in the training. Tie your horse or have someone hold him by a lead rope so that he cannot wander off during the lesson. Start with a front foot and stand to the horses side being mindful that some horses kick. Run the palm of your hand gently down the back of the horses leg then try to pick up the foot by the pastern. If the horse does not give you his foot, begin tapping lightly on the back of the pastern with the riding crop. Tapping means just that, it is not intended to cause the horse pain. It is only meant to be a minor irritation to the horse. Keep tapping until the horse moves the foot, then immediately stop. Again run your hand down the back of the horse's leg and try to lift the foot. If he gives you his foot, hold it for a few seconds and put it back down before he pulls it from your hand. Repeat running your hand down, lifting, holding and putting it down several times until he does it consistently. If the horse does not give his foot, begin tapping (lightly) again on the back of the pastern until he picks up the foot. It is important that once you begin tapping that you continue until the horse gives his foot. The tapping will be an irritant and he will eventually learn that the way to make it stop is to pick up the foot. Once he picks up the foot, as noted above, hold it for a few seconds and put it down gently before he pulls it from your hand. Repeat this, holding the foot for longer and longer periods, until he consistently gives you his foot and lets you hold it up as long as you like. You must repeat the lesson with all four feet because a horse's mind will not let him carry a single learned lesson to other parts of the body.

To recap - keep tapping until he picks up his foot, hold, put down before he pulls, repeat. Remember to be consistent and keep at it until your horse is consistent too.
This is a lesson that your horse can easily learn in one afternoon, and you will never have to struggle to pick up a foot again - ever.