HIDEAWAY TRAINING TIP
PICK UP FEET
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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.