Here’s a quick tip when working with your horse’s feet.
Do you pick your horses hooves before you ride or as part of the grooming process? Do you do each foot in the same order? Does your horse offer you his feet?
Try this for a week or two. Each time you ask your horse to pick up his feet, start with the same foot. I like the front off-side (right front) for some reason. I tap on the back of the fetlock three times, then pick up the foot. After cleaning, I set it right back down. Then, I move to the right rear, again tapping three times on the back of the fetlock. I repeat the process on the left rear, then the left front.
My horse now picks up her feet right after the tap. As I move around her, she shifts her weight getting ready to lift the next foot. By the time I get to the left front, it is usually off the ground. Then, when I’m finished I’m in good position to do a cinch check (if she’s saddled and we are going riding).
You will find that working on your horse’s feet builds confidence and respect between you and your horse. Your horse’s feet are essential to his survival. When you get him to offer you them, he demonstrates trust and willingness. Build on those characteristics and your relationship will really blossom.
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