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Franklin Levinson's

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Feet handling problems

My friend and I recently bought a broodmare together that had been abused then sold to a lady who cared for the mare and put weight on her who then had to sell her for some reason or another through auction. When we got the mare she was fine while she was in a halter, she'd load right up in the trailer and would go where we lead her. We turned her loose in a pen so she could get use to the other horses and so we could look her over better. First thing we noticed was she didn't like to be touched. We could give her a treat and be able to touch her withers but once she was done she'd leave. There are several scars on her and a large lump above one eye that seems to be permanent. She always had a halter on her, or had one on for prolonged periods of time it seemed because she had hair loss in places the halter rubbed the most. The second thing we noticed was her feet were in desperate need of trimming. The lady who owned her before said she worked with her on getting her feet up, but she was still iffy on doing it. The previous owner suspected the mare had been tied and thrown down to get hooves trimmed before. I've read other questions and answers on your website on how to gain trust, which we've been doing, but how could I go about getting her severely over grown hooves trimmed that would keep the farrier safe and not scare our mare even more?



Well, what many folks do who do not have the ability or knowledge to train for this situation is to have a vet out and give the horse a tranquilizer shot. This is very common and a quick fix. There is a technique where you get a 15 foot +- length of soft cotton rope. Take a wrap around a foot just below the fetlock. Ask the horse to lift the foot by pulling up on the rope and saying “foot.” If the horse lifts the foot but moves it around, do your best to hang on to the foot with the rope. The instant it stops moving the foot, let the foot down. This is the horse’s reward to holding the foot still. Once the animal mostly holds the foot still when asked to present it, first take the foot by the top and hold it for 10-15 seconds and let it down. Gradually hold the foot longer and longer. These techniques are like trying to teach you to tango in an email. Not easy. Good Luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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