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Mare does not want to provide hoof

Franklin: I have a mare who has been shod for 11 years generally 4 to 5 times each year with going barefoot for a few months in winter.

There has been no change in her experience to traumatize her...she has no soreness in her back but she refuses to give one of her feet all of a sudden. It is the most bizarre thing to have her totally refuse to offer that foot. I do have her at rehab center where they specialize in helping horses thru mental/emotional disabilities.

This is a well trained mare (near performance horse/reining in her ability) she has always hesitated slightly with giving that foot but always complied if you just take your time. I have had her massaged, palpated etc with no significant physical ailment. Short of an MRI...I am wondering why she would be so negative about trimming, cleaning and shoeing when she has not lameness or soreness. She is Alpha mare but I have a very trusting great relationship with her....She is easy to ride, catch and handle in every other respect. Wish she could talk and hoping the therapist can help her with this problem.

Thank you, Cathy

Hi Cathy,

Lets go for a solution. Horses pick up their feet up and down to remove flies all the time. Try becoming a fly on her lower leg. Use your fingernail and simulate a slightly annoying fly bite on the thin skin over her cannonbone. Just enough to get her to want to pick the foot up and down to get rid of the flie. When you get it right, she will pick up the foot guaranteed. Say "foot" at the same time. Even if she puts the foot right down, reward her with a Good Girl and a rub on the neck and let her stand a minute. Then repeat the process quite a few times. Fairly soon you should be able cue her to pick it up and hold it up herself for a little bit if you just point to the hoof and say "foot" and keep your finger near the cannonbone. Then first hold the hoof by the front of the toe. Do not grab the foot nor cup the hoof with your hand yet. Feel the horse relax first and then cup the hoof. You can hold a horse's hoof up with one finger if you do it at the front of the toe. A horse is certainly strong enough to pick and hold up its own foot at least for a little while. I train my horses to provide the hoof on verbal cue (foot) when I point at it. Its easy. Keep me posted.

Sincerely, Franklin

Franklin......that's exactly what I do...down to every letter and period in your below suggestion. She is responsive to picking it up and giving but will not allow me to reposition it backward...forward is ok She gives every other foot as I say the word and run my hand down her leg so she does know what I am asking. The therapist I sent her to is making some progress as they are extremely sensitive to a variety of issues that could be going on.

Without any hands on experience, I do appreciate your reply and general consensus of how to help her......I would be glad to report back on what the therapist has to say and if the therapy is successful....and per phone call messages it sounds positive. They have had her two weeks and there is probably something physical going on in her body and she is fearful and resistant for that reason. Just finding that elusive reason is sometimes challenging. They do know how to do electrical response testing on her and in my experience that has been very successful for me in my own physical healings. This is a strange one but I feel positive we can help her and I repeat I so appreciate your input.

I am the trainer and was able to bring her to advanced level of horsemanship myself. That is why I can respond so positively to your suggestions and guarantee that this has all been used to help.

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