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         Picking Up A Horses Hoof


The idea of picking up a horse's hooves can intimidate some owners since a well-placed horse kick would really hurt! Such caution is good, but in reality if you pick up a horse's hoof properly you provide him with no leverage or ability to kick you. This is a situation where a person's worst fears can cause him to imagine an incident that is highly unlikely to occur with careful handling.

Here's how to safely pick up a horse's hoof:

Starting with the front hoof, approach your horse diagonally from his front so that he clearly knows you are there - you don't want to surprise him. Place yourself even with his shoulder and make sure to face his rear; you will both be facing opposite directions during the hoof picking process.

Making sure that your feet aren't too close to the horse's hoof, start running the hand parallel to him down his shoulder and along the length of his leg, finally stopping just above his ankle. Gently grasp the ankle portion and click (or otherwise verbally cue him) to ask him to raise his leg. If he's well trained, that small cue will be more than enough and he'll do just what you requested. You're now free to begin picking his hoof.

If your horse is being a bit stubborn or hasn't learned how to pick up his legs yet try leaning into his shoulder as you run your hand down the back of his cannon bone. You can also gently squeeze/pinch the tendons to further cue him to what you would like. As you perform these physical cues make sure you provide a verbal one also (I make a clicking sound) so the horse later associates your sound with the requested response. Increase the weight you push against his shoulder until he finally lifts his leg as requested.

When picking a horse's hoof you want to remove all debris from the hoof clefts as well as the rim and frog. Be careful around the frog because it can sometimes be a bit sensitive, particularly if the horse has thrush.

Once you have finished cleaning the front hoof carefully guide it back to the floor; you don't want to allow the horse to slam it, potentially hitting your foot in the process. Praise your horse and pat him on the front shoulder a bit so he understands that you are pleased with his cooperation, then run your hand along his back to his rear leg. Place yourself in the same position as you did with his front leg and do the process over again.

There is a slight difference between lifting a rear foot and front foot, even though your basic positioning and actions are nearly identical. When you lift your horse's rear foot he will probably give a little jerk that you might misinterpret as a kick. This is a common reflex reaction among horses and nothing for you to worry about.

Secondly, when you raise your horse's rear leg you'll want to step into him a bit so that your hip is underneath his leg. Rest his leg on your thigh, grab his hoof and gently flex it upwards. By doing this you lend him some support and more importantly the position of his leg and his flexed hoof will prevent him from being able to kick you.

Clean the hoof, lower it cautiously as you did the first and praise him. Congratulations - you're halfway done! The opposite side will be done exactly the same way, but try to return to his front and start the opposite side rather than move around his rear. It's bad practice to approach or circle all but the most trusted horses via the rear in such close quarters since a horse would be within range to strike.

When lifting any hoof try to make sure your horse is properly squared (balanced evenly on all four legs) so that when you lift one hoof he can easily balance on his remaining three. At no time should the horse actually lean his weight on you! Even when you rest his rear leg on your thigh you're not allowing him to use you as a crutch.

Once you have picked your horse's hooves a few times it will probably become very simple and take less than 5 minutes to clear all hooves. Most trained horses will raise their hoof for you the moment they feel your leg run down their leg.

It is a very good idea to control your horse's head while you are picking his hooves. This can be done by attaching his halter to crossties or asking a partner hold your horse's head. By controlling his head you ensure your horse can't move away from you while you're trying to pick his hooves, or worse? turn around and take a bite at your rear!

Jeffrey Rolo, owner of Alpha Horse and an experienced horse trainer and breeder, is the author of the above article.  You will find many other informational articles dealing with horse training and care as well as games and other horse fun on his website:  http://www.alphahorse.com.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. July / 12 / 2020

MADACC: How to keep your pets safe in the heat this summer - WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee
MADACC: How to keep your pets safe in the heat this summer  WITI FOX 6 Milwaukee

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 12, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of July 12, 2020  Summit Daily News

Tips for getting the best photos of your pets - Texarkana Gazette
Tips for getting the best photos of your pets  Texarkana Gazette

TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: Grief, the loss of pets discussed in 'Lost Companions' - Goshen News
TERRI SCHLICHENMEYER: Grief, the loss of pets discussed in 'Lost Companions'  Goshen News

Points for Pets: Keeping your pet safe at the campground - WV News
Points for Pets: Keeping your pet safe at the campground  WV News

Available pets from the Humane Society of Lake County - Daily Commercial
Available pets from the Humane Society of Lake County  Daily Commercial

Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10 - masslive.com
Pet Project 2020: Pets available for adoption in Massachusetts on July 10  masslive.com

Class pets become long-term pandemic house guests while schools are out - Omaha World-Herald
Class pets become long-term pandemic house guests while schools are out  Omaha World-Herald

7 tips to keep your pet safe during hot Birmingham summers - Bham Now
7 tips to keep your pet safe during hot Birmingham summers  Bham Now

Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets - WNDU
Pet Vet: Hot Weather and Pets  WNDU

Social media a boon for lost Bay County pets - The News Herald
Social media a boon for lost Bay County pets  The News Herald

Eight people displaced after Jefferson City fire, two pets died - krcgtv.com
Eight people displaced after Jefferson City fire, two pets died  krcgtv.com

Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later - WTOP
Preventing pandemic-related pet anxiety now and later  WTOP

Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work - WCYB
Pepin's Pet Projects: Tips on easing pets into the "new" normal as you return to work  WCYB

Angels for the Animals: ALIVE gives safe haven to rescued pets - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Angels for the Animals: ALIVE gives safe haven to rescued pets  Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes - WLNS
Nationwide event helps pets in Mid-Michigan pets find their forever homes  WLNS

Adoptable pets in Tucson - Arizona Daily Star
Adoptable pets in Tucson  Arizona Daily Star

Hints From Heloise: Photograph Fido on this special day for pets - The Washington Post
Hints From Heloise: Photograph Fido on this special day for pets  The Washington Post

CBS3 Pet Project: Bringing New Animals Into Your Home Can Be Tricky For Pets - CBS Philly
CBS3 Pet Project: Bringing New Animals Into Your Home Can Be Tricky For Pets  CBS Philly

PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pet Tales: Helping domestic violence centers that shelter pets, too  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Empty the Shelters: Pet adoption fees reduced this weekend  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Pet of the Week: Eva - Billings Gazette
Pet of the Week: Eva  Billings Gazette

This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend - KPRC Click2Houston
This July discount can help Houston’s senior pets find ‘fur’-ever homes, you a new friend  KPRC Click2Houston

These Are The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines In Europe - Simple Flying
These Are The Most Pet-Friendly Airlines In Europe  Simple Flying

Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home - CNN
Covid-19 kept them separated from their pets for months. So they've chartered a plane to bring them home  CNN

Pet hospitals say they’re seeing a big increase in parvovirus cases this year - WSB Atlanta
Pet hospitals say they’re seeing a big increase in parvovirus cases this year  WSB Atlanta

Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried - KLTV
Mystery illness has Arp pet owners worried  KLTV

Seeing Pets as Human - Psychology Today
Seeing Pets as Human  Psychology Today

Top of the Morning, July 12, 2020 | Pets | news-gazette.com - Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette
Top of the Morning, July 12, 2020 | Pets | news-gazette.com  Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette

Wasco Animal Shelter shares pet safety tips - KERO 23ABC News
Wasco Animal Shelter shares pet safety tips  KERO 23ABC News

As temperatures rise, so should your pet safety awareness - WSMV Nashville
As temperatures rise, so should your pet safety awareness  WSMV Nashville

People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread - Hindustan Times
People share who or what they named their pets after in this feel-good Twitter thread  Hindustan Times

Pets of the Week: July 12, 2020 | Lifestyle - Longview News-Journal
Pets of the Week: July 12, 2020 | Lifestyle  Longview News-Journal

What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat - 10TV
What you need to know to keep pets safe in the heat  10TV

Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer - WBOY.com
Keeping pets safe and cool during the summer  WBOY.com

Firefighters rescue pets from house fire in Orange - WFSB
Firefighters rescue pets from house fire in Orange  WFSB

CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup - Santa Maria Times
CAPA Pet of the Week: Buttercup  Santa Maria Times

Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat - Victoria Advocate
Be extra cautious of your pet during the summer heat  Victoria Advocate

A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider - INSIDER
A photographer's inventive dog portraits show just how human-like our pets can be - Insider  INSIDER

Clear the Shelters: Helping Pets Cope With Separation Anxiety - NBC Chicago
Clear the Shelters: Helping Pets Cope With Separation Anxiety  NBC Chicago

23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer - Cincinnati CityBeat
23 Adorably Adoptable Cincinnati Pets That Are Looking For Homes This Summer  Cincinnati CityBeat

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19 - KYTV
CDC gives recommendations on keeping pets safe from COVID-19  KYTV

Dr. Maro: Pet health myths debunked - News - Ellwood City Ledger
Dr. Maro: Pet health myths debunked - News  Ellwood City Ledger

Cat Food Recall: Natural Balance Pet Foods pulled for potential deadly side effects - positivelyosceola.com
Cat Food Recall: Natural Balance Pet Foods pulled for potential deadly side effects  positivelyosceola.com

Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic - NPR
Pet Owners Struggling To Reunite With Their Furry Family Members Amid The Pandemic  NPR

How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months - Block Club Chicago
How To Ease Separation Anxiety For Pets Being Left Alone For First Time In Months  Block Club Chicago

Area pet services see revenues return to pre-pandemic levels - INFORUM
Area pet services see revenues return to pre-pandemic levels  INFORUM

Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population - SFGate
Mobile veterinary services tend to Tenderloin's homeless pet population  SFGate

Pets for adoption at the Muncie Animal Shelter - Muncie Star Press
Pets for adoption at the Muncie Animal Shelter  Muncie Star Press

Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County - The Register-Guard
Looking for a home: Adoptable pets in Lane County  The Register-Guard

As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk - Carolinacoastonline
As weather grows hotter, pets could be at risk  Carolinacoastonline

Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Sunny - - KUSI
Helen Woodward Animal Center Adopt a Pet: Sunny -  KUSI

This cat wants to be pet and is letting her hooman know so in the gentlest fashion possible. Watch - Hindustan Times
This cat wants to be pet and is letting her hooman know so in the gentlest fashion possible. Watch  Hindustan Times

Pets: Rx for a happier life - The County
Pets: Rx for a happier life  The County

Pet naming trend takes Twitter by storm, users share what their pets are named after - Republic World - Republic World
Pet naming trend takes Twitter by storm, users share what their pets are named after - Republic World  Republic World

What you need to do before bringing home a new pet - The Washington Post
What you need to do before bringing home a new pet  The Washington Post

The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19 - The New York Times
The Pets Left Behind by Covid-19  The New York Times

It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend - KSAT San Antonio
It’s All-American Pet Photo Day: Show us your furry friend  KSAT San Antonio

These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28 - SILive.com
These 17 pets would love to share space with you: June 27-28  SILive.com

It’s not just your pet: Human ears ‘perk up’ when hearing unexpected sounds - Study Finds
It’s not just your pet: Human ears ‘perk up’ when hearing unexpected sounds  Study Finds

Pet of the Week | Local News - Gloucester Daily Times
Pet of the Week | Local News  Gloucester Daily Times

Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products - Forbes
Project Blu Turns Fishing Net Into Eco-Chic Pet Products  Forbes

Five ways to help prevent losing your pet - Santa Clarita Valley Signal
Five ways to help prevent losing your pet  Santa Clarita Valley Signal

Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet! - Waterbury Republican American
Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet!  Waterbury Republican American

N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: July 6, 2020  nj.com

How to help your pet deal with fireworks anxiety - KYW Newsradio 1060
How to help your pet deal with fireworks anxiety  KYW Newsradio 1060

Adopt a pet - Huntington Herald Dispatch
Adopt a pet  Huntington Herald Dispatch

Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands - Community Impact Newspaper
Pet Supplies Plus opens new FM 1488 location north of The Woodlands  Community Impact Newspaper

Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips - Clarksville Now
Keep your pets safe this weekend with these fireworks safety tips  Clarksville Now

‘Pets in Need Project’ delivering free veterinary care, food and supplies to the homeless during COVID-19 - KTLA
‘Pets in Need Project’ delivering free veterinary care, food and supplies to the homeless during COVID-19  KTLA

Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance - New York Magazine
Everything You Need to Know About Buying Pet Insurance  New York Magazine

'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19 - AZCentral
'We need our pets now more than ever': Phoenix rescue animals find homes during COVID-19  AZCentral

ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization - Science Advances
ChIA-PIPE: A fully automated pipeline for comprehensive ChIA-PET data analysis and visualization  Science Advances

4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet - PRNewswire
4 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet  PRNewswire

Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks - KABC-TV
Runaway pets wind up in SoCal shelters in the aftermath of Fourth of July fireworks  KABC-TV

Keep your pets cool and safe this summer - KRNV My News 4
Keep your pets cool and safe this summer  KRNV My News 4

Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear - CNN
Keep your summer fun pet-safe and pet-friendly with top outdoor pet gear  CNN

Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital - WILX
Pet owner frustrated with the Riverfront Animal Hospital  WILX

Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week - AZCentral.com
Maggie and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week  AZCentral.com

N.J. pets in need: June 29, 2020 - NJ.com
N.J. pets in need: June 29, 2020  NJ.com

Holiday fireworks lead to rise in run away pets - KAKE
Holiday fireworks lead to rise in run away pets  KAKE

It's doggone hot! Pet owners and their furry friends cheat the summer heat - KESQ
It's doggone hot! Pet owners and their furry friends cheat the summer heat  KESQ

20 photos every pet owner can relate to - MSN Money
20 photos every pet owner can relate to  MSN Money

Keeping your pets safe during monsoon season | Critter Corner - AZFamily
Keeping your pets safe during monsoon season | Critter Corner  AZFamily

Good News In Essex County: Lawnmower Race|Make-A-Wish|Pet Reunion - Montclair, NJ Patch
Good News In Essex County: Lawnmower Race|Make-A-Wish|Pet Reunion  Montclair, NJ Patch

Adopt a Pet: Vader - Ellwood City Ledger
Adopt a Pet: Vader  Ellwood City Ledger

Pet's Q&A: “How do I keep my pets happy?” - NW Evening Mail
Pet's Q&A: “How do I keep my pets happy?”  NW Evening Mail

Houston area volunteer discusses pandemic’s impact on pet therapy - Houston Chronicle
Houston area volunteer discusses pandemic’s impact on pet therapy  Houston Chronicle

Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life - KOLO
Palomino Valley Pet Rescue saves dog's life  KOLO

Pets are even more important during these times - Lowell Sun
Pets are even more important during these times  Lowell Sun

10 Large Cat Breeds That Make the Cutest Pets - Reader's Digest
10 Large Cat Breeds That Make the Cutest Pets  Reader's Digest

"Pets In Need Project" Delivers Free Veterinary Care, Food, Supplies to Homeless and Vulnerable Pets throughout California in Communities Hard Hit by COVID-19 - GlobeNewswire
"Pets In Need Project" Delivers Free Veterinary Care, Food, Supplies to Homeless and Vulnerable Pets throughout California in Communities Hard Hit by COVID-19  GlobeNewswire

Demand escalates for pet food pantries during COVID-19 crisis: 'We didn't know how we were going to manage' - Yahoo! Voices
Demand escalates for pet food pantries during COVID-19 crisis: 'We didn't know how we were going to manage'  Yahoo! Voices

Pet World: Cranky cat' won't use the litter box, and owner may know why - Arizona Daily Star
Pet World: Cranky cat' won't use the litter box, and owner may know why  Arizona Daily Star

WATCH NOW: 'Crown Point's very own pet': Local white deer mystifies residents - The Times of Northwest Indiana
WATCH NOW: 'Crown Point's very own pet': Local white deer mystifies residents  The Times of Northwest Indiana

4 Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pet Ownership - PRNewswire
4 Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pet Ownership  PRNewswire

How to Prepare Your Pet for Your Return to Work - Bay News 9
How to Prepare Your Pet for Your Return to Work  Bay News 9

Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue - 69News WFMZ-TV
Pets of the Month: Snoopy and Woodstock from Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue  69News WFMZ-TV

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