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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 Thu. February / 25 / 2021

Amazing benefits to seniors having pets | | wvnews.com - WV News
Amazing benefits to seniors having pets | | wvnews.com  WV News

Dakin Humane Society: Vaccines are important for pets too - masslive.com
Dakin Humane Society: Vaccines are important for pets too  masslive.com

Pet Health: Caring for senior pets - KOIN.com
Pet Health: Caring for senior pets  KOIN.com

PETA says people shouldn’t call their animals ‘Pets’ - KX NEWS
PETA says people shouldn’t call their animals ‘Pets’  KX NEWS

Richmond Animal League's hosts virtual Sugar and Spice event to benefit homeless pets - wtvr.com
Richmond Animal League's hosts virtual Sugar and Spice event to benefit homeless pets  wtvr.com

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ferdie - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Ferdie - 47abc  WMDT

Pets In Need In Southern Maryland Dog Of The Week: Santos - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
Pets In Need In Southern Maryland Dog Of The Week: Santos  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

ACS rescued 200 pets from the cold last week and now looking for their owners - mySA
ACS rescued 200 pets from the cold last week and now looking for their owners  mySA

Pets of the week: Odie is a spunky ‘talker.’ Handsome Morris is a sweetie - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Odie is a spunky ‘talker.’ Handsome Morris is a sweetie  MLive.com

Here's Exactly How Often You Should Replace (And Clean!) Your Pet's Toys - POPSUGAR
Here's Exactly How Often You Should Replace (And Clean!) Your Pet's Toys  POPSUGAR

Alachua County Pets: Heidi and Tyson - WCJB
Alachua County Pets: Heidi and Tyson  WCJB

Children & pet loss | Opinion | telluridenews.com - The Daily Planet
Children & pet loss | Opinion | telluridenews.com  The Daily Planet

Noon Pets Of The Week: Romeo, Cupid, Valentino & Ollie - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Noon Pets Of The Week: Romeo, Cupid, Valentino & Ollie  WXII12 Winston-Salem

Amarillo sees rise in calls for pets left out in cold weather conditions - KFDA
Amarillo sees rise in calls for pets left out in cold weather conditions  KFDA

Salems Northeast Animal Shelter Rushes To Aid Of Texas Pets - Patch.com
Salems Northeast Animal Shelter Rushes To Aid Of Texas Pets  Patch.com

Wildlife biologist gives tips on how to keep your pets safe during coyote mating season - KEPR 19
Wildlife biologist gives tips on how to keep your pets safe during coyote mating season  KEPR 19

Veterinarian offers tips to deal with pet separation anxiety - WIS10
Veterinarian offers tips to deal with pet separation anxiety  WIS10

PHOTOS: Pets available for adoption this week at Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society - Feb 24 - The Albany Herald
PHOTOS: Pets available for adoption this week at Moultrie Colquitt County Humane Society - Feb 24  The Albany Herald

Pets find forever homes in Philly region after fleeing deep freeze in Texas - Yahoo News
Pets find forever homes in Philly region after fleeing deep freeze in Texas  Yahoo News

Pets for adoption | Entertainment | tucson.com - Arizona Daily Star
Pets for adoption | Entertainment | tucson.com  Arizona Daily Star

Saving Sadie: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Pets - BRProud.com
Saving Sadie: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Pets  BRProud.com

PETS OF WEEK: Bo-Peep and Billy | Community | wiscnews.com - WiscNews
PETS OF WEEK: Bo-Peep and Billy | Community | wiscnews.com  WiscNews

My Pet World: Handling dogs that pull on leashes - Arizona Daily Star
My Pet World: Handling dogs that pull on leashes  Arizona Daily Star

Keeping your pets safe during coyote mating season - KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis
Keeping your pets safe during coyote mating season  KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis

10 Trendy Houseplants That are Safe for Pets, According to Experts - BobVila.com
10 Trendy Houseplants That are Safe for Pets, According to Experts  BobVila.com

More than 500 lost pets reunited with Winnebago Co. families during 2020 - WIFR
More than 500 lost pets reunited with Winnebago Co. families during 2020  WIFR

Earliest American dog hints pets accompanied first people in Americas - New Scientist News
Earliest American dog hints pets accompanied first people in Americas  New Scientist News

Celebrate Your Pet’s Birthday with a Tasty Surprise - Alexandria Living Magazine
Celebrate Your Pet’s Birthday with a Tasty Surprise  Alexandria Living Magazine

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Skye - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Skye  KCBD

MOAS 'Pets of the Week' | Features - Main Street Newspapers
MOAS 'Pets of the Week' | Features  Main Street Newspapers

College Station City Council To Consider Banning Retail Sales Of Pets From Puppy Mills And Related Operations - WTAW
College Station City Council To Consider Banning Retail Sales Of Pets From Puppy Mills And Related Operations  WTAW

Department of Health Warns Pennsylvanians of Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Small Pet Turtles - Pennsylvania Pressroom
Department of Health Warns Pennsylvanians of Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Small Pet Turtles  Pennsylvania Pressroom

Basement fire displaces 4 residents, pets from Southwest Side duplex, authorities say - Madison.com
Basement fire displaces 4 residents, pets from Southwest Side duplex, authorities say  Madison.com

New ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Pet Sematary’ & ‘The In Between’ Movies Heading To Paramount+ - Deadline
New ‘Paranormal Activity’, ‘Pet Sematary’ & ‘The In Between’ Movies Heading To Paramount+  Deadline

Pet Care Market Revenue to Cross USD 350 Bn by 2027: Global Market Insights, Inc. - PRNewswire
Pet Care Market Revenue to Cross USD 350 Bn by 2027: Global Market Insights, Inc.  PRNewswire

'Pet' tiger rescued during winter storm settles into new digs at Texas wildlife sanctuary - KHOU.com
'Pet' tiger rescued during winter storm settles into new digs at Texas wildlife sanctuary  KHOU.com

Here's How The Top Pet And Baby Names Compare - HuffPost
Here's How The Top Pet And Baby Names Compare  HuffPost

Rescue caught on camera! Athens family warns others after pet almost drowns in semi-frozen pool - WAAY
Rescue caught on camera! Athens family warns others after pet almost drowns in semi-frozen pool  WAAY

Maui Humane Society to host ‘Bad Pet Art Fundraiser’ - KHON2
Maui Humane Society to host ‘Bad Pet Art Fundraiser’  KHON2

Detroit Dog Rescue works to help pets outside in the cold, offers owners support - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Detroit Dog Rescue works to help pets outside in the cold, offers owners support  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Animal Doctor: Owner concerned about cat constipation | Pets | tulsaworld.com - Tulsa World
Animal Doctor: Owner concerned about cat constipation | Pets | tulsaworld.com  Tulsa World

Meet Smokey! WTRF Pet of the Week - WTRF
Meet Smokey! WTRF Pet of the Week  WTRF

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (2/24/2021) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (2/24/2021)  ABC15 Arizona

Protect your pet's paws from ice-melting salt - WSAW
Protect your pet's paws from ice-melting salt  WSAW

Betty White, furry friends star in 50-year-old 'Pet Set' - Associated Press
Betty White, furry friends star in 50-year-old 'Pet Set'  Associated Press

Shop the most popular picks for your pet from Chewy - GMA
Shop the most popular picks for your pet from Chewy  GMA

Who knew? Surprising places that welcome pets - Buffalo News
Who knew? Surprising places that welcome pets  Buffalo News

There's a place for Keys pet emergencies | Local News | keysnews.com - KeysNews.com
There's a place for Keys pet emergencies | Local News | keysnews.com  KeysNews.com

Pet dental health tips - KNOP
Pet dental health tips  KNOP

Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Angel - Patch.com
Smithtown Adoptable Pet Of The Week: Angel  Patch.com

Madison fire displaces 4 people and their pets - WMTV – NBC15
Madison fire displaces 4 people and their pets  WMTV – NBC15

The 'Can You Pet The Dog' Twitter account is having a big impact - The Washington Post
The 'Can You Pet The Dog' Twitter account is having a big impact  The Washington Post

Snow and Ice Caught in Your Dog's Fur? Here's What Vets Say You Should Do - POPSUGAR
Snow and Ice Caught in Your Dog's Fur? Here's What Vets Say You Should Do  POPSUGAR

All the Presidents' Pets - Today.com - Today.com - Today.com
All the Presidents' Pets - Today.com - Today.com  Today.com

Betty White ‘Pet Set’ series re-released on DVD, streaming platforms - Chicago Sun-Times
Betty White ‘Pet Set’ series re-released on DVD, streaming platforms  Chicago Sun-Times

Animal cruelty investigators responding to reports of pets left outside in cold - KPRC Click2Houston
Animal cruelty investigators responding to reports of pets left outside in cold  KPRC Click2Houston

Second Chance Pets: Steve the cat - KOIN.com
Second Chance Pets: Steve the cat  KOIN.com

Pets are helping us cope during the pandemic—but that may be stressing them out - National Geographic
Pets are helping us cope during the pandemic—but that may be stressing them out  National Geographic

84-year-old Gulfport man loses everything, including beloved pets, in house fire - WLOX
84-year-old Gulfport man loses everything, including beloved pets, in house fire  WLOX

Keeping Our Pets Safe on Valentine's Day - NBC New York
Keeping Our Pets Safe on Valentine's Day  NBC New York

Time is ticking for pet owners looking for animals lost in winter storm last week - KSAT San Antonio
Time is ticking for pet owners looking for animals lost in winter storm last week  KSAT San Antonio

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Feb. 21, 2021 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Feb. 21, 2021  Summit Daily News

Photos: Firefighters rescue plethora of pets from SLC basement fire - KUTV 2News
Photos: Firefighters rescue plethora of pets from SLC basement fire  KUTV 2News

New Pandemic Pets Come With New Responsibilities - NBC4 Washington
New Pandemic Pets Come With New Responsibilities  NBC4 Washington

Ten Lives Club searching for 'Sweetest Valentine's Pets' with photo contest - WGRZ.com
Ten Lives Club searching for 'Sweetest Valentine's Pets' with photo contest  WGRZ.com

Second Chance Pets: Freedom the dog - KOIN.com
Second Chance Pets: Freedom the dog  KOIN.com

The Most Popular Pet Name of the Century (Maybe) - The New York Times
The Most Popular Pet Name of the Century (Maybe)  The New York Times

Pandemic Pets Has Led to 'Mafia-Style' Puppy Trade Veuer 5 hrs ago - msnNOW
Pandemic Pets Has Led to 'Mafia-Style' Puppy Trade Veuer 5 hrs ago  msnNOW

Robotic pets create companionship for dementia patients - WSFA
Robotic pets create companionship for dementia patients  WSFA

Robotic pets helping people combat loneliness during COVID-19 pandemic - WXYZ
Robotic pets helping people combat loneliness during COVID-19 pandemic  WXYZ

Don’t forget, pets are ‘very much at risk’ in cold weather, officials say - MLive.com
Don’t forget, pets are ‘very much at risk’ in cold weather, officials say  MLive.com

America's 10 Best States for Pet Lovers - TravelPulse
America's 10 Best States for Pet Lovers  TravelPulse

New 24-Hour Pet Hospital Opens in Pasadena - Pasadena Now
New 24-Hour Pet Hospital Opens in Pasadena  Pasadena Now

Woman steals tortoise from pet store, Elyria police say - Cleveland 19 News
Woman steals tortoise from pet store, Elyria police say  Cleveland 19 News

Pets rescued from Middletown fire - Mid-Hudson News
Pets rescued from Middletown fire  Mid-Hudson News

Poshmark enters into the pet category - Retail Dive
Poshmark enters into the pet category  Retail Dive

Why This Pet Stock Is a Better Bet Than Zomedica - Motley Fool
Why This Pet Stock Is a Better Bet Than Zomedica  Motley Fool

Austin Pets Alive seeks supplies, donations to keep furry friends warm amid winter freeze - Austin American-Statesman
Austin Pets Alive seeks supplies, donations to keep furry friends warm amid winter freeze  Austin American-Statesman

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

10 Gifts for Love Your Pet Day That Are Great for Furry Friends and Their Owners - PEOPLE
10 Gifts for Love Your Pet Day That Are Great for Furry Friends and Their Owners  PEOPLE

White House pets, from adorable to very weird - CBS News
White House pets, from adorable to very weird  CBS News

More than 100 pets died, over 200 sickened from recalled pet food, FDA says - Fox Business
More than 100 pets died, over 200 sickened from recalled pet food, FDA says  Fox Business

Tips to protect your pets during the freezing temperatures - KFOR Oklahoma City
Tips to protect your pets during the freezing temperatures  KFOR Oklahoma City

Pets of the week: Regan is one fun-loving’ lady and Mia is simply stunning - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Regan is one fun-loving’ lady and Mia is simply stunning  MLive.com

Fine for illegal pet store sales, nuisance vehicle enforcement discussed by Colorado Springs City Council - KRDO
Fine for illegal pet store sales, nuisance vehicle enforcement discussed by Colorado Springs City Council  KRDO

Cell cultures as pet food - Pets may soon be fed laboratory-grown meat | Science & technology - The Economist
Cell cultures as pet food - Pets may soon be fed laboratory-grown meat | Science & technology  The Economist

No bad dogs? Pet owner's personality can affect canine training success, study finds - NBC News
No bad dogs? Pet owner's personality can affect canine training success, study finds  NBC News

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

Improving PET scans are good news for doctors and patients alike - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health
Improving PET scans are good news for doctors and patients alike - Harvard Health Blog  Harvard Health

'A Quiet Place Part II,' 'Mission: Impossible 7' to Debut on Paramount+ 45 Days After Theatrical Launch - Hollywood Reporter
'A Quiet Place Part II,' 'Mission: Impossible 7' to Debut on Paramount+ 45 Days After Theatrical Launch  Hollywood Reporter

Who's a good doggy? Martha Stewart launches cannabis pet products - Reuters
Who's a good doggy? Martha Stewart launches cannabis pet products  Reuters

Online pet retail giant Chewy plans to hire several hundred at new Seattle-area office - GeekWire
Online pet retail giant Chewy plans to hire several hundred at new Seattle-area office  GeekWire

Veterinarian: Keep Pets Safe, Healthy Amid Freezing Temps - WJON News
Veterinarian: Keep Pets Safe, Healthy Amid Freezing Temps  WJON News

How Often Should We Clean Our Pets' Bowls? 2 Vets Explain - Yahoo Lifestyle
How Often Should We Clean Our Pets' Bowls? 2 Vets Explain  Yahoo Lifestyle

'Jerk cat' made famous by brutally honest Akron pet rescue social media post finds a home - WKYC.com
'Jerk cat' made famous by brutally honest Akron pet rescue social media post finds a home  WKYC.com

Winter weather Houston: Texas law says it's illegal to leave your pet outside during severe weather - KTRK-TV
Winter weather Houston: Texas law says it's illegal to leave your pet outside during severe weather  KTRK-TV

Why you should never release your pet goldfish into the wild - Yahoo! Voices
Why you should never release your pet goldfish into the wild  Yahoo! Voices

Rocky from Fairmont currently in 1st place in America’s Favorite Pet contest - WBOY.com
Rocky from Fairmont currently in 1st place in America’s Favorite Pet contest  WBOY.com

Pet obesity swells during COVID-19 pandemic - 13WHAM-TV
Pet obesity swells during COVID-19 pandemic  13WHAM-TV

FOX61 Cutest Pet in CT Contest - FOX 61
FOX61 Cutest Pet in CT Contest  FOX 61

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