Tuesday, October 02, 2007

It works, so far!

I started with the simplest bit of advice I was given about working with Libby's back feet... the first one mentioned in the previous post. On my asking-for-advice post, someone left a comment saying the same thing:

"Make sure the horse is balanced to start with, then you ask for the foot for 1 second - YOU put it down. 2 seconds, 4 seconds, etc, and work your way up to a minute or so. The decision to put the foot down is ALWAYS yours. Spending some time each day working this way should help to solve the problem."

So I tied her, used the pick on her front hooves, and then picked up a back foot and instantly let it down, praising her profusely. Then the other back foot. Back and forth I went, counting to two before letting it down, then four. By the end of the session I was actually able to pick her hooves with the hoof pick (hastily, because I wanted to be the one to decide when her foot was going down).

I'm partially at fault for her behavior, because I haven't faithfully handled her each day like I should have. It was so awfully hot for so much of the summer that I dreaded doing anything, but I know that's an excuse; it's just easy to put things off, that's all. I'm making a new resolution to handle Libby's feet every day. It only takes ten minutes or so.

And for Guy, who also left a comment with advice: if it turns out to be a balance problem, I will surely try your advice. In fact, I need to be putting all four of her feet up on something once in awhile so she'll be used to it when the farrier comes. Thanks for reminding me.


Celeste said...

Our farrier is having us work with Crystal's feet. She does like her back feet being worked on. He said to take a lead rope fold in half and put the loop behind her ankle and raise her foot up and hold. raise it high like the farrier does and pull out to the side some.This way if she keeps you are towards her head and will not get kicked.Oh yea and stand at her shoulder while doing it.

BarnGoddess said...

wow-you received some excellent, sound advice!

Libby sounds like a treat to train. I would like to see more photos of her...hint hint.