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Teach Your Horse to Calmly Lift Her Feet

It's very common for owners to struggle with getting their horses to lift their feet and hold them up for cleaning, treatments, and farrier work.

Not as Easy as You Think

While we may think it's a piece of cake for a 4- legged animal to balance on three legs for a few minutes, there are a number of reasons why a horse may have a difficult time .

These include a painful opposing foot. When you lift one hoof, the load on the opposite foot increases tremendously.

The horse may also be experiencing pain in the joints and connective tissue of the lower limbs, shoulders, back, or hips, if not all of the above, as well as muscle pain. Holding a leg in an unusual position can cause tight or damaged muscles to spasm and cramp.

... But We Can Make It Easier

Taking measures to reduce pain, like standing the horse on a soft surface, holding the hoof up for briefer periods of time, or using nutrient-based pain relievers before hoof care can make the process go more smoothly.

Keep Your Cool

It's SO easy to get frustrated when you're horse isn't compliant. Picking and trimming feet is hard enough when your horse isn't pulling away, refusing to lift, or kicking at you!

Do Your best to remain calm regardless of how your horse is behaving. Your anger or impatience will make matters worse. Many issues horses have with hoof lifting in the result of having been roughed up by owners, farriers, and other professionals.

It only takes one bad experience to teach your horse there's a potential for harm in that situation.

A Fresh Approach

Next time you plan to work with your horse's feet, plan to breathe, listen, and flow with your horse's requests and needs. Make choices that help your horse feel safe and comfortable. Communicate clearly and calmly. Give your horse a chance to understand what you're asking. Be ok with your horse saying no and investigate possible reasons.

When you are compassionate and accommodating, you create a space for your horse to relax and trust the experience.

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