I am spreading out my horse's foot work to every other day because of my schedule at the moment. So far, she's catching on with the "leg up" command on the fronts and still jigging her hinds. It's more like a pump action than anything. Though she is getting better, she still has a way to go with those hind feet.
Spraying them out with the hose works great, though I realize not everyone has access to a hose and nozzle every time they pick their horses feet out. It's not really necessary to clean them quite that well all the time, though if you can do it at least once a week you will really be able to tell just how your horse's hoof is doing. Considering her feet are in need of a trimming, they are in pretty good shape. The sole is hardening up a bit, where as before it was soft and when I picked it with a hoof pick it became sort of powdery around the frog and white line. The outer wall displays a few small chunks from where the hoof is breaking off due to being a bit long, but otherwise the cracks are not growing themselves, they are just growing down as the hoof grows. Great news right there.
If you are just beginning to work with a young horse, you should always pick the hooves the same way each time, meaning start with the left front, move to the left hind then the right front and right hind. This lets the horse know what is coming when you're dealing with their feet. If this is the first time for them, you might not get the hooves picked out. Getting them to allow you to just pick the foot up is an accomplishment and sometimes you have to take those very small steps before advancing on to holding the hoof up for an extended period of time.
As for Cookie, I still haven't quite figured out why she pumps those hind legs when you pick them up and that's ok. As long as I can pick them up and hold the hoof long enough to get it cleaned out is an accomplishment. The thing I don't want her to do is lean on me or kick that leg out behind her. So far, she hasn't exhibited those behaviors and I'd like to keep it that way. Remember your farrier is your horse's best friend, and you want your horse to be as good as can be when picking their feet up and holding it up for them. If your farrier has to fight to trim and shoe, they likely will become annoyed quickly and you may lose that farrier. Most are patient and will tolerate quite a bit.
Something to bear in mind also, everything you do with your horse is a training/learning session even if they've done it a million times. You want to teach in a manner that is not only easy for you, but easy for them also and try not teaching them bad habits from the start. This is one area that most "backyard" horse owners do not understand when they buy a young horse. They are not pets, they are animals of burden and they weigh often times over 1000 pounds when full grown. When they do become full grown and you're wondering why they are nipping your hands, kicking at you or even mowing down your fences, it's because you began treating them as a "pet" instead of a horse. You have to teach them about space and respect otherwise you'll end up selling them to the lowest bidder so they can fix the bad habits you taught them to begin with.
*Note* Cookie is a peculiar mare. Considering horses are grazers by nature, you'd think she would "graze" all her hay, instead she has become very wasteful in grazing mode. So, to alleviate some of the waste, I've gone back to putting dinner time meals in her manger and hanging a hay net all other times. She has 2 slow feed hay nets and one large open manger. Somehow, and even as I put this down it's very odd, she doesn't seem to get enough graze time when the hay is in piles all over her paddock even though she wastes it. When she eats from the hay nets, my fences and gates do not suffer nearly as badly. She is getting enough to eat, almost 25 pounds a day and because she is an easy keeper I have to be careful not to go over that by very much or she'll get fat quickly. So I think it's best right now to keep putting out hay nets instead of piles of hay to prevent so much waste.
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