Teaching Uptown Girl to pick up her hind feet. 🐴😇
Firstly: Safety is highly important.
When teaching any horse to pick up their feet don't tie them to a hitching area. Instead be in a round-yard or another large space and have a knowledgable handler to hold the horse, that way there is also a second pair of hands and eyes on the situation. Mum and Graham taught Uptown together.
Before starting you need to spend time touching, patting, brushing your horse all over their body so they are comfortable with being touched. Once they are happy being with the grooming and touching you can start.
Uptown Girl was very easy to teach her to pick up her front feet. Mum would run her hand down Uptowns leg and once she wrapped her hand around Uptown's fetlock and tugged a little she picked up, Mum held it for a few seconds and then put it down again.
Let's talk hind feet.
To teach Uptown to pick up her hind feet Mum used a soft lead rope to aid her. She put the lead gently inside Uptown's leg, stood forward near her stomach and gently shimmied the lead down the leg until it was under the fetlock, once it was in the correct position Mum would gently pull the lead and Uptown's leg lifted off the ground. Sometimes she lifted her leg really high so Mum made sure when this happened the lead was slackened so that once Uptown relaxed she would settle her hind leg in a more normal position, after a few seconds settled in this position Mum would put Uptown's foot down by releasing the lead.
This is a simple, effective and safe way to teach your young horse to lift up their hind feet. Mum spent 3 weeks repeating this method everyday 2 or 3 times and she now can pick up all of Uptown's feet using her hands, clean out the hooves and Uptown Girl very well behaved for the farrier.
Step A - The shimmy Step B - Lifting the hind leg