The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 8:06 am

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 8:30 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:19 am
Posts: 82
Location: America
Hello! I've been wondering if somebody has ever had something with their horse dropping their hooves. Rose does it (only the front feet) as soon as I pick it up, so she doesn't shift her weight to her other feet. I have to let go of her foot, or else she would just fall over! Right now, I'm just asking her to pick up her foot, and when she lifts it, I reward her and let her put it down. I don't really know where to go from there, though. Rose has always been a bit quirky with her feet, sometimes only letting me pick up certain feet, or doing weird things while I have them up. Does anyone have an idea?


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:33 pm 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6016
Location: Dresden, Germany
Hi Haley, at the moment I do not have time so I only found a post where I am describing a tiny bit of it: Rasping Pan's hooves. But as hoof trimming has changed from something that at least two of my horses hated to something that they are all lining up for, I can write a little more if you want... later. :)

...and a few posts about trimming in Dani's diary.

Oh, and I just found a tiny paragraph where I have explained what I am doing in Marlene's diary as well:

Quote:
For us, hoof rasping is supposed to be a fun game and the horses are allowed to join in if they want to. However, one of the main features of a game is that you aren't forced to participate and that you (feel that you) can step out of it anytime. Therefore, I have to make sure that we never get into a situation where the horse wants to pull away his hoof and I hold it. That means that I always try to be faster than the horse in suggesting to put the hoof down again. In practice, that means that with a new horse I start by lifting the hoof for about half a second or so, praise him enthusiastically and immediately put the hoof down myself. Next time, I can try to hold it for a whole second already, and so on, until I can trim the entire hoof.

The important part of it is just that I praise and admire the horse during the time when he keeps his hoof up, but I have to anticipate when he will have had enough, and then never let it get that far. In that way, hoof trimming is not a nuisance for the horse for which he feels that once he has agreed, it will be hard for him to get out of it again. Instead, if at all, hoof trimming always ends too early.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:14 am 
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:19 am
Posts: 82
Location: America
Thank you, Romy! That's sort of what I've been trying to do, but this definitely helps. I'll try that out.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:30 am 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:39 pm
Posts: 222
Location: Denmark
Can't really add anything to the already suggested, as it's pretty much what I've been doing.

I started out from zero with Punto. He would kick with his hinds - instantly. Now, he lets me hold them pretty much without any fuss, though not endlessly (who'd enjoy that, anyway?). It was anxiety provoking for me in the beginning, but going slooooow, and rewarding lots, let him (all of them, really) understand that they can just chill while I do their feet. Good things (food) wait for them after I put the foot down! 8)

They still pull away sometimes, but that's okay. Just means I went too long. We just take a break, do something else, and then finish, breaking into as many steps as we need.

Actually recorded how Punto deals with having his feet picked up, now. He would kick his hinds if I as much as touched him around his feet.

Also, my approach to Rose's behaviour would probably be to teach her to hold up her foot by herself, or maybe just put the foot down immediately after holding it in my hand, without her leaning on it - then extend the time.

_________________
Then I started asking myself: "What can I do for my horse?"


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:02 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6016
Location: Dresden, Germany
Just copying a post from Gwenda's diary so that it will be easier to find later...

Avaris wrote:
What did you change that made your horses love the trimming? Maybe Frodur would like your idea, too :sun:


For us, trimming hooves is a game that they are allowed to take part in, not a duty. With that, if follows the principles of games, for example that ending it is easy and you need not fight or discuss about that. It also is a game for me, not just for the horses. For example, with little Bac-Flac the game is: How many actions can I squeeze into the interval before he wants to put down his hoof and still be the one who suggests putting the hoof back down first? So every one of my moves counts as a point, but only if the hoof lifting episode was ended by me, not him. :)

Here is a short explanation about being fast that I once wrote in Marlene's diary:

Quote:
For us, hoof rasping is supposed to be a fun game and the horses are allowed to join in if they want to. However, one of the main features of a game is that you aren't forced to participate and that you (feel that you) can step out of it anytime. Therefore, I have to make sure that we never get into a situation where the horse wants to pull away his hoof and I hold it. That means that I always try to be faster than the horse in suggesting to put the hoof down again. In practice, that means that with a new horse I start by lifting the hoof for about half a second or so, praise him enthusiastically and immediately put the hoof down myself. Next time, I can try to hold it for a whole second already, and so on, until I can trim the entire hoof.

The important part of it is just that I praise and admire the horse during the time when he keeps his hoof up, but I have to anticipate when he will have had enough, and then never let it get that far. In that way, hoof trimming is not a nuisance for the horse for which he feels that once he has agreed, it will be hard for him to get out of it again. Instead, if at all, hoof trimming always ends too early.


And some more posts about hoof trimming:

Pan and being faster
Thinking of it as one rasp at a time
An old post about AMA's Billy
Pia beginning to like trimming

What I did not mention a lot before, I think, is that for my horses trimming also is some sort of competition, at least in situations in which more than one horse wants to join in. This is due to my way of switching between horses, which I do as soon as a horse puts his hoof down. This makes me give him a final reward and then immediately move on to the next horse. Therefore, their way to keep my attention on them is to hold their hooves veeery still. ;)

Another explanation along these lines:

Quote:
There is one thing that I think I am doing differently with my horses, and that is the "waiting girlfriend" behaviour. For me, doing the hooves is an offer that I am making to the horses (just like pretty much anything else). It is a game in which they can gain more rewards for much less effort than usual. But it is up to them to do well. For example, if Summy pulls away his hoof again and again, then off I go to the next horse who is waiting. Sorry that you have missed your chance, Mr. Summy, you will get a second chance next time I am around... To me it feels like this makes them understand that we are in this together, and both of us have to do our best, not just me.


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Picking Up Hooves
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2015 7:17 am 
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
Posts: 6016
Location: Dresden, Germany
While most of my explanations focus on what I want hoof trimming to be like for the horse - changing his perceptions of it into something that is fun - I think it is at least as important to focus on the meaning of hoof trimming for me. For me, hoof trimming is not a challenge for my patience in which I continuously have to try to be nice, while the horse is the one who needs to learn (and still not getting there, while actually it is sooo easy... :roll: ;)).

Instead, I see hoof trimming as a training mostly for ME. It gives me the wonderful opportunity of learning to be fast. Extremely fast, and extremely adjustable. It provides me with the challenge to learn how to stop before the horse wants to stop, and then at the very next moment picking the hoof up with an attitude of this being the greatest game ever. That is, I need to combine being fond of picking up the hoof but having no resistance at all to letting it go - or even actively giving it away. To do this, I often need to pre-plan. I imagine my next hoof-lifting action as a brief episode of, say, two seconds in the beginning when the horse still is very suspicious about it. While I have just picked the hoof up, I already know that I will put it down again in a moment. I must not have any hopes attached to it ("perhaps he will be patient and let me hold it for a little longer...") but be equally proactive in initiating and terminating the hoof lifting. It's a challenge in mental flexibility, and I love that! :)


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.