Archive for Rhona’s health

Picking up Rhona’s feet: an update

I wish I could say that picking up Rhona’s feet is no problem now, but unfortunately I haven’t made great progress in that area. I stopped using the rope trick I referred to before¬†because she started kicking her feet instead of lifting them. Lately I’ve been using another rope trick– for several minutes a day, I lightly slap her feet and legs with a soft rope. Once she stops reacting to that, I run my hands up and down her legs a couple of times. She still won’t voluntarily pick up her feet, but she’ll at least let me touch them now. It’s a start… ūüôā

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Hoof care

Most PMU horses have had very little in the way of hoof care, and Rhona was no exception. Her feet looked TERRIBLE when I got her. Aside from being way too long, her hooves were cracked and split. It was obvious that they needed immediate attention. The problem was that she was very skittish about having her feet handled. No one could hold onto one of her feet for more than two or three seconds at a time, so we had to resort to sedating her for her first trim. It went smoothly, but it took three grown men to hold her up.

Tomorrow is her second trim, and despite my efforts at handling her feet regularly, she’s going to have to be sedated again. Recently, however, I came across a really useful tip in Bill Dorrance’s True Horsemanship Through Feel:¬†¬†by looping a very soft rope behind a horse’s¬†fetlock and¬†pulling gently,¬†you can get even the¬†heaviest horse to pick up her foot for you. So far I haven’t gotten her to keep it up for more than a few seconds, but I’m¬†hopeful that by the time her next trim comes along, she’ll be able to handle it without¬†sedation.¬†

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