Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, November 7, 2008

She Sits Down

I have a seven year old Half-Arabian mare by my stallion WF Impressive that left here for a new home as a weanling. She was sold from that home this past winter and her new owners abandoned her at a boarding stable a couple of months later. I was informed about her fate and bailed her out and brought her back to live here. 

Her feet had been done just prior to her coming here, so we didn't need to do her for a couple of months. When she was trimmed, she was very good for the front, but started to lay on the farrier when he picked up the back foot and as he persisted, she would start to sink to her haunches. She was very hot in heat and her hind feet were pretty good, so we let her be. We tried again on Tues. and she did the same thing and not in heat this time. 

A little background on her. She is very sensitive and can be explosive if pushed. Her handling has been minimal, but she is agreeable for the most part. She is not fighting, kicking or being agitated. She simply sinks to her haunches. Normally a rasp to the gut would probably be enough to get her up where she belongs, but her tendency to explode when nervous makes this seem like a bad idea. This family of horses do not twitch well, it makes the worse, so that isn't an answer.

Anyone have any ideas? 


  1. First make sure there is no physical reason for this behavior. If not then I woudl procedd as follows:

    As soon as she starts to sit down I would longe line her, no anger, just move her in a circle on a longe line a couple of times around, then attempt to pick up a rear foot again, repeat as many times as needed, eventually she will realize it's easier to pick up the foot then have to go around in circles.

  2. Here's a link to an article about this:


  3. I read the link and I'm willing to give it a try, but the time of year will make it a little more difficult. We can try working with her without the farrier around in the arena.

    I have tried this technique with Zing when he refused to go through the arena service door. Or I should say Kristina did. It didn't bother him enough to make a difference, but she is a different personality, so it may work for her. Thanks Beth.

  4. Whenever I have a horse that sucks for the farrier I just spend 15-30 minutes every day picking up their feet. I don't hold them long at all at first and then start holding longer.

    This worked good for a horse with wobbles that had trouble knowing his space.

  5. Well, you don't have a job right now............ : )


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