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A Positive Approach to Picking Up Hooves

I really hope you had time to have a look at the video links I posted last week. I would love some feedback on what you thought and felt while watching and listening to them.

This week I am delighted to be presenting some very different hoof lifting videos. Videos of clicker trained horses.

These videos are of two young horses that had, before these ladies got them, the usual ‘pry the foot off the ground and hang onto it if you can’ type of education that is unfortunately all too common out there.

Some owners are ok with this but I’d like my back and body in general to not be exposed to this kind of ‘exercise,’ thank you.

These two young ladies wanted something better, too. They wanted a horse that would readily lift it’s foot up and hold it up while cleaning out or doing farrier work (which both ladies do on their horses too!).This was especially critical for the one young gelding who is now 17’3 hands. If you watch the videos closely you might see the horse actually lifting the hoof up and off the hand before putting it down. We want this as it allows the horse to be in balance and slowly put hoi hoof down, without the slam into the ground so commonly seen. Alexandra Kurland’s system of clicker training incorporates balance on all the work so you are working on improving your horse’s balance without really working on it in the traditional sense.

Look at these short videos. These horses are well on their way to fabulous balance and wonderful hoof care behaviour.

We always wish we had before and after videos to show but I think you can see just how lovely these horses are now compared to the videos you saw last week. Watch the interaction, the emotions, the understanding, the relationship, the eagerness and then decide for yourself what you want your horse to look like.

I’m going to leave you with another video link that seems to be making the rounds and causing quite a stir. This one is not so nice but I feel that people need to see what is still being done out there by grandstanding professionals who have thousands of people who follow their teachings and who believe this is the way to train a horse. How can people still do these things? And feel good about it…

Look for more instructional clicker videos in the blog to accompany the March/April issue of Horse-Canada magazine article coming soon!

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