This month of The Salt Block the focus is how to handle our horses feet getting them prepared for a visit with the farrier. I believe it is our responsibility to develop our horse’s confidence and responsiveness when handling their feet, ensuring a safe experience for both our horses and our farriers.
Pat often riddles~
“He is wild and wooly and full of fleas, he has never been curried below the knees.”
The truth within this statement is often the reason for our hoof handling challenges. The portion of leg below the knee of the horse houses vulnerable tendons and ligaments, which, if harmed, are the difference between life and death.
This is why so many horses get nervous or fearful when we try to control their legs. In kind, the horses use their legs to run away from predators in the wild. When developing our horses it is paramount that we remember the nature of the horse as a prey animal. With this lens intact we can think like a horse (one of our four responsibilities as a partner) and nurture the horse in a way that builds their confidence and trust.
Remember, if we give the horse what he needs he will give us what we want.
Whether your horse is unconfident about having his feet handled, or dominant and naughty saying “your not the boss of me” I hope you find some licks of inspiration in this month’s Salt Block.
As often happens, I realize that there is so much more information that I could have included! However, this is a good place to start. If you have any questions, or need more help on this topic do not hesitate to contact me!