Cleaning Hooves

20151018_151136“Sweet” Sir Galahad was not in the mood to have his feet cleaned today. Usually I can clean them while he’s standing around in the pasture. Today he kept walking off every time I asked him to pick up a foot.

I’m actually pretty proud of the way I handled it.

I did tie him to the fence; I was not in the mood to let him lead me on a half-mile chase. He was not best pleased at this. He stood quietly, but he still didn’t want to lift his feet. His hooves have to be treated pretty much every day until they heal up completely from a late-summer thrush outbreak, so he actually did have to let me do them. Refusing was not an option I could or would accept.

Rather than making a fuss about it, though, I just kept asking quietly. When he refused to lift his right front, I tried the right hind, and after a few requests, he obliged. Then the left hind—yes, he could do that, too. And the left front. But the right front? No, still no…. So I went back around, and by the time I got to the right front again, he discovered he could lift it after all. Good boy!

I made a second pass around to spray them with the antiseptic solution. The right front was still an issue—makes me wonder if that one, or maybe the left front, is still a little sore. In any case, with a bit more quiet asking, he finally did lift it again.

Once we finished, he got dinner and carrots. Good boy!

Best of all, though, I didn’t get upset about his shenanigans, and we got the job done without drama. Excellent!

(The photo is pretty ugly. It was taken last month, just before a trim. Things are looking WAY better now.)