Picking out Feet

I need help with this one — I mean these four. 

When I was riding  Wilco the Friesian, feet-cleaning was the absolute worst part and the hind legs were the worst of the worst.  I’d somehow manage to cajole him into lifting his foot for me and then, with pick in hand, I’d burrow and delve with the pick through the morass of fetlock feathers, mud, horse poo, gravel, and shedding hoof-stuff.  I always worried about tickling his frog (the part in the very center) because horses don’t like to be tickled in the frog.  No, I havn’t done it yet, but I worry.  Wilso, being a Friesian, is big.  Very very big.  Enourmously big.  Not the biggest horse in the world but plenty big and he’s got big legs and big feet and trying to keep his front leg up and steady while I cleaned was murder.  The back ones were impossible.  After each foot, I’d have to stop, take a rest, check my pulse, and wait for my head to clear from the task let alone the slight worry that he would topple over on top of me because I’d compromised his balance.

I know, logically, that it is not possible for me to keep a horse leg up in the air and that I need to let gravity work for me or something.  I think I’m doing too much lifting and not enough strategizing. Aren’t I supposed to rest the hoof on my thigh or something?  And WHY, when I do that, does the horse always have a gastric event?  They don’t have a gastric event when I’m working on the front ones, I swear!  Come to think of it, that’s another thing I like about Sadie — she has such nice clean feet!  I don’t know how she does it, but she does.  The front ones are a joy to clean out and she often lifts her feet for me which is kind and generous (or she gets it or whatever).

So there’s got to be a way to do this without courting heart attack.  Maybe I put my hand too far up on the leg. Hm.


1 Comment

Filed under Horse Chores

One response to “Picking out Feet

  1. I wonder if he’s leaning on you for support, and that’s why it seems so heavy? As for the gastric event, I think there’s a nerve running between the digestive tract and the back legs, kind of how dogs will kick their back feet if you scratch the right spot on their chests. 😉

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