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Become a hoof picking expert

Posted in Grooming

Picking out hooves can be a bit scary if you’re not very experienced. Worry no more – here’s the way to do it!

Front hooves

1 Stand by your pony’s shoulder, facing his tail. Stand close to the pony – the further away you stand, the more difficult it will be and the pony will lose confidence in you.

2 Run your hand down the pony’s shoulder, leaning against him so that he shifts his weight onto his other leg. Run your hand all the way down the back of the leg and push the back of the knee gently with your other hand to get the pony to bend his knee.

Lift up the hoof. Do not drop it. If the pony waves it about, hold on to it gently and wait for the pony to stop. Some ponies try waving for a bit, hoping you’ll give up and leave them alone. Do not fall for this!

4 Hold the hoof, not the leg, as this is the lightest part.

5 Pick out the hoof, heel to toe and check your pony’s shoes. Put the hoof down. Don’t drop it!

Hind hooves

1 Again, stand close to the pony’s hindquarters, facing his tail. Run your hand down the hindquarters, leaning against your pony to shift his weight. When you reach the thigh, slide your hand inside the leg, not down the outside – as you can see in the picture. If the pony does kick out, you will be able to let go, and your arm will not be in the way.

2 Lift the foot. Do not lift it too high or it will be uncomfortable. Hold the hoof, not the leg.

3 Pick the hoof out quickly (heel to toe – check the shoes) and then place the hoof down again. As with the front hooves, do not drop the hoof.

There, you’re a hoof-picking pro!

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