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How to Hold, Clean and Trim Your Pony's Hoof

Updated: May 10, 2022

Though I am NOT going to teach you how to trim your pony's hooves, I am going to go over how I hold their hoof when I'm working on it, why I hold it the way I do and how I clean the hoof with my hoof pick and my wire brush. I do touch briefly on how I hold my rasp as well!

I always wear gloves. I use a Bellota Rasp. I use a Muller Hoof Pick and a wire welding brush.

Pay attention to why your pony may be objecting to having his feet handled, if he is objecting that is! In Zorro's case he has sore stifles, so I have to be aware of that when I handle his hind feet, keeping them low and not pulling them straight back and up when I trim them. How I handle his feet will dictate how willing he is to participate in having me handle his feet!

I do use positive reinforcement when I train my ponies to lift their hooves on cue. It's important to be sure they understand our language! We can't just grab at their feet and expect them to know what's going on.

I do use pressure/release as well. I will touch or lightly squeeze the horse chestnut on the front legs to ask them to pick up their feet. If they even rock their weight, "thinking" about picking up a foot I will release and give a treat. Ponies are smart. It doesn't take them long to figure it all out! Use your common sense when using pressure and release on the hind legs. Don't get kicked!

Now onto the video:

Here is a link to the hoof pick I share in the video above: Muller Hoof Pick

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