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A hoof pick is used on horses to help clean the hooves, and using one means waiting for the horse to get its balance before asking it to pick up a foot. Discover how a hoof pick works with the components of a horse's foot with help from a horse riding teacher in this free video on hoof picks.
This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables and we're going to go over how to use a hoof pick. I'll show you how it's done. A standard hoof pick has a pick side and a brush side so we'll show you how to use both of those effectively. The first thing you want to do when you're picking a horse's foot, number one a horse balances itself on four feet obviously so we're asking it to pick up one foot so we have to wait for the horse to re-establish his balance on three feet. So when asking a horse to pick up his feet most seasoned horses, once they realize you have the hook pick in and you're going down to pick the foot will actually give the foot to you. If it so happens that the horse doesn't want to give the foot to you there are a couple of techniques that you can use in order to get the horse to lift the foot. I don't recommend diving into a horse or throwing a horse off balance in order to get it to receive the foot for you. It knows and understands what it is that you're asking of it but if you need to you can run your hand down the leg and actually, Alize is going to be a very good model for us and give it right to me but if I had to I could apply a little bit of pressure underneath the tendon here in order for him to lift the foot and as you can see he was really kind to give it to me. The first thing that I do is I take the pick side of the hoof pick and I put it inside the foot and I reach in to the sides of the frog and go ahead and dig and pull that out. The first thing that I do when I take the pick side is you'll see that the components of the foot here and the heel of the foot, there is this element of the foot called the frog. There is two grooves on each side of that. Alize has pretty good feet, pretty clean feet so I don't have a lot to show you here but you take the pick side and put it inside the grooves, push that out, inside the grooves here and push that out and then I try and sit there and take all this and loosen it up. Then I can take the brush side and simply just brush everything and clean everything away. Then once you're done I just allow the horse to put the foot down. I don't drop the foot or throw the horse off balance. It is imperative that you want to make sure that the horse is comfortable when you are asking him to do this because he is off balance. That's how you use a hoof pick. This is Maggie Connolly with Hawthorne Stables.