Boone and Khyber were never particular good at lifting their feet to be cleaned. Boone had a little bit of an excuse because he had a minor hock injury when he arrived and it hurt to lift his left, rear leg. Khyber, not so much. Of course, Khyber is the worse of the two from my perspective. Boone lifts his legs without much trouble now, while his cousin continues to glue his feet to the ground. Oddly enough, Khyber gives me more trouble with his front feet than his back feet. hat is preferable from a kick-in-the-face standpoint, but it is odd. Usually, it is the back feet that horses struggle with since that is their primary escape engine.
However, I think I may have found a way to get Khyber to lift his front feet more readily now. I cue the horses to lift their front feet by pinching the back of their legs (the way I was taught by the troop years ago). When a horse is reluctant, I will continue pinching until they get annoyed by it and finally lift their foot. Khyber is so stubborn, though, that my hand gets tired of pinching before he gets annoyed. Thus, I now tap his fetlock with the hoof pick, which annoys him much more quickly. At least for now. When he lifts his foot without out a hassle, he gets positive reinforcement with a cookie. He is improving, but it is still a bother at the moment.
Cal, on the other hand, is a different problem. He was taught by a previous owner to jack his back legs up really high. Once he gets his leg up there he starts to tremble and loses his balance. When we first got him we thought he had some kind of neurological problem. Over time I have taught him to keep his back legs low. He is much better now, but still tries to lift his legs high at first. I have to hold his hoof down until he relaxes and lets me set it on my knee. Funny horse.