How to Pick a Stubborn Horse's Hoof

Two Methods:For the front feetFor the Back Feet

Cleaning a horses foot is very important, but some horses don't seem to realize that! This article will help you to do it.

Method 1
For the front feet

  1. 1
    Bend down, with your head facing the horses backside.
  2. 2
    Make sure the horse isn't supporting weight on the foot. You can push them sideways if they are
  3. 3
    Squeeze on the chestnut on the horses leg and most horses will instinctively lift their foot. The chestnut is the rough mound right above your horse's knee. If squeezing the chestnut is not working, you could also squeeze the tendon above their hooves in their cannon bone.
  4. 4
    Once they lift their foot, you'll need to be ready to catch it. Hold one hand under, holding it up, and one hand is picking it.

Method 2
For the Back Feet

  1. 1
    Face the same direction as you did for the front foot.
  2. 2
    Pick up the same as front foot.
  3. 3
    To catch its hoof this time, you will have to hold onto the actual hoof instead of the leg because their back legs don't have knee joints.


  • You may need to make sure they aren't supporting weight on their foot before picking it up.
  • If they aren't lifting their foot when you squeeze the chestnut or tendon, say in a clear, strong voice "Give your foot!" or something along those lines.


  • Make sure to get all the dirt out because stones are very uncomfortable for them.
  • If the horse isn't supporting weight and he acts uncomfortable when you touch his leg, he may be sore or injured. Get someone who has lots of experience to take a look at him.

Things You'll Need

  • A Hoofpick

Article Info

Categories: Horse Care