Q: My horse leans on me and loses her balance when I pick out her hooves. How do I stop her from doing this?
A: Before you pick out your horse’s hooves, tie her up safely and securely so she can’t move around a lot. Stand next to her so you are just about touching her, and then bend down and run your hand down her leg to ask her to lift up her hoof.
If she starts leaning on you, lean back on her, pressing your upper arm and shoulder into her shoulder. Applying body pressure like this should tell her to shift her weight to her other side so she’s not leaning on you. You may have to give a little growl to get her attention. Once she stops leaning, stop applying pressure with your body.
If she still leans on you, ask a friend to hold her with a lead rope. When your horse leans on you, your friend should move the lead rope and pull your horse’s head a few inches in the other direction from you. This should encourage your mare to shift her weight to the other side.
This article originally appeared in the September/October 2014 issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!