February 14, 2005
Training Your Donkey for Hoof Care - Part 7
There is one last step to prepare your donkey for having the farrier work on his hooves. We'll explore that today.
Once your farrier finishes trimming off the extra hoof, he must rasp the edges smooth so that the hoof won't be as likely to split out around the edge. My farrier has a hoof stand that he sets the hoof on while he is rasping the edges. If you do a search on Google for "hoof stand" you can find some websites with pictures of different styles and designs of hoof stands.
The first step in teaching your donkey to use a hoof stand is to teach them to let you lift their feet out forward as well as backward. So far we have only been lifting their feet back.
Start with the front feet. I ask my donkey to pick up his front foot in the normal way, then I put my hand around his leg just above his front knee, and lift his leg forward and up. I often times do this after I have saddled them up as well, to stretch the skin out smooth under the girth.
You can do the same thing with the back feet. Lift the foot like normal, then hold a few inches below the hock and gently lift forward. Be award of what your donkey's comfortable range of motion is and don't try to pull their leg to far forward or up, otherwise they will be uncomfortable. The first few times they may try to pull away from you when you lift their feet forward, but once they figure out it's ok, they'll relax and let you do what you want.
Now you can find a small block of wood (maybe 4 to 12 inches tall depending on the size of your donkey) or something similar. Practice lifting your donkey's front and back feet and setting them on the block. You may have to help hold the donkey's foot from sliding off the first few times until he gets the idea.
Once your donkeys is comfortable with the process of you lifting his feet forward and setting them on the block for varying amounts of time, he should be well prepared for when the farrier comes to trim his hooves. If you can find a patient and kind farrier, that will make a big difference in your donkey having a pleasurable experience, and cooperating in the future.
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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at February 14, 2005 08:19 AM
Little or no information exists or at least I cannot find it, about shoeing Mammoths. I have searched high and low. Their feet are so different from a horses ie: angle etc., is there any general information out there that you know of?
Posted by: Alfred Nesbitt at March 2, 2006 10:05 AM