KBR Horse Training Information

Exercising Body AND Mind

Building Yourself a
Practical and Inexpensive
Handling Chute

Part Two

The horse used in this feature is River.
The object is for the horse to relax


Handling the horse with a brush, getting him used to fly spray, etc., involves mostly common sense; avoiding pushing the horse to the point of panic and keeping hands from between the horse and any wooden components of the chute. Handling legs and feet, however, requires a bit more thought and caution. Here's how we do this safely.

The Safety Rope

We use a soft 3/4 inch kernmantle braid mooring rope, known in the maritime industry as "Sampson Line," as our safety rope. It has an eye splice at one end and is broad and soft enough so that it won't "choke down" on the horse's pastern or burn his skin. We use the rope to assist with lifting hooves and holding them up in the air. We do not tie the rope to anything, but rather pass it over the side of the chute rail and stand on it. This way we have control over the rope at all times, can make adjustments as necessary and can immediately release the horse if need be.

To set the rope, we pass the rope around the horse's leg and through the eye or we make up the "noose" away from the horse, lay it on the ground and ask him to step into it. We'll ask the horse to lift using our hands, then take up the slack with the rope so that he can't put it right back down. Many horses will flail around with their foot when held in an upright position and the rope allows him to get this out of his system without tiring the handler and avoids the horse or handler getting hurt in the process.

Setting the rope
Adjusting hoof position for trimming
Note: Only after the horse is comfortable being in the chute and having his feet handled will we consider trimming his feet.

Continue to Trimming Feet Safely

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