How Do You Teach A Horse Pick Up His Feet?

Confidence Building ClinicIf you were this rider and your horse knocked over some of the poles in the pin wheel obstacle challenge, would you know how to correct your horse? One of the interesting dynamics of a trail obstacle challenge is the difficulty you can encounter with something seemingly easy. On the trail, if your horse hits his feet against a log, it probably doesn’t fall down. He has to go ahead and pick all four feet high enough to clear the top of the log. In a trail challenge with a pin wheel, if he doesn’t pick up any one of his feet, the poles get knocked down.

The ladies at the Bad Girls confidence building clinic last month discovered some of their horses didn’t mind knocking over the poles. In fact, a couple of them seemed to enjoy watching the poles hit the ground. One rider’s horse managed to down every pole,  save one, during a single revolution.

The ladies were quick learners and with just a little coaching learned how to ask their horse to lift his feet and step over the poles instead of knocking them to the ground. We did have just a little fun initially suggesting all they needed to do was tell the horse, “Hey, pick up your feet”! The Bad Girls took it good-naturedly and all had a good laugh while they learned.


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