I went back to the miniature horses today to see if we could finish their wee hoofies. (Yes, the sight of a 3/4" long frog automatically induces me to start babbling baby talk in a very undignified fashion.)
Hooray, hooray - we got all eight feet done, even on the squirrelly one. I think they need to come down some more, but I got the curled-under heels removed, and the duckbill toes all lopped off, and everything looked much better. I imagine it feels better too. Once the the babies got the feel of relaxing with someone holding their foot up, they turned into pros.
One of them reminds me of George - he wants to keep you right in front of him and is self-protective. He has a habit of nipping and biting, which his owner is gradually coaxing him out of. I swatted his nose today when he bit my arm, but he came right back to me unafraid; his oral explorations thereafter were more mild-mannered.
There are many advantages to working on such diminutive horses - you can trim sitting on the ground for one thing; and when the George-like one was reluctant to relax into giving the last foot, I had a feeling the best thing to do would be to just hold onto it while he jumped up and down on the other leg. After a moment, he suddenly relaxed and gave me his foot long enough to finish. With both of them, I didn't lift their feet up; I just indicated which foot I wanted and waited for them to pick it up, which they did immediately. They are very intelligent little horses.
When we were done, the two foals were turned out together, and we stood watching, entranced, as they gamboled and frolicked like spring lambs. Now that their heels aren't curling under, the frolicking should have the desired effect of widening their feet, excuse me I mean their widdle footsies.