legs up when eating, switches legs

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legs up when eating, switches legs

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  • When my horse eats his food he raises his leg
  • Why does my horse lift his front leg when he eata

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    06-02-2011, 05:07 PM
legs up when eating, switches legs

Before I purchased Cooper, I asked his owner if he had any weird quirks. She said the only thing he does is "raises his leg when he eats".

So I've had him for over a year and EVERY time he eats, he always has one front leg raised. He then switches them. I'm going to post the only picture I've gotten of it. He doesnt do this when eating grass.. so weird.

I do know at my old barn, someone told me it could be beginning stages of a neurological issue but he seems absolutely perfect otherwise.

Just think its an odd habit or something more?
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    06-02-2011, 05:11 PM
Super Moderator
Someone once told me that was a "morgan thing" but I had never heard of it until I bought a pony that did that. I ended up trading her for a walking horse because she was not child safe. She was healthy and as far as I know had no issues...
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SueC likes this.
    06-02-2011, 05:14 PM
Lmao! I've never had his food on the floor, but I'm laughing because I can't imagine balancing like that. Geez. Glad to know he's not the only one, thanks so much for the picture evidence.
My boy is QH x btw, so no morgan there- I don't think.
KigerQueen likes this.
    06-02-2011, 09:23 PM
Try feeding his grain on the ground. Would be interesting to see if it makes a difference.

There was a thread a long time ago about a horse that moved around a lot when he was eating, whether on the ground or at chest height. In that case it was because he was in a lot of pain and needed to move to try to alleviate it. While grazing, he would move so it wasn't noticed. With the grain in one place he had to shimmy around to reduce his pain as much as possible. It wasn't a nice story unfortunately.

I'm not saying that's what this is, but it is kind of odd. I would try different feeding methods and see if you can find any kind of pattern.
Wallaby and KigerQueen like this.
    06-02-2011, 09:36 PM
We have an arabian at our place that does the same exact thing, she's fed on the ground and only does it while eating her grain, never while just grazing in the pasture or munching on the round bale. Just one of her quirks I guess.
    06-02-2011, 09:52 PM
Creampuff and another one of the livery horses (Darla) do that very thing. They sort of "wiggle" their leg, switch legs, and then stand there. No one at my barn has a clue... I'll be lurking this thread to see if someone can shed light on it!
    06-02-2011, 09:59 PM
We have a mare that does that. She doesn't have any health problems. The mare is a mustang, so it's not a "morgan" thing with her either. Lol.
SueC likes this.
    06-02-2011, 11:54 PM
I've seen a number of horses that seem to just get excited and do this when fed grain, and none have ever had any problems.
Elana and SueC like this.
    06-03-2011, 12:02 AM
^^Yup. It's called the 'Happy Grain Dance'. My friend's horse does it, too funny. It goes like this: "I love my grain!" (Raise front left leg) "I love my grain!" (Now raise front right) Repeat until grain is gone.
    06-03-2011, 12:07 AM
Green Broke
My QH gelding does it. I've had him for about six years and he hasn't ever had any issues with it. I think he just gets excited about feed. He only does it when it's feeding time and I'm walking to his bucket then he switches legs almost the whole time he is eating. I think for the most part it's just a wacky personality deal. Hopefully that is what's going on with your horse. I would just watch it and if turns into anything worse I would have it checked out.

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