Stop giving my horses treats! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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Stop giving my horses treats!

I just found out that my cousins girlfriend has been feeding my horses treats!

We were talking and she was talking about how my gelding (Dakota) was being really mean and pushing her around and kicking at the other horses whenever she was around... I though what she was saying sounded odd, because while Dakota may get a little pushy at times, he's generally mannered quite well and I've been working with him on the weekends on groundwork and teaching him new things, and his attitude on ground has improved by leaps and bounds...

Anyway, here's the conversation I just had with my cousin's girlfriend...


Her: I've been giving the horses treats every time I go in the pasture.
Me: You've been giving them treats...
Her: Yes
Me: I don't give my horses treats. Have you been giving my horses treats?
Her: Yes. Dakota's so funny, too. He grabs me by my shirt and jerks me around and nibbles at me and shoves me around. He shoved me down on the ground the other day!
Me: That's why my horses don't get treats! Dakota especially gets very disrespectful when he's given treats because he starts expecting them whenever anyone goes in the pasture and if he doesn't get something, he gets upset.
Her: Oh, he's just playing. He won't hurt me.
Me: Yes. He will. He's not playing with you. He will hurt you badly if you don't know how to handle him and you don't. Don't give my horses treats. It makes them disrespectful and nippy.
Her: Well... ok...
Me: I mean it. Don't give my horses anything to eat!



Grahh... She's such an idiot. I like my cousin's gf.. she's nice and very friendly... but she has no common sense...

I moved Dakota out of the main pasture earlier and put him in my uncle's pasture across the road... so hopefully she'll leave my horses alone and not give them anything else as a treat...

Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding) & Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding)
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 07:38 PM
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She probably didn't know better - this is a good opportunity for you to educate her on the "hows and whys" of it rather than simply getting mad. People generally feed treats to be nice, not out of malice, so reacting poorly doesn't set you up for success to get your message across.
Perhaps talking to her nicely, explaining why you don't feed treats, and to please not do it again, may be a better option for you?
Being hostile doesn't do anyone any good; it turns people off to being receptive of messages.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 08:05 PM
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ITA with JDI - your reaction comes across very poorly in respect to the opportunity you had to address the issue with an educational and understanding manner. Honestly, I think you might want to consider apologizing to her and explaining yourself and the reasoning a little better.
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 08:16 PM
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I just moved my horse to a new barn (today) and there is a guy that I am already worried about. My horse doesn't normally bite but he will when you stop giving him attention and feeding him treats, and I dont want to deal with that if he does get bitten from not knowing how to handle my horse, let alone the other horses the way I had seen the way he was handling them today. I could of swore he had no idea what he was doing. If I wasnt there, the whole herd would of gotten out but I was around just enough to grab the other barn doors to get them shut in time. He is a horse "know-it-all" and I have been warned that he fools with all of the boarders horses. I am going to have to have a talk with him the next time I see him that he shouldn't be feeding my horse anything and that I will be doing it. I have a good arrangement, and I like the owners of where I will be at, but I might even keep a lock on my horses pasture so he can't get into it. PLUS! I am putting up signs on my pasture gate saying "I Bite Do NOT Feed Me" And that no one is allowed to handle my horse. Hopefully that will keep anyone from fooling with him.

When I first brought my horse home from when I bought him he would run you over for his grain let alone treats. Infact he did that today also (>:/ **** leasor) and I corrected that quickly. I have heard stories of Kelo kicking multiple people at my old barn in rush to his grain before that was corrected.

I dont blame you for trying to correct her. But in the same term, you warned her, if she gets hurt thats on her.

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post #5 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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That wasn't exactly how our conversation went. That was just the general gist of it. I did explain to her why I didn't feed my horses treats, and told her to not feed any of them treats out of her hand. I let her know that if she -had- to feed treats, put them on the ground, not in her hand.

And I will say that at the moment, I am a little peeved at her for other reasons.

She told me she was going to catch my horses out and take them riding when I was at college or work, to which I told her very quickly that no, she wasn't... because if I find out someone has been riding any of my horses without my permission (not that anyone even has my permission to get my horses out and ride them), I will literally drag that person off whichever horse they are on and will quite possibly attempt to hospitalize them (I take my horses care very seriously and Dakota is a one-person horse and will not listen very well to other people, Gypsie is partially retired and not able to be ridden much anymore, and I don't need anyone messing Jaxxon up when I'm trying to sell him).

She also almost got a family fight started by saying that all my tack (my saddles, bridles, blankets, brushes, etc...) belonged to my cousin (her bf) and that side of the family believed her and tried to jump my case about me 'stealing' their stuff, when they know good and well that everything I own, I bought with my own money (why would I want their crappy, messed up stuff anyway...?)...

I like the girl, I really do... but she needs to figure out how things work in this family.

I didn't go off on her at all, but that was the general gist of our conversation, meaning that what I was trying to get across to her was that Dakota would hurt her or cause one of the other horses to hurt her because of how he acts over treats. It's not cute that he was pushing her around and jerking her shirt and pushing her on the ground, and she shouldn't think it's cute. Dakota isn't a pony. He's the biggest horse in the pasture and he can be a bully. None of our horses are ponies. They can all injure her if she's not careful.
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Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding) & Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding)

Last edited by Britt; 10-24-2012 at 08:24 PM.
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 08:25 PM
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There's a way to approach people in a positive manner though, MC. Storming up or having your panties in a wad won't help get your message across, it will come across as aggressive and most people shut down or get fired up when met with aggression - not a state of mind for good reasoning or discussion.
I do agree that the OP probably owes the gal an apology for the way she reacted, and that the OP could have a positive experience for both of them by approaching the situation as a learning moment instead of "zomg you're an idiot!!!1!!!1!"
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, good grief...

I didn't approach her like I though she was an idiot. I did, however, think that after she was being pushed around like she said she was, it would have been common sense for her to realize that, 'hey, giving treats may not be such a good idea'... instead of 'oh, look, he's pushing me onto the ground and jerking me around by my shirt, it's so cuuute...'...
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Horseshoe Loop Farm: Home of Gypsie (22 y/o TWH mare), Dakota (10 y/o TWH gelding) & Codie (18 y/o Walkaloosa gelding)
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 09:47 PM
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All of you are more polite than I am. If somebody is going into my pasture and messing up my horse's training, I am going to be very rude. If she gets injured, she may sue the OP. Then it won't really matter if social rules have been broken. It will only matter if the OP has a very good insurance policy and lawyer.
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Celeste
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-24-2012, 11:59 PM
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Sounds like the cousin's gf has a boundary issue, and doesn't really 'get it'.
Good luck in your handling of her, you may have to step on some toes to get your message across!
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-25-2012, 12:13 AM
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This is what happens when you DON'T own or lease/rent the property yourself!

I don't have any hassles with my animals. Simply put, it's MY place, MY name is on the deed and if you can't comply with my rules, the Sheriff will be paying you a visit. Very simple, very easy and no fights with the family!
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