Originally Posted by Horsesdontlie
I feed treats by hand to all of my horses, and I have never had any mouthing problems. I think it depends on the horse and is never a definite situation.
When we bought Beau, he was a 5 yr. Old fresh off the track with
a horrible biting problem!! He would bite for no reason, even when treats weren't involved. He would just walk up to you and bite.....
We started a long and tedious "no bite campaign", teaching him biting humans is a big NO NO. Here we are 2 yrs. Later and he is no longer a biter.
BUT here's the shocker, we have always fed him treats by hand, and still do.
We were warned by well meaning people that this would make him bite more....but being stubborn, we stayed the course with the no bite campaign and our preferred way of feeding treats - by hand.
Happily, he is NOW a totally bite free horse DESPITE being fed by hand....
So I agree, hand feeding treats does not necessarily mean every horse will become a biter...
I agree with the others that people should not just walk up and feed another person's horse treats. We board at a private residence farm and there are no other boarders so we don't have that problem.....but feeding a horse that isn't your own treats is not only a terrible breach of etiquette, it can be dangerous to the person, OR THE HORSE. Don't people realize you can KILL a horse with treats?? What if they have IR, or are like Beau who is a severe choke risk. His apples and carrots are cut to specific sizes....someone giving him a hunk of apple or carrot that is too big could make him choke again. Even his bite sized horse treats are cut down to a specific size. Having people feed him treats at random could kill him....
Not only is this issue a breach of etiquette, it is another example of people just not bothering to stop and THINK!!