Food Possessive
   

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Food Possessive

This is a discussion on Food Possessive within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horses possessive of food
  • Foal becoming possessive over food

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    07-16-2009, 09:32 PM
  #1
Foal
Exclamation Food Possessive

My sweetest-sweet heart Romeo sort of hurt my feeling today... This needs to stop.

Romeo's such a sweetheart. He licks you and nuzzles you and licks your hair, and follows you around.

Not around his food.

Romeo shares his corral with a horse named Ringo, who is at the top of the pecking order. I made a bran-mash for them, so was going to put Romeo in a separate corral because they will fight around food.

I made a mistake and threw Ringo some hay. I started pushing Romeo, telling him to back up, towards Romeo's own corral. Instead of cooperating, he pinned his ears all the way back. I kept telling him to go back. Then he sort of charged me, with his ears back, (like what Ringo does to him when Romeo goes to close to his food) and spun on his haunches with his rump to me.... I believe he was trying to kick me. I told him, "NO" and slapped him, and didn't try it again for fear of being kicked. Instead I did the total wrong thing to do, I know, and lured him to the other corral with hay.

His ears were pinned down until I gave the hay to him, and I decided to give Ringo most of the bran mash.

This will not do. How do I deal with this without being kicked? I want him to politely accept his dinner, not attack me for it. I think he respects me, too. When I ride him he listens to my aids, and cooperates beautifully.

HELP!
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    07-16-2009, 09:45 PM
  #2
Started
Oh, food agression sucks! When I first got my horse, he would knock me down and take off into his stall everytime we passed it.

First thing, I would make sure he is wearing a halter and carry a lead. Next, it seems he is treating you as a lesser herd member who he can intimidate to get the food, and it worked. If he EVER charges at you or turns with intentions of kicking, don't be shy about it. Whack him with the lead rope and charge HIM. Treat him as the lesser member and chase him off away from the food.

A helpful exercise for me was to put the food in the stall, pen, whatever. Lead him towards the food as long as he behaves. The second he speeds up, knocks into you, pins his ears or makes some agressive posturing, back him up or spin him away and walk away. If he fights it, MAKE him listen. When he is behaving, walk him towards the food again. Repeat this untill he walks to the food respectfully. Take off the halter, but keep the lead around his neck and make him wait for a count of five untill you release him. Don't be suprosed if it takes a while for him to catch on, but just keep working and this everytime he's around food. Eventually he will understand that you control when he gets food and it should transfer to all interactions around fod. It's taken me 15 minutes to get Painter in his stall the first few times, but now I can walk him in with nothing on and he waits for me to release him. Good luck!

Sorry for the novel, lol
     
    07-17-2009, 12:35 AM
  #3
Yearling
He is trying to show his dominance over you by taking the food away. You can't let him do that, charge him, like 1dog3cats17rodents said, and wack him, swing the lead rope really fast and if he charges you, he'll get his by the rope. Don't let him go anywhere near the food unless you invite him. Any pinning of the ears and charging deserves a nice wack with a rope.
     
    07-17-2009, 02:17 AM
  #4
Foal
Hi Ridingbareback,
Here is a story for you. I have just come back from United Arab Emirates with a friend of mine who happens to be my farrier.He wanted to get an Arabian and we saw a few of them including one which was known to be the most stubborn of the herd; kind of ringleader,you know. David(my friend) wanted to see it from close(he' s the "ultimate" farrier!) but that horse wanted to show its dominance... guess what, David looked at him straight in the eyes and slapped him hard twice, I mean really hard: he showed him who the master was! I know you must feel kindda scared and the sooner you show you are the master, the better. Now , good luck
     
    07-17-2009, 10:02 AM
  #5
Foal
I had the same problem when I got Cochise at 6 months...wasnt even thinking about it when I came in his stall to start the poop scooping when he was eating and he ended up trying to kick me to protect his food...I was a little upset, smacked him on the butt and made him eat his grain in a bucket out of my hand for a week to ensure he knew where his food came from. I would even stick my hand in the bucket while he was eating to play with the food. He has never done it to me again...he has always hated being bothered, groomed etc while he eats so at the same time I held the bucket feeding him, I would rub his head etc to try and cure that a little too. Yes it could be a little time consuming but it worked. I really feel alot of his issues came from being untouched by humans (from birth) really until I got him at 6 months old.
     
    07-17-2009, 04:14 PM
  #6
Trained
Ahhh, yes, food aggression...my Danni can be like this...he challenges anyone new who comes near him. He doesn't challenge me anymore, but I have made him understand that I control the food and when it gets dispersed to him, and can take it away if necessary, to ensure other's safety.

I always make him back up and stand away from me when I am bringing him his grain after a workout; I reinforce the back up with a dressage whip to the center of this chest if necessary. I do not allow him to come forward to the grain bucket, until I ask. Then when I do, I do not allow him to rush the bucket, or pin his ears to challenge me, or tell me to 'move it'. If he does, I again, ask him to back it up, and wait.

I am teaching others to do the same; he challenged my hubby twice last night, and the second time I made him have Danni back off...Danni was like "what the???" He left DH alone after that...
     
    07-17-2009, 09:00 PM
  #7
Weanling
We're going through the same type of thing with all 3 of our horses. Thanks for posting all these great tips!!
     
    07-17-2009, 09:47 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride    
Ahhh, yes, food aggression...my Danni can be like this...he challenges anyone new who comes near him. He doesn't challenge me anymore, but I have made him understand that I control the food and when it gets dispersed to him, and can take it away if necessary, to ensure other's safety.

I always make him back up and stand away from me when I am bringing him his grain after a workout; I reinforce the back up with a dressage whip to the center of this chest if necessary. I do not allow him to come forward to the grain bucket, until I ask. Then when I do, I do not allow him to rush the bucket, or pin his ears to challenge me, or tell me to 'move it'. If he does, I again, ask him to back it up, and wait.

I am teaching others to do the same; he challenged my hubby twice last night, and the second time I made him have Danni back off...Danni was like "what the???" He left DH alone after that...
Yep. Aero is the same way. Mostly, I think, because my daughter will let her get away with it. I, on the other hand, take none of that nonsense (and am working on convincing DD that Aero will respect - and "like" - her more as a leader than if she continues to let herself be bullied). Aero is not allowed to approach while we are putting feed out and must wait to be invited in - when that happens, she must come in nicely or she is sent away and asked to wait all over again. Sure, it can make feeding time take a LOT longer when she decides she's in the mood to test me, but it is worth the extra effort and time to maintain her respect....and our safety.
     
    07-19-2009, 07:01 PM
  #9
Trained
Everyone gave great advice. My problem isn't aggression so much as just excitement and not being able to wait. My older mare won't bother me while I have grain, hay, treats, whatever, in my hand. She knows she won't get it until she leaves me alone and I put it down. She actually turns her nose away from me and the food. My yearling, on the other hand, is ALLL over me. I've taken to bringing my dressage whip with me while I take her grain to her. If she gets too close, she gets smacked. Hard. She's learning, slowly but surely, and it's getting easier to feed her every day.

As far as your horse trying to kick, you may want to bring something bigger to "protect" yourself. You have to get fairly close to get a good whack with a lead rope. Maybe a dressage a lunge whip would be better for that. You can use the lead rope until he swings his butt at you, but if he gets to that point, it's better to be safe than sorry.

Good luck!
     
    07-19-2009, 07:19 PM
  #10
Weanling
My first bite from a horse was over food. I was snot green with a.....wait for it.....3 yr old TB/Mustang green broke COLT, yeah Dad thanks!!

Anyway, I fed him and was walking off and thought I would turn around and pat him one more time.....sucker snaked around and grabbed me by the upper arm. I ended up getting rid of him since I had no clue how to deal with him.....we did geld him. I had him 1 month and in that time he bit me, bit another guy on the upper leg when he patted while he was eating grass, and chased the BO out of his paddock when BO went to grab a chicken for supper one night.

Since then ALL of my horses are taught to back off from the feed bucket and only approach when I invite them to. I don't take smack off of any horse and will quickly assert myself as dominant from the get go.
     

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Food Aggressiveness cowgirlfitzy Horse Training 6 03-29-2009 05:05 PM
Dog food question TxHorseMom Other Pets 9 01-31-2009 09:07 PM
Why was the slaughter/dog food county Horse Protection 19 01-25-2009 04:05 PM
Dogggy food lol SonnyWimps Other Pets 12 09-28-2008 08:38 PM
icelandic food ! Sissimut-icehestar General Off Topic Discussion 10 06-27-2008 05:15 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:49 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0