Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: State College, PA
Was he gelded late? Sometimes horses become territorial of random things and his behavior might not be about the food per say but about what it represents to him.
If you get a feed bucket and hold it, will he come to you and eat? Or maybe stand on the other side of the fence and add handfuls of grain as he calms down, if he's acting up he doesn't get any grain. If he's standing there patiently then he gets another handful.
If he is only posturing and not actually getting dangerous towards you with this behavior then I would take him in a ring or some place neutral with enough room to do the exercise and hold the feed bucket. If he's behaved he can come to you and eat, if he's not then you hustle his feet and get him listening to you. Back him up, move his shoulders, his haunches, make him do small lunge circles, etc. It doesn't really matter what you make him do as long as you're making him work and keep his feet moving until he calms down but I would suggest not doing just one thing or he will get bored and miss the point. The minute he stops the behavior and is calm, let him approach you to eat again.
Eventually he will figure out that bad behavior means no food. Also, if he's getting too worked up then leave him for a short time then come back and try it again. Don't just give up and give him the food, make sure that you have a chunk of time to see it through.