Hand feeding a horse as a training method? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 12:39 AM Thread Starter
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Hand feeding a horse as a training method?

Have any of you guys hand fed your horse to teach respect? I have heard of this being used with horses that have bad manners and little respect for people. I think this is just part of the training of a disrespectful horse" not going to fix all the problems but help kinda thing".

Tellme what you guys think.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 01:29 AM
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Humm, I have never heard of hand feeding as a way to teach respect.

I never hand feed. What it does encourage is nibbling which can lead to bitting. Also creates a horse that is constantly pushing you for attention and treats.

I give treats, I just put them in a pan, then give them to Christy. She does not bite, nibble, or push. My friends horses (all 3) do bite, nibble and push, she hand feeds them treats.

So, I guess for me, not hand feeding creates more respect for me, and my space. Christy looks for her treats, she just doesn't try to get them from my hands or pockets, she goes to her little treat pan. Or, on occasion, brings me her treat pan...
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 05:23 AM
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Hmmm I'm not sure about using treats/handfeeding as a training method!
I think that handfeeding does have it's place on occasion with the right personality of horse when they have worked hard - as a reward. I think this is probably ok when you have a horse that is rarely fed concentrates (gets most nutrients from grass, herbs) as they will not expect the fed food as they are used to getting it themselves.

For example, the horses down the school live out and only get supplementary feeding during the winter/autumn (depending on conditions) as we are lucky enough to have varied and fertile fields although admittedly we have a BIG ragwort problem... can't get rid of it. :(
Anyway, as we are a school quite a few of the clients will bring along a few apples or other fruit and veg to treat the horses after their ride - this is fine during the summer. However, during the winter months we do find that some do become more snatchy and impatient for the treats so that we have to give the treat rather than risking bitten fingers from a client. I do have to say though that this isn't 'drastic' behaviour but in some it is more noticeable.
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 11:20 AM
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I do give treats to both mine. Not to "teach respect", but to praise after I'm done riding or if they did something really tough correctly when I do ground work.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 12:23 PM
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Sounds like an oxymoron. :)
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-15-2007, 01:24 PM
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We have hand fed, not to teach respect, but to teach trust. We have used the method (successfully) for wild mustangs, and for rescued PMU mares who were not handled very much. It starts out with you sitting near their bucket of feed and every other feed, moving the bucket closer to your chair. Once they are eating comfortably right next to you, the next feed you grab a handful of grain and if they want to eat, they MUST take it from your hand. I'll feed aprox 1/2 a feeding that way. (then they can eat the rest with me sitting near them.) Continue this for a couple of weeks. I have not found them to get grabby or pushy at all. After they are successfully eating from your hand. Do this occasionally (every couple of weeks) to reinforce it. I think the reason some consider it a "respect" issue is because, essentially, when you are making them eat from your hand, you are controlling their feed. If you control the feed, then you are "above" them in the pecking order. Thus, respect.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-16-2007, 11:24 AM
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Good point about teaching trust, TMom! I actually used LOTS of carrots when was teaching my wild one (and yes, she was wild like mustang when I got her :) ) to pick up her feet to be cleaned. Gave a carrot for any little pick or holding foot, etc. etc. And she perfectly understood she did something right and really tried to please again (well too much sometime - ha-ha!) As long as she learned that good enough I stopped giving carrots.
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-11-2007, 12:41 AM
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Hmmmmm........

I'm with Desertgal. I used to feed Dana treats, like carrots and stuff but it DID lead to biting and so I stopped. And also Monty Roberts discourages feeding treats coz we aim to be their Alpha Mare and (LOL) you dont see bossy Alpha mares feeding each other treats do you?

Although I do know for a fact that the riders of the High school equastrian lippzanners have a special pocket lined with plastic to put their sugar lumps in, in their jackets so go figure..............[/i]

The Orbs: The Dark Assassin. Read and comment or I eat your nose....just kidding.....sorta....not really......
[http://www.horseforum.com/hobbies/or...58/#post747263
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-12-2007, 12:12 AM
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Feeding treats 99% of the time will lead to biting, it is ok to give your horse a treat here and there but not every time you see it like 1 out 8 or 10 times or then they will start looking for them and then they will start biting. The lippzanners do a lot of tricks and not just every day riding, I ride mine 5 out of 7 days a week and will give a hand full of sugar once every 2 weeks after working hard.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-12-2007, 08:22 AM
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Always wondered. How FAST hand feeding will lead to biting? In week, month, year, several years?
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