Isn't patient for handling while feeding time - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 22 Old 10-05-2011, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Isn't patient for handling while feeding time

My horse isn't aggressive at feeding time, but when I ride him and its feeding time and I put him in his paddock or stall and hay or/and food is there he rushes out while I'm undoing the halter to get to his food. How do you get respect and get the horse to stand still for you to do that even if it is feeding time? I do understand that it is feeding time, but still he should be patient...right? Thanks for advice.
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post #2 of 22 Old 10-05-2011, 10:48 PM
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He should absolutly be patient I've taken my mare out of her just as the feeds gone in to work her and that's how it should be.

Sounds like he just need to realise who the boss is. I think he needs to realize that rushing away from the halter being undone is not on. Double halter him next time male him stand and behave as you release if he tries to push through you have the other halter to back you up stand there and take halter off and on a few times. Hope thy makes sense
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post #3 of 22 Old 10-06-2011, 12:02 AM
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Ground work will be essential to getting him to be patient. He is impatient because he doesn't respect your authority, hence why he sees his need to eat as more important than your need to untack him and so on. I would suggest looking into some groundwork techniques and routines for you and your horse. Clinton Anderson and Pat Parelli are good ones to watch. Their whole mantra is "control the feet, control the mind." Horses aren't the best multitaskers, they can learn and do only one or two things at a time. If you can get him to move back, forwards, right or left in a respectful manner, then he will be thinking about what you are asking him to do rather than what he wants to do. It also teaches him that if he is impatient, it will take him longer and he will have to do more work to get to the food than if he just stands quietly until you are finished.
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post #4 of 22 Old 10-07-2011, 04:13 AM
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don't put the feed in the paddock/stall. untack or let him go, then get the feed, teach him paitence by controlling when he's allowed to come and eat. then when he's eating, leave him alone. i had a bad kicker that was impaitent at feed time, he use to try get ME away from the feed, i started taking a lunge whip, wasn't allowed near me or the feed until i invited him in. he was a down right a$$

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post #5 of 22 Old 10-07-2011, 02:48 PM
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Sounds to me like your horse is set into its routine. Sometimes, certain horses will use the "routine" against us by taking our idea and running with it.

First I would practice haltering etiquette without the food factor. teach him a cue that means it's all right to leave. leave he lead rope around his neck when you take the halter off so that you can pull him back to you when he tries to leave. Make him put his head in a submitful position ( neck lowered, head and nose tilted toward you and within close reach). As soon as he holds that position and relaxes (and relaxing is important) give your cue and let him do as he pleases. My cue to my horse is a few pats on his chest or shoulder. You could do that or use a verbal cue. I find that physical cues (body language and signals) are much quicker for horses to learn. Keep practicing asking for your horses head and then releasing and cueing when he behaves and relaxes. Practice it out in the lawn. Let him graze for a little while ask him to lift and give his head to you ( If he pulls and doesn't listen, instead of pulling and trying to haul his head up, just ask first with a gentle pull and if he doesn't respond, bump on the lead rope with increasing pressure till your horse gets the message and raises his head for you. ), and then hold his head and ask him to hold his head respectfully in position for you before you cue his release. Keep practicing until he's real respectful and responsive. Then do the same thing at dinner time. wait for him to hold position and relax (without his halter on) and then release him.

Another thing that helps, which I do with my horse so that he doesn't learn to get jittery at dinner time, is tie him in his stall and let him stand for a while and relax before letting him eat.

So #1 tie your horse up. #2 then put your feed in the stall. #3 wait for your horse to calm and relax (which could take a while. My horse was so impatient at first, but after a couple consistent lessons of this, he calmed right down)
#4 after he calms down, walk him to his food and remove his halter, reinforcing that he keep his head in position. (I do this with his head right over his food. It teaches really good impulse control) and then #5 when he relaxes and is respectful, cue his release.

This method works great for dinnertime pushers and for horses that pull your arms out of your sockets the minute you hit the lawn. They learn that they can eat and enjoy themselves, but they have to wait for your permission. I also can't stress enough that you reinforce relaxing! ( softening of muscles, lowering of neck, slow blinking, licking of lips, cocking a leg, taking a deep, slow sigh...) make your horse think that the food is available only if he's relaxed. And once he learns this, occasionally, while he's eating, interupt him and ask him to give you his head. relax. then release him.

This has worked miracles for me. no more pacing, no more tense pushyness. my horse doesn't zone me out whenever there is food involved. he takes his time like it's no big deal.

Now, I also, when my horse is eating, I also like to groom him, scratch him, and just hang out. This teaches my horse that he doesn't have to ditch me to enjoy himself or get a bite to eat!
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post #6 of 22 Old 10-08-2011, 05:04 PM
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Another thing you might try is a small mesh hay net. I haven't tried it myself yet, though I plan to start immediately when I move my boy into the barn in a few days, but I've heard it helps get rid of feeding time anxiety.

The smaller holes in the netting don't allow the horse to bolt the hay. Instead, the horse has to slow down which encourages constant grazing so the horse isn't starving when feeding time comes. It's a more natural way to feed and also prevents ulcers by keeping their tummy from being empty between feedings.

Just something to try but definitely take the training advice from above as well. It's VERY important that you and your horse have a mutual respect of each other and that he understands that YOU are the leader. It will make things much safer for both of you! Good luck :)
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post #7 of 22 Old 10-17-2011, 07:16 PM
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Here is a you tube link to 'dangers at feeding time' which fixes the problem totally.
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post #8 of 22 Old 11-13-2011, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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He also is bad to handle at feeding time in general. If I'm leading him or grooming him and it's near feeding time, he will be really difficult to be around. He isn't dangerous but you do have to be careful or he will 'run you over' so to speak. He doesn't like to stand still when in cross ties or when tied up, he doesn't like to be groomed, etc. How do you handle this?

Thanks so much!!!
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post #9 of 22 Old 11-13-2011, 11:02 PM
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Once you see his attention drift away from you, get it back quick before he even realizes his attention is drifting. Often asking him to do something for you will work. If he's totally ignoring you then you have to get more forceful. Some respond to snapping the lead, this creates sound and jerks on their halter a bit. My personal favorite is a "Heah!" along with a backhand slap to the chest. Doesn't take long before all you have to do is go "Heah!" and 100% of their attention is back on you. Some use a crop and that works too but not a method I use. I like tools that for one is always on me and two the horse wont see so know when to behave and when not to.

Two things you can do if he's walking on you. A tiny woman that I know who runs a stable and trains always has a 16 penny nail in her hand with just the point sticking out. Horse gets to near her and they get poked. The secret is to have your hand in position before they contact you so you are not jabbing them so much as they are moving into the nail. I've tried that method and it doesn't work to well for me. Instead, I use my toe to poke their shins if they step into me. Not a hard kick becasue you don't want to cause any harm, just a tap should do it and they really don't like it. Either way, they quickly learn what your space is and not to invade it.
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post #10 of 22 Old 11-13-2011, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by phaebarrett View Post
Here is a you tube link to 'dangers at feeding time' which fixes the problem totally. - Dangers at Feed Time - YouTube

I really like this guy. He's no BS and fair. The horse is told to get out of his space and he gives real quick consequences if he doesn't. Then he does what he needs to and gives the horse permission to come back and then leaves him alone to do his thing. This horse will progress rapidly because this guy is very clear about what he wants and there's no room for wiggling.

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