Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
• Horses: 0
She might interpret you turning your back as an "Ok, come on and get the feed" because you aren't facing her and forcing her not to enter your space. Don't let her knock into you or bowl you over-ever. Even if she is excited, she is not allowed to do that under any circumstance.
I could be wrong, but once you get her to respect your space and not approach the food until your cue, she'll probably calm down and be content with waiting politely. Therefore, no more tantrums. If she sees that tossing her head and pawing the ground don't get her anywhere, chances are she'll stop. Of course, your reaction to that is key too-if you let her excitement and little fits intimidate you and you give her the food and get outta there, well, obviously she'll keep doing it.
Think about it: if this was a herd, the dominant mare would be the first to the food, and when she finishes hers, she'll chase a second horse off her food. That second horse will move a third, lesser horse and so the chain continues. The alpha mare moves the entire herd. She says when the herd eats and when the herd moves. If you watch them at feeding time, very few seasoned herd members will challenge the alpha mare when she moves them-if they don't move she kicks and bites them. The lesser herd members, if they have any sense at all, won't kick, bite or push her back. You want/need to be the alpha mare, and the fact that your horse will enter your space and get physical with you says that she thinks she is the alpha (and in that case I guess she is) and that you should get out of her space and away from her food. So yeah, those roles need to reverse. That's what I mean about being aggressive-don't take any sh*t.
Good luck! It might take some time, but be persistent. Eventually she'll get it.