My first behavior issue
 
 

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My first behavior issue

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  • Should the head of the horse herd be fed first

 
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    06-09-2010, 06:04 PM
  #1
Foal
My first behavior issue

Well, my horse is settling in and is getting used to us, but I'm starting to notice that she is getting a little aggressive when we go to feed her oat treat.

I usually give her a little oats in the morning, and evening, and she's starting to get hard to handle when it comes to that time. Normally, she would back up when I came out of the feed area, and quietly wait till I put her pail down to eat out of, but now she's getting pushy and not wanting to wait.
Hubby went to give her some, and when she got impatient, he pushed back on her and told her to back up, and she seemed to throw a bit of a tantrum and shook her head like she was irritated and one front foot flew forward.

Now, he's not sure if the foot going out was just a balance thing, or if it was aggression, but she definitely didn't want to be pushed back to wait for her feed.

How do we remedy this before it gets out of hand?
     
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    06-09-2010, 06:23 PM
  #2
Weanling
I would say not give it to her. Is it necessary to give her oats? If she is getting pushy it isn't worth it.

My other thought about it though is if you leave it unattended, she may start to not respect you in other areas as well.
     
    06-09-2010, 06:34 PM
  #3
Weanling
Make her back up, or make her get away from the feed. What do you mean by tantrum? Shaking head, pawing at you stuff? As long as she's not being dangerous towards you, if she throws a hissy fit: too bad, she doesn't get fed until she's standing at least a respectable distance away and not trying to come in. If she's starting to be aggressive with you, be aggressive with her. When she can stand and not try and push you around for feed, then try grabbing her halter and leading her away while she is eating and make her stand looking at it a short distance away etc, all that stuff just to prove the point that you decide when she eats-or not.
     
    06-09-2010, 06:35 PM
  #4
Foal
Cynthia royal just had a really good video about it but I can't find it anywhere. Basically she said what makes sense:

When it was feed time, she would back the horses away from her (she was outside the stall when they were in, she used her body motions to get them to move away) until they had on a happy face". That might sound cheesey but the same thing goes for parelli and it works wonders.

So what I would do is wave my arms and get her back, and keep her back until she puts her ears forward or is not aggressive, then give her the feed. I will keep trying to kind that video from cynthia too...
     
    06-09-2010, 06:43 PM
  #5
Foal

Found it!! Woo hoo!!! I think that is exactly what you might be looking for....
     
    06-09-2010, 07:18 PM
  #6
Foal
Well, she starts by nickering when I go into the feed room (that's fine with me), then she starts pawing the ground.
When I open the door to go into the outer area, I do make her back up and she does, but then she gets all excited and can't wait to get her head into the pail.
I try to turn my back on her to keep the pail away from her, but she's so excited that she almost bowls me over to get into the pail.

Today, with my hubby, she shook her head and I'm guessing it wasn't so much meaning to be agressive, but she was probably trying to paw the ground because he was making her back up. That's what I meant by tantrum. Maybe that term was a little strong.
But she is hard to handle when she starts that.

What I need to do is get her attention so she stops that action and waits for me to put the pail down. I'm not sure how to do that.





Quote:
Originally Posted by ilyTango    
Make her back up, or make her get away from the feed. What do you mean by tantrum? Shaking head, pawing at you stuff? As long as she's not being dangerous towards you, if she throws a hissy fit: too bad, she doesn't get fed until she's standing at least a respectable distance away and not trying to come in. If she's starting to be aggressive with you, be aggressive with her. When she can stand and not try and push you around for feed, then try grabbing her halter and leading her away while she is eating and make her stand looking at it a short distance away etc, all that stuff just to prove the point that you decide when she eats-or not.
     
    06-09-2010, 07:21 PM
  #7
Foal
Thanks, that's a good clip, but how did she get to that point? I'd like to see the "before" video. LOL
     
    06-09-2010, 07:41 PM
  #8
Weanling
Is she like this at all without the feed bucket? Or just at these morning and night feed times?
     
    06-09-2010, 07:48 PM
  #9
Weanling
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.
     
    06-09-2010, 09:06 PM
  #10
Foal
Speaking of which, I went out tonight and tried something different: Rather than bring out a pail, I went to the oat barrel, and just gave her a little treat in my hand, and all was quiet.

I have a couple of alpacas and took the oats in both hands, fed them first and waited to see what she would do. She slowly came up behind me and just waited her turn.
Now isn't that a different scenario? LOL
     

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