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My horse wants to constantly try to eat on the trails...

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  • Horse eats constantly

 
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    12-31-2008, 01:52 PM
  #11
Foal
Horses should not go all day without eating. They have small stomachs and should eat at least 3 times a day. An all day ride should have breaks where horses can eat and drink and graze. Maybe some horses try to eat on the trail because they do not get enough of something in their diet or they are just plain hungry from going too long without food. I would not want my horses to go all day without eating .
     
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    12-31-2008, 01:58 PM
  #12
Foal
Oh believe me, she didn't go all day without eating. Lol.

Her, along with every other horse that went riding that day (there was 6 of us), just came off of a thirty some acre pasture, not even that early in the morning... like.. 9 am. Then we stopped for lunch brake, grazed the horses in their halters for a long long time, ate our lunch, then rode again. It was about 4 hrs of riding before lunch, and 4 after. All five horses where then back in their lush pasture at about supper time.

Don't worry, I don't believe in 'starving' my horse or not allow them to eat either! Just as I would like to eat my lunch, so would they. Lol. I just believe there is a time and place for it, and while you are riding is not it.

**edit** Actually, to clarify, 4 of them came off the thirty some acre pasture. The other two came off of a pasture closer to 10-15 acres. They all got their fair share of grass. Lol. Plus, nutritionally wise, our hay here is probably some of the best. Most of the ranchers here who sell hay sell it out of state, many to Texas, one even sold some of his to a Zoo in Florida, or atleast so I've heard. Though being how gas prices have been recently, I doubt people in Fl still do that. Lol. But, in the past when gas wasn't out the wazoo.. lol. We only get one cutting here because our growing season is so short, but what we do get is really good stuff.
     
    12-31-2008, 02:16 PM
  #13
Foal
Oh, and one other thing (sorry, just looked at your post again and saw that I missed something). I live in the Rockies, and last winter we had atleast 5 feet of snow at my house. I have no idea how much more there was higher up, but from looking at what a wreck the place was (in terms of trees down) I'm sure it was quite a bit. There where creeks, streams, and riviers everywhere on this ride, where every horse was given the oppertunity to take a drink at. ;)
     
    12-31-2008, 02:54 PM
  #14
Started
Her, along with every other horse that went riding that day (there was 6 of us), just came off of a thirty some acre pasture, not even that early in the morning... like.. 9 am. Then we stopped for lunch brake, grazed the horses in their halters for a long long time, ate our lunch, then rode again. It was about 4 hrs of riding before lunch, and 4 after. All five horses where then back in their lush pasture at about supper time.

We let the horses eat when we stop and tell them it's OK. It does seem to be the goal of our horses to grab as much food as possible. They can be pretty darned sneaky about it. But, I'm the boss, the head horse, and they don't get to eat if I don't give them the OK. It's a matter of respect. They should be corrected if they try to eat without permission. We do let them eat when we stop for a while. But if you let them take a bit of every leaf that passes, they'll be quite happy to do that instead of what you want.
     
    12-31-2008, 03:59 PM
  #15
Foal
Oops, I just noticed I contradicted myself. Rofl. There where six horses total. Not five. Lol. I was just thinking five because I pastured my horse with my aunt/uncle/cousins horses, and they have four total, and with my horse added made five. But for that trail ride we picked up another horse. Sorry. Lol.

But I agree with you 100% Joshie.

That's actually something I would like to work on with my horse in the future.. Grazing on their own. I'd like to be able to do with my horse like what you do with yours. I guess with this being her first year actually back under saddle, I was more occupied in re-assuring the basic stuff. So *someday*, I'd like to do that. Lol.
     
    01-05-2009, 04:22 PM
  #16
Foal
Thanks for the suggestions. When I rode on Sat. I turned him in a circle the first time he tried to eat and he did'nt do it again. We will see what happens next time.
     
    01-06-2009, 01:01 PM
  #17
Foal
When you are out on a trail there isn't always room for circling. This is a very comnmon problem, especially with young horses. First you need to be able to read your horse, watch their ears and see where they're looking. Their ears will point at what they're looking at then the head starts to turn before they try to drop their head to eat. So, when you see him start to focus on the grass, give him a quick check on the bit (just a little more than a wiggle of the rein) and verbally correct him by squaking at him or saying NO or my favorite is I say KEEP GOING. That refocuses the horse back on you, and gets the forward momentum back. It is an easy fix, but you really need to correct them and refocus before they start reaching down for it and be consistant. My horses know that when they have the bit in their mouth they are not allowed to graze at all. If we stop for a break I will remove the bridle and let them eat.
It takes a little practice, good luck.
     
    01-06-2009, 03:56 PM
  #18
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amanda Marie    
That's actually something I would like to work on with my horse in the future.. Grazing on their own. I'd like to be able to do with my horse like what you do with yours. I guess with this being her first year actually back under saddle, I was more occupied in re-assuring the basic stuff. So *someday*, I'd like to do that. Lol.
Our boy is not much more than a babe himself. He'll be 4 this year so this year was his first year really under saddle. We do mostly trail riding. It was important for us to have him be very respectful from the very beginning because he's my daughter's horse and she's not quite 11 now.

One important thing we learned when the service dog came home with us was that we need to watch the animal and get to know it so that we could predict future actions. For the dog, we learned the command "Leave it." That means don't even think about it, buddy. It's an important skill to have with horses too.
     
    01-06-2009, 06:46 PM
  #19
Yearling
I kinda let my mare get away with this.
Instead of scolding her for eating on the trails, I taught her how to eat while walking.
We don't have grass on the trails, only tons of tree branches. If there's one in front of her, she grabs it. If she thinks she can reach it while walking by, she'll try it. But if she can't grab it by the time she has walked by it she'll keep walking and look for the next branch coming up. It's kinda funny to watch. Lol But I don't ever have to worry about her stopping. I rarely even hold the reins on trail rides if all we're doing is walking.

But anyway, back to the questions...
If you ride english you could try grazing reins. I don't think that would work out too well for western though. From reading the other posts it sounds like you got it down. Now the trick is keeping up with it.

As for kicking out, I would only worry about it if you think he's in any pain(but from the way you described it he isn't), he's trying to either kick your leg or get you off him, or if he's trying to kick at other horses.
If he's trying to get you off or trying to kick other horses, I would carry a crop and give him a firm(but gentle lol) whack on the butt and say NO! Or QUIT IT YOU BIG BUTTHEAD! Or something like that to get the point across. Haha
     

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