New Horse...Anxiety at feeding time?

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

New Horse...Anxiety at feeding time?

This is a discussion on New Horse...Anxiety at feeding time? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse anxious to eat
  • My horse goes crazy at feeding time

LinkBack Thread Tools
    01-21-2009, 11:58 AM
Question New Horse...Anxiety at feeding time?

I have a new OTTB (6 yrs old). He has been at my stables since Saturday. I bought him underweight, his previous owner was not feeding him enough. Yesterday I turned him out (across the street from the barn, barely in sight of the barn) before dinner time, and the whole time he stared, paced and looked for the feed truck as they drove around. Would not pay attention to me, would not listen to any commands..... what do you think? He was almost unmanageable.

He is almost 17HH and huge, so if it is a behavior problem I have got to nip it in the bud so he isnt dangerous or anything.

He's been off track for 2 years and was trained hunter/jumper during that time.
Sponsored Links
    01-21-2009, 12:13 PM
Horses are such creatures of habit. I usually give a horse, depending on it's nature, a couple days up to a week or two a chance to settle in a new environment before I start working them. I visit them in the new place as much as possible so they know I'm still there for them but the surroundings have changed.

I'll feed them there, hang out with them, pet and love them there, maybe lead them around a little, but no real work until they are sure that they are NOT going to be eaten by the scary horse monster.

Even switching pastures on the same land can be stressful for some higher strung horses.

Your saftey is always #1. I would make sure he's comfortable in his new surroundings and give him a chance to get used to the feeding schedule and then go to work with him.

If you think about it from his point of view, he was at the "new place" for 3 days...he was just starting to figure out that he was ok and going to get fed, and then he was bannished to the pasture just before dinner.....OH WHY, WHY CAN'T I STAY AND HAVE DINNER..... LOL... He was just panicking.

Give him a few days and try again. This is a big change for him.
    01-21-2009, 12:40 PM
Thanks Dumas....I think you are right :o). Tonight when I go see him, we will just spend time together since it will be close to dinner time.

Tomorrow the farrier is coming and then Friday is the vet with shots...if anything weird happens I'll report back! :o)
    01-21-2009, 04:52 PM
I agree with Dumas.

Also, sometimes horse's that were deprived food will always be a little anxious around feeding time. We have a little POA that two years later still gets upset. We feed her first and that seems to help.
    01-22-2009, 08:01 AM
Horses are always looking for food. At least from my experience if the feed is coming they don't care about you or anyone else anymore until they are done (I'm sure there are exceptions, but I've never met one). What also adds to your horse is the fact he's underweight. So the food is especially important for him. I'd also suggest may be messing and playing with him AFTER he's done with his dinner rather than try to do it before. He'll calm down with it after some time.
    01-22-2009, 01:31 PM
It took me about a month with our horses in their new home (here at our house) for me to show them that they have a new routine that they could depend on. After that month, I then decided that feeding time was NOT a free for all, wild, eat it as fast as you can party.

I stood steady with the hay and grain and DID NOT give it to the horses (2 geldings) until they calmed down. THEN as soon as they quit trying to mug me and stood almost still (no fighting for space,and patiently waiting), I'd feed.
    01-22-2009, 10:41 PM
I have one horse that I will tie for feeding. She was very aggressive about food when she first came. This training did a few things for us 1. Gave me more control over her, 2. Taught her that being haltered and tied is ok, 3. Made sure she didn't try to take the other horses food, 4. Now gives her security because it's routine ... as a matter of fact those evenings when it's -30 and I decide to forgo the haltering (I can now after many months), she looks at me funny as though to say, "Um... why are you at my feed bowl with food when I don't have my halter on yet? Hello?" and she won't approach until I tell her it's ok.
    03-01-2009, 12:42 PM
He/She just needs time to get used to everything changing. If your horse was deprived of food then it will probably act like that until it gets used to you. Try bringing the food to him/ her yourself. What you really need to do is spend a lot more time with your horse and trust in him, then he will trust in you.
    03-01-2009, 03:28 PM
I don't do anything with my girls before or after feeding time. At least for 20-30 min. I figure they are anxious before they eat, territorial and fighting for dominance while they eat and lazily digesting after they eat.
    03-02-2009, 10:07 AM
Horses Just Get Excited at Feeding

I've spend several years volunteering at a rescue ranch with 60 horses in residence at a time, so have lots of experience feeding.

Horses just get riled up at feeding time. If you have a group of horses in a pasture and bring feed out to them, they are all excitable. One reason is the competition for the feed between dominant and less dominant horses. That is just the way things work, feeding is always exciting.

The only thing I'd make sure is a horse doesn't engage in truly bad behavior during feeding-that is get in my personal space. So you can get excited but you're not going to threaten my safety. Carry a whip or crop out when you feed to keep him off you. After a few lessons with that it could help calm him down.

Another thing is how do you react when he gets excited at feeding time? Something I've noticed at the rescue ranch is when the people react by getting nervous or excited themselves, the horses get worse. On the other hand when the feeders remain relaxed and calm, the horses take it down a notch.

Its also true horses need time to adjust to their surroundings. So he might calm down as time goes on.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
bad behavior during feeding time? sandy2u1 Horse Training 8 08-27-2008 11:16 PM
Anxiety!! Harlee rides horses Horse Shows 9 07-07-2008 10:30 AM
Horse Anxiety horse_luver4e Horse Health 6 06-11-2008 12:47 PM
separation anxiety PLEASE HELP MYgirlFLICKA Horse Training 9 09-01-2007 10:18 PM
feeding my horse shannan405 Horse Talk 2 06-21-2007 04:28 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0