Pawing and piggy behavior - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 10-04-2011, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
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Pawing and piggy behavior

My horses are both bad pawers at feeding time. The older one, Banjo (2 yrs old) is a greedy pig with his feed, and he wolfs it down like he's starving (which he definitely isn't), and stomps and paws hard the whole time. He has dug a big hole where he gets his grain. The little guy, Cody (1 yr old) imitates him and paws also, but being a gangly colt he doesn't quite get it- half the time his foot doesn't quite reach the ground and he just paws the air, but he also has a hole dug in front of his feeder. They are pasture-fed at the moment, as my barn is not quite finished. I have over-the fence type feeders for their grain and it's a less than ideal solution, because Banjo often flings his right off the fence and spills it all over the ground. Then he runs over and tries to steal Cody's food, unless I separate them and put one in the round pen and shut the gate. They both keep wearing their toes down with their incessant pawing and I would like to know if there is any way of training them to stop doing it.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-04-2011, 09:38 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Stroudsburg, Pa
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I would separate them, and put a few big-ish rocks in the older ones grain. It'll make it so he can't take bites as big.
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post #3 of 8 Old 10-04-2011, 10:33 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brighton, CO
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I broke my horse from pawing at feeding time with a can filled with beans. When she started pawing I would shake the can, she would stop and run out of the stall. Then she'd come back in, and if she started again I would do the same thing. After I shook it I would go back to preparing the feed and act like nothing. I would also take my time preparing the feed to let as many opportunities as possible at each feeding. She quickly caught on within a couple of days and hasn't pawed since. Good luck, pawing can be very destructive and rude.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-04-2011, 10:38 PM
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Strap a feed bag on their face…no more grain slinging and no more stealing.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 01:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Oklahoma
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I tap the pawing leg with a buggy whip and say no. Usually after once or twice the pawing stops. You have to break the habit eventually they wont paw at all. This mean you gotta hang out during feeding and keep the behavior in check but once the habit is broken the pawing should fade away. It takes a lot of patience to break pawing. BTW I love that noisy bean can thing thats a great idea as it gets them to stop the behavior to see what is causing the sound.

Noey's Herd

Last edited by Peppy Barrel Racing; 10-05-2011 at 01:47 AM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 06:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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stand at the fence and let them paw. only put the food over the fence when they quit.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
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I think I will give the shake can a go- I know it worked on my barky dogs, but it never occurred to me to apply it to horse behavior. Thanks everyone.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-05-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: BC, Canada
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I actually forgot to take the shake can when I went to feed them tonight, so I used my dressage whip and just tapped their legs when they started pawing- it only took 2 or 3 times and they stopped! It also came in handy when Banjo finished his grain and tried to get Cody's! He finally gave up and went and ate his hay instead. I imagine I'll have to repeat this process for a few days, at least, but it 's obviously not as bad as I thought.
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