Pawing in water trough - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 02:57 AM Thread Starter
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Pawing in water trough

There is a filly at our barn who likes to stick her hoof in the water trough in the pasture and splash the water everywhere. Of course, this gets the water quite muddy so we have to clean it out several times a week. Not only is this kind of irritating for us and a waste of water, but there is the possibility of her getting her foot stuck in there and freaking out. The filly is a year and eight months old. We cannot see the pasture from the barn, but when we are out there and she sticks her foot in there, she is corrected. She also does this with the water bucket in her stall. She is in an outdoor stall so her water bucket is just a plastic bin on the ground.

What can we do to completely stop this behavior?
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 07:56 AM
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Is there any way that you could hang her stall bucket up, so that she can reach it with her face but not her feet? Not sure what to suggest about the trough on that track though (I'm assuming that the trough is much bigger than her bucket). Is it like a boredom thing? Maybe try giving her a jolly-ball or other horse toy to play with instead of her buckets.

How exactly are you correcting her when she does that?

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post #3 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 10:14 AM
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She's playing! I've seen horses who stick both front feet in the trough, and then just stand there, lol.....but I live in Florida, so its hot like 80 percent of the time and I can't blame them. However, I can see how it would be annoying (I also work at a dog daycare, and when dogs do it it irks me to no end!)

I second the suggestion of getting her water buckets off the ground, or if its at all possible, switch to an automatic waterer that attaches to the stall wall so she only has enough water to drink and not play in.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 11:21 AM
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uhh get over it?
There is nothing you can do to stop her when you're not there. Babies do this alot. My 11 month old tosses his grain tub around, if I hang it he just paws at the ground. She should grow out of it. Don't make it into a big deal. Move it around so it dosent get muddy in one specific spot if she dumps it.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 01:38 PM
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You could build something around it so she can only get her head into it to drink maybe...
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 01:55 PM
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One of my fillies went through that when she was around that age.
I tried punishing her, I'd give her leg a smack with a stick Then I started ignoring her and she stopped. I don't know if it was the lack of attention or if she just outgrew it.
She is an attention hog so I think the ignoring it did the best job.


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post #7 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 01:58 PM
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Ya'll are lucky yours outgrew it. I have a grown percheron that still does it . He has already ruined 2 different tanks by pawing a hole in the bottom of it.

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post #8 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by smrobs View Post
Ya'll are lucky yours outgrew it. I have a grown percheron that still does it . He has already ruined 2 different tanks by pawing a hole in the bottom of it.
I saw a piece by Jesse Beery (the old time trainer) where he took a wood block attached to a rope then attached to a single hobble and strapped it on the leg. The block was positioned so that if the horse pawed it would hit him in the canons. I was getting ready to try it when she quit doing it. Saro had a huge hole dug at her feed bucket


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post #9 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 05:57 PM
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My filly does the same thing. She has ruined a big water trough and a brand new water heater by doing it. I don't really think you can stop it. If your not around every second of the day you can't be consistent with disciplining her. I think it will just confuse her if she gets in trouble only when your around. Hopefully she will just grow out of it.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-21-2010, 06:04 PM
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My 18 yr old OTTB has been doing this for all her years (from what I gather from her previous owner, I've had her since she was 10) and there really is nothing you can do to stop it. My mare only does it in the summer when she is hot and feeling playful.

So my advice is to learn to laugh.... and have some time to fill the tank back up

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