Pawing WHILE eating? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
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Pawing WHILE eating?

So my young horse paws WHILE eating. Mostly just slow and low, but sometimes paws so high that she knocks her bucket over.

I know why horses paw before eating, but never had one or heard of one pawing during the meal. I was wondering if anyone had experienced this before, why this might be going on and what I can do to stop it. She won't do it if I'm standing next to her (she knows pawing while next to me is not allowed). My trainer has never encountered this and is looking into it, but I wanted to see some other people's experiences and advice too.

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post #2 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 02:39 PM
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Oh yes, my old chap used to do that all the time. Most annoying because the food gets spilt all over the floor. You could use an old tyre to put the feed bowl into to stop it getting knocked over.

My mare also did it sometimes when she wanted to spread the feed out to find the bits she liked.

I think that in his case it was an old habit from feeding time excitement, and in her case it was calculated

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post #3 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 02:41 PM
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My gelding does it too. It's annoying. I found that using a deeper dish reduced it somewhat.
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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The tire is a great idea! Thank you!

Yes, so far I have just tried hanging it higher, so she couldn't just knock it over. That girl can get her knee up high though... I almost think she wants to eat off the ground. She used to, but the new place we moved to has sand in the shelter/stall, so I'd prefer not to have her go through a sand colic...
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 03:07 PM
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My appy was so bad with this that he broke his plastic corner feeder bucket with his knee! Now that we've had him for over 2 years he doesn't do it anymore, but we now feed him in a tip resistant bowl on the ground just in case he gets the urge to try to knock it over
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 04:27 PM
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It's just the horse's way of expressing how much it likes the feed.
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 04:39 PM
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My gelding attempts to dig his way to china whenever he eats. To be honest, his grubbing time is his personal time, so I leave him to it... I wouldnt want somebody hovering over me while I eat (although with 2 small kids.....). I could try and correct him, but it would require me standing beside him everytime he grubbed. He isn't hurting anybody (except the floor) and a feed pot in a tire works well enough for him.. but at 17 he's figured out how to paw without kickin his dinner all over the place.

Stop for a minute, open your mind, learn. You may not agree with what I say, I may not agree with what you say but we will both learn something new.
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 04:39 PM
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^^^ Exactly
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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Lots of horses do this, it's just over excitement. Honestly I'd be a bit concerned that your trainer has never heard of this before, it's not uncommon.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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The behavior is called "begging." I have seen several horses do this while eating grain.

I do not think it is something you correct and I believe it is genetic behavior not learned.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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