Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: I was born in Germany, raised in Texas.
Out of 4 horses, I have 1, a mare, that paws her way to China while eating. I honestly think it's just habit. She's not the low man (or lady in this case) on the totem pole at all. She paws before she eats because I can't get it to her quick enough and she paws when she starts to eat out of sheer anxiousness that she's finally eating. About half way through, she suddenly quits. That's just how she's always been. It's like people twirling their hair or popping their knuckles or picking on scabs. Habit. That's it. I tried putting her feed pan in a tire and she just managed to get her foot hung just enough to flip everything over and I'm using a big 33" mud tire off my E350 van. So back to the hanging bucket on the fence post we went BUT I placed the empty tire right underneath her feed bucket just far enough out that she has to reach over the tire to get to her bucket. No more pawing, or if she does and hits the tire, she quits after 2 or 3 paws. At least I don't have to fill her crater up every 3 or 4 days this way. So long story short, I wouldn't worry about it. I don't think you can train it out of them, and personally, I don't always have the time to stand there and make her quit while she eats so I just deal with it, even if it is annoying. ;)