Very strange pawing

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Very strange pawing

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  • My horse is not eating and is sniffing the air and pawing at the ground
  • Horse starts pawing when i pick his front leg up

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    05-28-2008, 03:37 PM
Very strange pawing

My gelding is 5. He is not dominant in the field, period. He is respectful too, except to people. He can be bargey and try to bite at times, which is corrected immediately and forcefully since biting is NOT acceptable, it mostly arose before feeding time when he was antsy to get his food and I was asking him to work, or when I was going to feed him. He's a really mouthy horse, if there is something new that he hasn't seen beore, he takes it in his mouth. When I let him sniff his saddle, he bit the horn and threw on the ground. He bites things hanging on the bridle rack, buckets, anything. If you set anything down in his reach, he's got it in his mouth.

He was not respectful during feeding time. After some work, He waits respectfully for me to put his food down and leave, and then he'll approach and eat except he paws while he eats, he will pick a front leg up and hover it above the ground swinging it around, then stomp, and repeat until he's finished eating. I it is always the same foot, his right front, and he does it all the time. If we are riding before dinner, and I ask him to stand still somewhere near grass, which is almost everywhere, or the barn, he strikes the ground and does his hovering thing. He minds but rather unhappily you ask me. If I stop him in the outdoor arena, indoor arena, or on the road he doesn't do that, its only near grass or near the barn. When he tries to graze while being led or rode, I say NO, and then he goes into pawing, stomping and swinging his leg around like it was in a sling.

What is he doing it for? Is he being impatient? Is it a dominance threat to me?
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    05-28-2008, 03:43 PM
Super Moderator
I have a pony that does that too. She just picks it up and holds it bent and sometimes paws the air with it and then will once in a while paw the ground while she is eating. She holds it in the air for sever minutes at a time, bent. I should take a picture of it, she does it EVERYDAY at feeding time. My farrier told me that alot of morgans do it. (I don't think she's a morgan). I've never seen any other horse do it before, I'd be curious to see what peoples thoughts are.....

PS - she's a very sweet and kind pony, no other issues....
    05-28-2008, 03:47 PM
I'm going out tonight, I'll take pictures and video to show you of what he's doing exactly. It's very strange. He does it every day, every time he's fed. I am not sure why either.
    05-28-2008, 03:48 PM
I've never heard of this before. Do you have his feed on the ground, or in a feed bucket attached to the wall of the stall?
    05-28-2008, 03:48 PM
His hay is on the ground and his grain is in a feed bucket attached to the wall, he does it with both.
    05-28-2008, 03:49 PM
Green Broke
My horse does it to. Its a habit. My BO said its a sign of impatience because my horse will do it on cross ties or if im just standing with her and were not doing anything she's gets very impatient.
    05-28-2008, 03:56 PM
Super Moderator
I'm going to take pix too. Mine does it EVERYDAY... She's very sweet and kind and will stand all day, she does paw while she's waiting to be fed though....
    05-28-2008, 04:31 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by farmpony84
she does paw while she's waiting to be fed though....

^^^ sign of impatience
    05-28-2008, 07:18 PM

My morgan mare has done it since she was young. I feel its like a restless legs syndrome, or like when people are moving their feet constantly, even when sitting. She used to paw her grain all over the place. She's 16 now, still does it when eating, but I feed her up higher. Doesn't seem to cause any problems though.
    05-29-2008, 07:57 AM
Henry paws and kicks the water bucket always with his left foot. He ends up digging a ditch in front of the bucket that fills with water and turns to mud. I just figure he's playing because sometimes he'll have his head up to his eyes in the water as he kicks. Thank God for automatic waterers!

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