Originally Posted by kitten_Val
How do you qualify being more "interested" or less? Just curious.
Using my two as an example...
Mare learns tricks almost instantly and bends over backwards for treats / Gelding is plenty smart enough to learn tricks, but has no interest in doing them for "just" a treat.
Mare eats the entire time she's in the pasture and doesn't roll or run around or socialize / Gelding stands near mare or gate or paddock and spends more time socializing, rolling, and playing than eating.
When I fall off of mare because of a spook on the trail, she immediately starts eating no matter how afraid she is / Gelding just stands there, or trots home if he's really scared.
If mare is allowed to sniff noses with a horse with grass or hay in its mouth, she'll ignore the horse and try to grab its food / Gelding is much more interested in socializing and ignores food.
Mare is very well-trained to ground tie, and I usually leave her standing outside the tack room while I get her ready... if something scares her she won't move, but if she sees someone feeding their horse a carrot at the end of the barn, she'll walk off / Gelding doesn't even seem to notice when people are giving the other horses treats.
Now, my gelding doesn't completely ignore food. He nickers when he sees his dinner coming, and he'll gladly stand there and eat grass for an hour when I hand-graze him... he just seems to view it as something to do when he's either starving or doesn't have anything better to do, whereas food is always my mare's top priority.
When she was first started under saddle and went on trail rides, she was horrible
about grabbing food whenever she could. I trained her to eat only when I scratch her crest, and she doesn't grab it anymore. But if I stop her in a field of grass and make her stand there, her head will start to go down an inch or two... and then she snaps it back up... and again, and again. It's obvious that she's just dying
to eat and can barely control herself.
My gelding doesn't even like to eat on the trail. He's too nervous and focused on what's going on around him. He doesn't want to put his head down, especially if all the other horses have theirs down and aren't watching out for him.
So that's what I mean. Maybe my gelding is just weird? Haha.