What worked for you? Getting a horse to stop pawing!!
   

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What worked for you? Getting a horse to stop pawing!!

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  • How to keep a horse from pawing
  • Horse is attention seeking and destructive what to do

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    03-21-2012, 11:55 PM
  #1
Foal
What worked for you? Getting a horse to stop pawing!!

I JUST bought my horse she is out at a boarding facility, she will be 6 in May. I'm not sure if this is a bad habit she has always had or something she is testing me with or because she is nervous. It's the first time for her being away from her buddy and is in a new place. This all is new for me as well, I am just getting back into horses after 10years! She paws a lot in the cross rack, not when I am paying attention to her, if I'm brushing her she's fine, but as soon as a turn around she starts pawing, I really don't want to hit her, I'll give her a "EHH" and she will perk up her ears and stop but as soon as I turn around she starts again!! Someone at the boarding place told me to smack her, I don't really want to do that! Any advice, tips what worked for you will be appreciated!
     
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    03-22-2012, 12:27 AM
  #2
Trained
Let her stand and paw, ignore it and walk away. As soon as she stops come back and pet her and praise her for being good, maybe take her out of the cross tie. I have a mare who gets impatient/nervous like that and it's an ongoing process.
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    03-22-2012, 12:51 AM
  #3
Super Moderator
Dreamcatcher basically covered it.
To add, I've known a couple horses that would paw, one did it just because (bored, I guess), and the other did it because he was nervous.
The "just because" one never really resolved but he had a lot of occasions to get bored (rental string horse, tied up all day, etc) so I just basically let him do it since I couldn't set him up for success.

The other guy, once he settled in, the pawing completely resolved itself. He'd still paw if a mare was in heat (studdy gelding, haha) or if he was spooked by something while tied and had no other outlet but as a day to day thing, he didn't paw after he got comfortable.
I did find that if he was punished for pawing (some other people at the barn liked to punish him for pawing) he would start doing it out of "spite". Like, he'd paw the air while they were looking, then paw the ground - making as much noise as possible - while their backs were turned, and as soon as they turned back around to punish him, he'd immediately go back to pawing the air while looking at them with ridiculously innocent eyes like he had been pawing the air the whole time.
He was SUCH a cheeky pony.
I finally got them to stop punishing him and we started ignoring him, like Dreamcatcher suggested, and as he settled in, the pawing totally stopped. He'd still paw the air in anticipation of being fed but yknow, haha.
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    03-22-2012, 01:12 AM
  #4
Trained
My horses used to paw, and very occasionally Nut-Megg will when he's being impatient. It was usually when I walked away to go get something, so I'd toss a brush at them. (Not hit them with it) But it'd land at their feet and surprise them.

Apparently they thought when I was out of touching distance, I couldn't correct them. They thought wrong. LoL.

If she does it while your away, try to tie her close to a place that you can hide behind. Arm yourself with a bucket of brushes and toss them at her feet when she starts to paw and then come around the corner and say "No!" or "Quit-It" firmly. Then go back to your hiding spot and wait to see if she does it again.

Consistency is key.

If it doesn't bother you, just let her paw. But it bugs me when my horses do it. I think it's disrespectful and very bad manners for my horses to do it. So I don't let them.
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    03-22-2012, 06:21 AM
  #5
Weanling
If she doesn't do it while you're with her, only when you're away, and stops when you call, it could be an attention-seeking thing. That's why my horse does it, when he can see me standing just out of his reach and wants attention, he'll paw and bang his stable door with his foot to get the attention. The best thing to do is to completely ignore them while they do it, and once they stop, go and give them some attention. That way, you aren't reinforcing that pawing will lead to you giving them attention, even if it's negative attention.
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    03-22-2012, 10:06 AM
  #6
Banned
I have a mare who is a terrible pawer even if I ignore her she bangs on the gate iv given up on her not pawing. She's 25 years old and and very demanding iv tryed every thing and nothing works.
     
    03-22-2012, 11:09 AM
  #7
mls
Trained
Is she pawing or digging? Two very different actions. Pawing is annoying, digging is dangerous and destructive.
     
    03-22-2012, 11:47 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by mls    
Is she pawing or digging? Two very different actions. Pawing is annoying, digging is dangerous and destructive.
hmmm, I'm not quite sure, I'll have to observe her some more, I've only had her a week!
     
    03-22-2012, 11:50 AM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by minstrel    
If she doesn't do it while you're with her, only when you're away, and stops when you call, it could be an attention-seeking thing. That's why my horse does it, when he can see me standing just out of his reach and wants attention, he'll paw and bang his stable door with his foot to get the attention. The best thing to do is to completely ignore them while they do it, and once they stop, go and give them some attention. That way, you aren't reinforcing that pawing will lead to you giving them attention, even if it's negative attention.

I am definitely going to try the "ignore" approach, I agree with the negative attention as well! I was also bringing her treats, definitely going to stop that I also have a little bucket I keep her brushes and stuff in and I am going to try getting her stuff out and putting it away immedietly as well and see if that helps, she may think there is something in the bucket! Thank you!!
     
    03-22-2012, 11:52 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by spirit88    
I have a mare who is a terrible pawer even if I ignore her she bangs on the gate iv given up on her not pawing. She's 25 years old and and very demanding iv tryed every thing and nothing works.
Awe =(, crossing my fingers this doesn't happen with her, she's only 6!!
     

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