feeding treats to your mini, from your hand....

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feeding treats to your mini, from your hand....

This is a discussion on feeding treats to your mini, from your hand.... within the Miniature Horses forums, part of the Horse Breeds category

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    11-30-2010, 07:25 PM
feeding treats to your mini, from your hand....

Yay or nay?
(or should I say "neigh"? LOL)

I give my minis pieces of apples and/or carrots daily. It is part of my evening ritual, before I go to bed. Plus, I might give them a treat during the day, too.

I have heard...on this board but also elsewhere, you really shouldn't give them treats regularly, and you should never feed them from your hands.

Is this just because of nipping? My minis don't nip, they sniff my hands and if I don't have a treat, they leave it at that.

I am wondering if it has to do with "spoiling." I must admit, I love that my minis walk right up to me, even in the pasture. Of course, if I am honest with myself, they are probably thinking "Here comes that chick that has treats sometimes!" I would like to think it is because they love me....haha. Of corse when they realize I have nothing for them, they casually walk away. Not really AWAY, they just start grazing again.

My friend has the SWEETEST mini. Maybe it is "just her personality" and temperment and mine will NEVER be like that. Also, her mini is about 20, whereas my geldings are 8 and 10. My friend thinks over time, they will be mellower and sweeter, and long as I keep working with them. By working with them, she just means grooming, handling, etc. I don't really do much with them, they are purely pets.

Anyway...just want to hear opinions from fellow mini lovers!!!
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    12-01-2010, 02:44 PM
I feed my mini treats too. He is nippy, but I couldn't tell you if he is because of the treats or not. I would think if the treats caused him to nip, he would nip basically at my hands. He nips were ever he can! Legs mostly when I am not watching him. Little butthead! LOL He also tries to nip anyone and everyone, so I don't think it is treat related all together.
    12-01-2010, 08:36 PM
It's a rare, VERY rare, occasion for me to hand feed treats. Unless I'm trying to make friends with a skittish horse.
    12-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Yeah, O So...mine aren't nippy at all. So I am not worried about that related to the treats. Good thing your mini is so darn cute!

Chey-Why is that? What is the reasoning? Just curious. I remember when I took my dog to training, we were supposed to give treats from our hand, because the instructor said, "You don't want them to think the FLOOR is rewarding them, you want them to know it is from YOU." Now, of course, the treats I give my minis are not rewards...unless you consider them rewards for being adorable, LOL. Anyway, I just wondered why you do not feed from your hand. And like I said, I have heard this from others...so I know you are probably right...just wondering why.
    12-02-2010, 03:23 PM
There's no right and wrong, it's all a personal decision :) I have known way too many who got too nippy being hand fed treats. That said, I do know many others who didn't. I opt not to. Fyi I do use tons of treats fed from my hand in agility training my dogs (and have also been taught how to correct them if they get to the biting your finger off behaviors while still retaining the want to get treats POLITELY from my hand).

Really, I see no reason to hand feed horses unless they need some work to get them to like people. I use scratches in their favorite spots instead. But I know others feel good treating their horses, and I see nothing wrong with it, it's just not what* I* do :)
    12-02-2010, 09:18 PM
I used to hand feed my now she nips and expects something in my hand all the time and bites and now no more handing feeding for her just treats in a dish and I've found many of my friends saying the same thing
    12-03-2010, 11:19 AM
Thanks guys. I really don't have any problems so far, and have had one mini (Bruno)a year, and the other (Boo)6 months. Bruno is kind of skittish and distrusting of people, so I kind of like showing him love through food. I know that may not be right...heck, I show MYSELF "love thru food" which may be why my butt is expanding, LOL.
    12-06-2010, 11:36 PM
I take both approaches, my horses know I don't have treats all the time, and are too smart sometimes. I've trained a few for tricks with treats but as soon as they get nippy the treats go away. Some I have that I wont' hand feed so they get them in a bucket or not at all. If I feel they deserve a treat or I have extra apples or carrots I either break them up and throw them around their pen while they're watching or feed them with dinner at night.

On the throwing them around the pens, they will go find them and look for them for hours sometimes :) keeps'em busy since they are on dry lots.
    12-09-2010, 12:13 PM
That is a good point about keeping them busy! I have a little grass in my paddocks where they stay at night...might be more fun if they could sniff out some treats!

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