Horses snacking on the trail - problem? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Maine
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We always let our horses graze and eat trees on the trails. They don't have a grassy pasture so as long as it's on our terms I think it's great for them.
My mare really doesn't like to drink on the trail, but if it's a long ride then she sometimes will.
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post #22 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 02:43 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I'm with smrobs on this one: I sometimes take Tango out to hand graze her, and now even when we're stopped and just standing on the grass, she's always obsessively trying to put her head down and eat. I'm lucky that the trainer we bought her from never encouraged this sort of behaviour under saddle, so she never tries it when we're riding. I have no doubt though, if I let her start snacking, that she would be trying it all the time and it just gets annoying. Generally we're not working all day long, so she doesn't really need to eat, but I'll let her drink if we ever stop at a pond or creek or something (though she normally doesn't).

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post #23 of 25 Old 08-30-2010, 09:38 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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IF I have stopped and given the 'okay' for her to drop her head and graze, I don't have a problem with's in allowing them to drop their heads when they want to that I see it as an issue. Just because they stop doesn't give them 'free will' to graze...I choose to drop the reins, and I choose when to pick them up and move on. It's the same with when I hand graze...I choose where and when they can put their heads down, they don't snatch the lead rope from me.

I think it is rather convenient to be able to do that on long trail rides...I figure I stop to snack, so I will let my horse grab a few bites too.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."

Last edited by mom2pride; 08-30-2010 at 09:42 PM.
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post #24 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 04:10 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Athena and I have come to an agreement that she's allowed to eat on the trail as long as she keeps her head level with or above her shoulders, and she can't stop or slow down. I don't tolerate her eating short grass/plants, she just starts tripping over herself because she knows she's suppose to keep moving and it's annoying.
She's gotten pretty good at it though. We'll be cantering along, and she'll just snag a mouthful of leaves from out of nowhere like it's no big deal.

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post #25 of 25 Old 08-31-2010, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
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I only skimmed the first and last pages so this may have already been said but I will never ever ever let my horse snack on the trail if I can avoid it.

This may be because of where I live and ride but it's incredibly dangerous to do so here because it puts the horses at risk for snake bites! The last thing I want is to be out on a trail and have a snake bite my horse on the nose, have the nostrils swell up and the horse can't breath. That is the last place I want my horse to receive a venomous bite, especially if we are away from the barn.

My horse has to keep his head off the ground on the trail at all times. Period.

Edit: Not to mention that if he's snacking on random plants out on the trail they may not be safe. I'm not willing to risk him getting sick if he grabs a bunch of a toxic plant as we are plodding along. To me it's all about safety. He's not hungry and he can't eat while we are working in the arena so he can't eat while we are working away from the arena either.

Last edited by Deerly; 08-31-2010 at 07:07 PM.
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