Food/Treat Aggression/Pushiness - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by loosie View Post
Oh I dunno - pets are made to be spoilt IMO! I will sometimes go out with a handful of carrots, to share out to them 'just because'. But again, if that horse/dog/child started groping my pockets, going 'I wanna!' or threatened me or such, no way in hell they'd get a treat, regardless whether it was 'earned' or not.
I have found randomly offering treats is a good way to keep em guessing. I don't take them into the pasture, but they know there's a good chance if they come to me willingly, joyfully, I'm going to use that catch rope in my hand to lead them to the tie post, lavish treats on them, groom them, and turn them back out. There's also a chance I'll lavish treats on them, then throw a saddle on them, only to see how it fits, take it off, groom them and turn them out. I may be about to let one or two select individuals mow the lawn. I may also be about to load one or two in the trailer with the intentions to ride.

Keeping them guessing, with the opportunity to get delicious snacks and delightful scratchings of The Spots keeps them running to me, not away from me. And there's no feeling quite like the feeling of your horse/s seeing you from a distance, just putzing around outside, and here they come running and calling to you.... and it's not feed time nor are you holding any feed buckets. It's just because.

It's one of the best feelings in the world, IMO.

So if snacking horses gets that done, I will do it and not be the least bit apologetic about it. :P
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post #22 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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I guess what I'm asking, in short, is why some people say, "My horse (or horse x) never gets treats because they get pushy [after I give them one]." as opposed to fixing it?
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post #23 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I guess what I'm asking, in short, is why some people say, "My horse (or horse x) never gets treats because they get pushy [after I give them one]." as opposed to fixing it?

Because every horse is different; because every owner is different.

It's just like raising kids. Everyone's parenting style is different.

There are some very good reasons to NOT snack certain horses - special dies, insulin issues, stomach issues, etc - and there are some very good reasons TO snack certain horses.

I have snackers. I've let Sarge have half of my my ham sandwich and a slice of cheddar, shared my hot box chicken strips with Trigger. Superman will RUN FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF OUR PLACE when he sees a bag of peppermint treats. Gina doesn't care one way or the other but she never refuses apples, carrots, or cookies... she'd rather have you scrub the itchy spots on her belly. Oops would mug you for treats, and we know it, and she knows we know and we use it to our advantage. Outback will not take any treats from anyone's hands yet.

So. That's me. None of my horses are on special diets, and I learned over time how to manage the pushy snacky grabbies so I don't get searched like my horses are TSA officers at DFW, and they still get fun treats.

Other people feel differently about their horses, and their wishes are to be respected, even when you disagree with them.
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post #24 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I guess what I'm asking, in short, is why some people say, "My horse (or horse x) never gets treats because they get pushy [after I give them one]." as opposed to fixing it?

Okay, I've read most of the posts in this thread. Some I agree with, some I don't.
I'm beginning to believe that we have the most well behaved horses in the world!!!
First off, the only time we stall our horses is when we feed, or for the farrier or vet. Every day the two big ones get stalled to feed, and the two little ones are fed outside, under the run in. Why, so the big ones don't push the little ones off their feed.
When it comes to me and my wife, we are able to bring the big ones in by ourselves, without help from the other. Allie comes in first as she is the alpha, then John. No issues. they get fed first, then Fred and Angle. When Fred and Angle get done, they come to the back gate and get a small treat, then we take John out without a treat, which he gets after we get Allie out, she gets a small treat after she is clear of the barn. John gets his after we leave the barn.
Is this right way? A lot of folks will say no, but, they do what we ask, when we ask, so they get a treat. Once in a while, I'll take a few treats in my pocket out into the pasture and call them to me, if they come, they get a small treat, if not, they don't. We don't give treats when we halter, or saddle them, just rubs and word of praise.
To answer your question, no pushy horse should get a treat. They have to be taught that you are the boss, and do as you ask, not the other way around...
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The silent communication with horses. A trust that can't be bought, earned, or convinced, you are either their kind or your not..
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post #25 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Pony went six months without any treats because they made him pushy. I've just started giving them to him again, in small amounts. If he gets pushy again, it will be another six months.
I suggest, on that note, that you just quit giving him treats, or be stricter about it. Because 6 minutes - heck, 6 seconds - is too long with regard to him learning better from it. They need INSTANT associations. And again, the FOOD didn't 'make him pushy', but whatever behaviour you were (inadvertently) reinforcing with it did.

You can't teach him better manners with treats by just not ever giving them, any more than you can teach a child manners & to be reasonable about the amount of lollies they eat if you just put the lolly jar out of reach of the child.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #26 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 09:19 PM
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@AtokaGhosthorse , I just love the quote you currently have in your signature. Is it from anyone in particular?

By the way, I do treat with three loose horses and five loose donkeys, in the paddock together, and they all behave. If they start pulling faces, a look or an "Oy!" is all I need, and they become polite again. I also always bucket feed the whole lot loose, and they know not to squabble.
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Last edited by SueC; 04-18-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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post #27 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
I guess what I'm asking, in short, is why some people say, "My horse (or horse x) never gets treats because they get pushy [after I give them one]." as opposed to fixing it?
Because not everyone understands training/learning principles.

I think there are definitely valid safety reasons for not doing this though, if say, the horse is handled by others without strict rules... say a horse at a riding school with children... or 70yo men who 'know better'... Then making a 'no hand feeding' rule is appropriate.

Unfortunately, as I used to agist in group paddocks, and some owners would NOT respect 'please don't feed my animals' or even 'if you must, insist on manners'. My horses have learned from this, that other people = worth a try 'begging' or exploring pockets. But with me & the (older, assertive) kids, they don't try that on - they know it will never work to earn them anything but possibly punishment.

Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #28 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by AtokaGhosthorse View Post
Other people feel differently about their horses, and their wishes are to be respected, even when you disagree with them.
I should add, absolutely agree with this. If it's not harming the horse, each to his own. Regardless of whether it's based on misunderstandings or otherwise.

My horses ARE mostly on 'special diets' - but that's no reason not to give treats IMO, just to keep them small & healthy. A pocket of rosehips for eg, given one at a time, will last an entire training session & provide nothing health-wise to worry about.
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Some info I've found helpful; [COLOR=Lime][B]www.horseforum.com/horse-health/hoof-lameness-info-horse-owners-89836/
For taking critique pics; [COLOR=Lime][B]https://www.horseforum.com/members/41...res-128437.jpg
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post #29 of 85 Old 04-18-2019, 11:19 PM
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Originally Posted by SueC View Post
@AtokaGhosthorse , I just love the quote you currently have in your signature. Is it from anyone in particular?
TY! It's a quote from Charles Burkowski, author of Factotum - Which I have not read yet, but have on my Kindle reading list. I think the quote in my sig is something he said, but I also love this one as well, and it is from Factotum. I was torn between using what is there now and the one below:

"If you're going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It's the only good fight there is.
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post #30 of 85 Old 04-19-2019, 12:06 AM
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Fabulous stuff, @AtokaGhosthorse ! Triple-distilled inspiration!
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