Horse behavior at feeding time - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your input.

I know that I can go out there with a rope to swing or a whip and they will and have respected that. Here's the thing. Sometimes I forget to bring any thing with me, don't feel like walking ALL the way back to grab something and they are right back to being on top of me. It's not something that really even bothers me, just something in my mind that says they should behave better. Like I said, it's just the two of them, the other one stands back and she is the dominate mare out of the three.

They are not being aggressive at all. It's more "gimme gimme my food" with impatients. Not "give it or else". Laela is usually salivating she is so looking forward to it.

As far as other people feeding in the morning, changes are not going to happen and they still need to get their hay. The hay is just thrown over the fence while the horses are grabbing pieces of it.

I guess what I'm wondering is, is it really that big of a deal when no aggression is being shown but very much impatients?

I usually ask them to back up a bit and they do. I do have to repeat this several times before they stay still because they are not asked for this at every feeding.
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 03:05 PM
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I think it's up to you. If you feel safe, why change it?
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post #13 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
They are not being aggressive at all. It's more "gimme gimme my food" with impatients. Not "give it or else". Laela is usually salivating she is so looking forward to it.

As far as other people feeding in the morning, changes are not going to happen and they still need to get their hay. The hay is just thrown over the fence while the horses are grabbing pieces of it.

I guess what I'm wondering is, is it really that big of a deal when no aggression is being shown but very much impatients?

I usually ask them to back up a bit and they do. I do have to repeat this several times before they stay still because they are not asked for this at every feeding.

To me that is one very, very fine line between being aggressive or "gimme gimme my food" with impatience.
To me, when dealing with 1000 pound on average animals, a line to fine to want it to be defined.

Only you can decide what it is you want to allow, to deal with...
Ordinarily you feed and are comfortable with the behaviors exhibited...
But what happens when it isn't you feeding or dealing with the horses is the problem..unexpected changes can happen.
No, the horses will respond differently to anyone else feeding is a fact, yes.
But if established what is expected everyday, every meal a lot better chance of better behaviors being present.
Consistency is what needs followed...same day in and day out.
I don't need anything other than my voice for my horses to respond and respect my space and my wishes...and I never not demand that respect....consistency!

If you are comfortable with what you have...leave it alone.
If you want change, then make changes but expect those new attitudes and manners to be done every day as sameness is a must with animals...
Respect, rules given and enforced by you makes daily interactions more pleasant and predictable in nature.
...
jmo..
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 07:12 PM
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@horselovinguy you just said what I was thinking!

But, I take the easy way out. There are 5 horses where my paso is boarded. I put the other 4 in stalls to eat their oats and a little hay so my paso and I can spend time together without their interference. He gets oats/treats in a bucket, then follows me around while I dump out more piles of hay for everybody. I check him over for owies, groom and love on him for awhile. Then go let the others out and everybody is happy. Of course if the weather is bad they just stay in the stalls.

If you don't have stalls and want them to start backing off then take the lunge whip--it's worth the trouble. Just tapping it on the ground is usually enough for our guys.
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Last edited by pasomountain; 04-19-2019 at 07:18 PM.
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post #15 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoriF View Post
Thanks everyone for your input.

I know that I can go out there with a rope to swing or a whip and they will and have respected that. Here's the thing. Sometimes I forget to bring any thing with me, don't feel like walking ALL the way back to grab something and they are right back to being on top of me. It's not something that really even bothers me, just something in my mind that says they should behave better. Like I said, it's just the two of them, the other one stands back and she is the dominate mare out of the three.

They are not being aggressive at all. It's more "gimme gimme my food" with impatients. Not "give it or else". Laela is usually salivating she is so looking forward to it.

As far as other people feeding in the morning, changes are not going to happen and they still need to get their hay. The hay is just thrown over the fence while the horses are grabbing pieces of it.

I guess what I'm wondering is, is it really that big of a deal when no aggression is being shown but very much impatients?

I usually ask them to back up a bit and they do. I do have to repeat this several times before they stay still because they are not asked for this at every feeding.
My honest answer to you is this. If you're happy, I'm happy. If I were asked to feed for you though, I would carry my whip and I would make them back off and stay backed off. No, it wouldn't be for every meal, but trust me on this one, horses are smart enough to know "Don't mess with this one" and "Oh mom let's me get away with anything.". So if you'd be ok with me swinging a whip (NOT whipping them, just enforcing space limits) and making them behave for me, then let them do whatever you are ok with for you.
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post #16 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Well, I guess the major consensus is that it makes a big difference and some feel like it doesn't. With my girls pushiness, it's more of an annoyance than anything for me personally. I guess that is because I know them. For someone else who doesn't, they may take it as aggressiveness and I can see why they would. I don't really worry about them getting at each other during feed time and getting caught up in it because they don't bicker among themselves at feed time anyway. Laela lets Novia share everything with her and like I said, Star is very polite (or conditioned) and waits.

Most of the lack of consistency for them is because I give the supplements and hay at night and then someone else gives hay in the morning because realistically most mornings I can't be there. I've watched it being done and they just grab hay before it even gets over the fence. A small part of it is because sometimes I don't bring something with me to shoe them off. In those times I just push them back with my hand. Even though they listen, they don't take it too seriously so it's not very effective. As soon as I turn around they're back. I pretty much have eliminated their interactions with other people for the most part for various reasons. The only exception is the hay in the morning.

This evening, I made it a point to bring a lead rope out with me and swung it around and of course they backed off and waited. They know the routine with the lead rope but to be honest, it's not me that they are backing off from, it's the lead rope. I can guarantee that if I didn't have it, they would be right there. I will do it every single time while telling them "back off" I'll test them in a couple of weeks and see if it makes a difference. Maybe I will try to make it a game for them and teach them to give me a high five before they get to eat.

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post #17 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 10:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
My honest answer to you is this. If you're happy, I'm happy. If I were asked to feed for you though, I would carry my whip and I would make them back off and stay backed off. No, it wouldn't be for every meal, but trust me on this one, horses are smart enough to know "Don't mess with this one" and "Oh mom let's me get away with anything.". So if you'd be ok with me swinging a whip (NOT whipping them, just enforcing space limits) and making them behave for me, then let them do whatever you are ok with for you.
Ha, I wish you were the one feeding them in the morning. I would not have a problem with that at all. No one seems to have the the time to do this where they are at.

I am going to start being more insistent about this with them just for the mere fact that I wouldn't want them to scare someone else who might resort to hitting them to get back because they are fearful of them.

Like Horseluvinguy said, you never know what the future holds.

This wasn't really a how to question. I just wanted to know what other peoples thoughts were on this behavior whether they thought it was really a big deal or not.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
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Last edited by LoriF; 04-19-2019 at 10:18 PM.
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post #18 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I think it's up to you. If you feel safe, why change it?
Yes, I do feel safe. They really are not being mean or buttheads. I was wondering what peoples thoughts on it were. I will be working on it more consistently just for the fact that better behavior won't kill them.
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post #19 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 10:38 PM
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Originally Posted by knightrider View Post
Hope I don't get virtual tomatoes thrown at me, but I am different. I don't have an issue with a horse greeting me when I have food. I have a little ritual, something the horses and I have enjoyed since I was a kid.

When I take the hay out to put in big tubs for the horses, I hold out the hay and let them taste a sample, then put it in their bucket. I have never had horses be aggressive to me with food, nor to each other. They know who gets to eat first, second, and so on. Sometimes I laugh with them and say, "Is the wine to your satisfaction?"

I have never found my not demanding horses move away from their food correlates to their obedience on the ground or under saddle. I know I spend a lot of time with my horses, and when I was a youngster, I spent tremendous amounts of time with my horse.

I've started a bunch of colts in my lifetime, and all 4 of the horses I have now I either started or "fixed" because they were unrideable when I got them. It could be just me, but I don't feel that ultra strict discipline around food is that necessary. At least it never has been for me. I like @bsms idea of partnership. It's worked for me, anyway.

As long as everybody's happy, then I'm happy.
And that's basically my experience and thoughts on it too. I don't get run over by horses - I've never had to react to something like that. I think they just know not to run me over. With a new horse, if it approaches me in a way I don't like, I just let it know that early, before it gets to that sort of point. And if I have to go in a paddock with random horses elsewhere that are rude and pushy, I do my helicopter trick. I don't have to get upset about anything, I just have to act intelligently.
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post #20 of 28 Old 04-19-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueC View Post
And that's basically my experience and thoughts on it too. I don't get run over by horses - I've never had to react to something like that. I think they just know not to run me over. With a new horse, if it approaches me in a way I don't like, I just let it know that early, before it gets to that sort of point. And if I have to go in a paddock with random horses elsewhere that are rude and pushy, I do my helicopter trick. I don't have to get upset about anything, I just have to act intelligently.

There is one gelding on the property that I would smack the heck out of if he gets near me. Why, because he bites and kicks. He's not my horse so I don't interact with him on a daily basis therefore I don't want him around me at all. If he were mine I would try to change that if I could.

My girls are pretty much just really, really, really ready for me to share food with them (they share with each other). There is no ear pinning, jostling to be first in line, squealing, kicking or anything. They just can't their faces jammed into the pan fast enough. Nom, Nom, Nom, Nom.
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Last edited by LoriF; 04-19-2019 at 11:02 PM.
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