We don't walk away when he does that to us. We just stand there until he stops and then just keeps his ears back.
And, he never has any consequences....
Last time my mom flicked a horses nose for biting he lunged at her and trampled my mom breaking her arm and two ribs.
I'm sort of reading into this a bit and making an assumption that your mom gave a sort of off hand slap to the nose... while that will work a lot of times with lots of horses, it didn't that time. She needed to "get big and mean" in a hurry instead. More about that lower down in this post...
I just want a way to do it without hurting him because of my fear of that.
Can you hit as hard as a horse can kick? You're trying to stop a situation from happening that, if left alone and not corrected, could easily escalate to be life threatening.
Although he is very sweet and docile towards me without food, it just looks bad on us that he acts like that with food.
If he is allowed to continue getting away with the food aggression, then it will most likely escalate.
But tomorrow morning I will bring out his bucket and I'll have a crop in my hand.
Be ready to use it! Not just a little bit either.
Thankyou for your reply! Have a nice day. :)
In my opinion, I think this is where you're headed as things stand now: https://youtu.be/vZRLA7Ivh7Q
So, I stated that I would have more on getting "big and mean". I'm 5' 6" and 130 pounds... sort of smallish for a guy, right? that doesn't matter one tiny bit! When I see a need to do so, I can make that 1,000 pound horse think I'm bigger, meaner, and tougher than he/she is and that I'll most likely kill it if it doesn't change it's ways. All without doing any harm to the horse! Sure, it may feel a bit of pain if needed but, it won't be harmed.
An example was fairly recent. I was at a horse facility, just a small family farm really, and wanted to go take a look at a mare in the pasture. The gal who I had been riding with earlier, the owner, said "Go ahead!" I had been in the pasture before but never alone. I had had one of the owners with me.
This time, as I entered the pasture and started toward the mare in question, a gelding that is a fairly dominant horse among the herd took exception.
He pinned his ears and started a fast walk toward me.
It was his challenge and it was dangerous. I could run for the fence and dive out of the pasture. That would have kept me from being kicked/bitten/struck but it would also mean that I would never be safe going into the pasture alone in the future.
So, I kept on going, as if nothing in the world was wrong. I watched him from the corner of my eye as he approached. When he got within striking range, I exploded in his face, smacked him HARD on the nose, and backed him up a good ten yards until his ears came forward. I did not give him any option but to go backwards!
For the rest of my time in the pasture, that gelding followed me around like a puppy dog but, at a respectful distance.