How can I make my horse not food aggressive? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hannahnicole View Post
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Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
With horses they either respect you or don't.
My TB has feed time issues and one time he aimed a kick at my head not close enough it would land but close enough he was trying to intimidate me.
I just picked up the lunge whip and I made him regret that thought very quickly (I did not hit him I just chased him) when I did let him in he was hesitant to come towards me and the food. I let him in and then I chased him off his dinner. I'm the boss and I won't accept anything less then ears forward and a calm walk when I have food.
how long did it take for him to get out of the food aggressive habit?
Once but this may not work for you. It may have gotten to the point where if you get back at him he will escalate get a trainer or someone who can see what's going on
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post #12 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 03:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Rainaisabelle View Post
With horses they either respect you or don't.
My TB has feed time issues and one time he aimed a kick at my head not close enough it would land but close enough he was trying to intimidate me.
I just picked up the lunge whip and I made him regret that thought very quickly (I did not hit him I just chased him) when I did let him in he was hesitant to come towards me and the food. I let him in and then I chased him off his dinner. I'm the boss and I won't accept anything less then ears forward and a calm walk when I have food.
my trainers coming over tomorrow so I'll work on it. thanks
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post #13 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 09:51 AM
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Liking you has nothing to do with it. This is not a horse emotion. But, the need for a leader is and that is where respect comes in. A dominant horse will kick or bite one that disrespects it's space so a slap or punch from a human will just turn it into an ugly game. A horse that respects you is easier to train. When I feed grain, two will sometimes be at the same feeder. It's nice to be able to point and click and have the "delinquent" horse go back to his own place. And he waits respectfully as the grain is poured into his tub. If he ever puts his ears back he will immediately think I plan on murdering him and he will be moving out of my space fast until his attitude changes. I don't have to hit this particular horse, just ramping up my energy and my change of attitude works. Skip the riding crop and take a lunge whip with you. This will better keep you out of kicking distance.



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post #14 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 11:39 AM
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You are doing the right thing in carrying a crop under your arm and ready to go at all times. Be constantly ready to react instantly, not 5 or 10 seconds after the bad behavior. Stand up very straight, shoulders back and walk with great purpose and pretend in your body and in your mind both that you are 10 feet tall and completely in charge. Learn to cultivated a deep, gruff voice when you are unhappy with his behavior-no little girl squeaks!

Go after him hard and back him off but stop the instant his bad behavior stops. A smack to a horse that is doing nothing wrong can do more harm than good. Now, if your mother is involved in feeding this horse, she must learn to do the exact same thing- no wimpyness allowed! Either that or she should stay away because her being soft can undo everything you accomplish.

Please understand that in the mind of any horse, this will NOT make him "not like you". Horses simply don't think that way unless they are horribly abused over a long period of time. YOU ARE, AND MUST REMAIN THE BOSS MARE at all times and even if you are nervous, become an actress and never let them know it. Carry your crop under your arm or in your boot and watch him-spending time just watching and analyzing horses can be a huge education in how they think.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 11:57 AM
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I would take a lunge whip not a crop the lunge whip gives you more distance to stay out of range of he decides to kick out.
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 12:42 PM
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I was about to say the same thing. A lunge whip is longer so you can easily stay out of striking range.

Don't be afraid to get after him, if you're going to act big and tough, you need to follow up on it. If anything, once you've earned his respect he'll be nicer to you, as you've established yourself as the leader. Trust me, it's not going to make him dislike you.:)
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post #17 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 12:47 PM
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Actually a dressage whip works best of all. It's long enough and many people cannot quickly use a lunge whip with the extra length at the end.
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post #18 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 01:02 PM
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For every horse that will back down when a human hits it with something there's another one that will ignore your attempts at intimidation and go right over the top of you.
Because it works with one horse don't expect it to work with them all.
Never be too optimistic that the horse you're going to whip or chase off will back down and run away - always have a good exit route just in case.
Its actually easier to deal with food aggressive horses in a stable to start with because you've got better control of the situation
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post #19 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
For every horse that will back down when a human hits it with something there's another one that will ignore your attempts at intimidation and go right over the top of you.
Because it works with one horse don't expect it to work with them all.
Never be too optimistic that the horse you're going to whip or chase off will back down and run away - always have a good exit route just in case.
Its actually easier to deal with food aggressive horses in a stable to start with because you've got better control of the situation
Jaydee has brought up a good point. Unless someone is experienced in handling aggressive horses, it is best to avoid an altercation where the odds are all in the horses favor. Putting hay out for several horses where one is food aggressive can be a dangerous situation. It is best corrected one on one. I would carry a crop or whip (I like dressage whips), let the horse know I have it, back him off from the gate and keep him a distance away until I put the hay down. Then step back and let him eat. I don't see any point in acting like a wild man, chasing, etc. Cool but confident can get the point across.

The other thing, which unfortunately comes with time and experience, is to be able to "read" a horse accurately. TBs are notorious for ear pinning. A few that I have a great rapport with (including my own) do it quite often. I KNOW these horses and certainly don't take it as any kind of threat. I have never seen it escalate and usually decreases with time.

Glad to hear that you have a trainer that can help you correct this problem. It is always better when someone knows the horse and can actually observe the behavior
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post #20 of 30 Old 12-28-2015, 06:25 PM
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I have two horses with very different temperaments and neither has ever laid an ear back when I'm around. As mentioned, one will respond to my ramped up energy which might mean just straightening my shoulders. The other, well he just loves being in my space, not in an aggressive manner but just wants to hang out close to me. I could ramp up my energy to the moon and his response would be "whatever". To get him out of my space and he's like a yo yo on a rubber string, I touch him lightly on the knee with the dressage whip. Another horse would back up just by looking behind him and pointing at his chest. The arab would back if I stood even 20' away and moved my hands like shooing chickens. All so different.



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