Sudden change of attitude while feeding.. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 01:04 PM
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Bring a whip with you. Not a crop, a whip. If the horse starts threatening you, chase him away (with the crop you might have to touch him, and you risk a kick. With a long whip you should be able to chase the horse without staying in the "kick danger" area).

If the horse acts nice and relaxed, leave him be. But aggressive behavior is not to be tolerated around you, so you must clarify to him that if he acts that way, he'll have to do it elsewhere.

All this assuming that your horse is fed in an area large enough for him to move away. If you feed him in a box, this might not be possible, because you could only corner the horse, and sometimes cornered horses become really dangerous (and you can't get away either). Not worth it. You can try and teach the "behave well" lesson in a bigger area, like the arena.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
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Very interesting concept "owning the feed". Oddly enough my instinct was very much bang on with this while I had a another run in with him this morning before even being able to read all your fantastic feedback.

Yesterday I decided to leave him alone while he eats in re: to grooming, petting, or picking his feet, and just want to establish that while I am around he needs to be aware I am there and be respectful and mindful of my space. Anyhow, lastnight was great, and this morning seemed great, until I caught out of the corner of my eye while my back was faced to him, he had raised his leg and I was able to move just in time before he kicked out at me from quite a distance. My response was to yell and kick back (without contact) to get him out of my space and away from the feed. He quickly fled the scene. My instinct was to make it clear I wanted him to stay away from me. He tried to come back a few times and I drove him off, put away his food and left.

I wasn't too sure whether or not it was the right approach, I just went with my heart.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 02:54 PM
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If your whip reaches use it if he tries to kick.

I said crop as I assumed you would be in a small area. Bigger is better, whip is better, and I would encourage you even more to "pick this fight" if you have a safe area to do it.

Ear pinning, stomping, pawing, and kicking the feed bucket meant they got run off immediately
Unless those things were done AT you I don't think they warrant being chased off their feed. We had a whole thread about this awhile back, regarding pestering with overcorrection.

Pawing is normal for some horses and idk if that's the way to correct if.

The others are all completely normal behaviors for feeding horses and not something I would correct. I'd never let a horse "not stomp" when there's a bunch of flies around.
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Darlys View Post
His feeding area is quite close to the tack room, where I often run back and forth during his feeding time getting my own chores done around his paddock. Usually when I'm heading in and out of the barn, he is quite responsive to move his body over and stay clear of my path. However, the last few days, he's raised his back leg and threatened to kick when I ask him to move over. In addition, he also throws his head up and pins his ears back when I approach him (as I usually do) from his side to pet him.
Do your chores later or find another place to feed him. Handle the respect issue separately if it still exists once you do one or both of the above. I fully expect my horses to tolerate me messing with them while they eat. They aren't allowed any form of disrespect to show. BUT I feed and walk away unless I have something specific to do. There are too many for each one to have indivdual attention everytime I feed so they don't all get messed with everytime and this keeps them from being aggravated or agitated about me being in their space every single time they are fed. It sounds like he is right in your path from point a to points b,c and d. This means he can't ever eat in peace or eat without you asking him repeatedly to do something you shouldn't have to ask him to do. Mine are fed in a pasture situation, pots on the ground, each has his/her own pot. I feed with respect to their hierarchy as long as it doesn't mean feed is getting stolen. We add fillers to the faster eaters but the fastest eater has to wait until last. That is enforced and reenforced until no matter where that animal is in the heirarchy he expects and waits patiently for his feed. Oh and carry a whip. If I just had one I may or may not once the ground rules are established but I have up to 16 at any given time and feed in three sets so a whip is a must have.
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post #15 of 20 Old 07-09-2014, 05:36 PM
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Leave the horse alone while eating to begin with. While there are times you may need to mess with horse at meal time, usually there is not any reason to.

And getting horse to behave shouldn't take any longer than couple of minutes either. No reason at all for it to take an hour or more at all. Ever.

Lesson can be taught in few minutes, no more than 5 if you are dealing with more than one at feeding time.

Take lash whip, move horse off of you, keep them off, dump feed, keep them away from you, and lesson learned. Back off feed but make them stay back, until you decide they can come up.

Dragging it out is senseless and waste of time.

Also, check you handling skills, if you are a constant talker, quit it, don't "soothe" or baby horse and act like you are the one in charge.

And if you have to correct horse, don't jabber, or let horse back in or do the "I'm sorry I got mad at you" routine.

You have more than likely been displaying submissive behaviors and horse has now gotten settled enough to put you in your place, according to his idea of just where that is.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-10-2014, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Yogiwick View Post
Unless those things were done AT you I don't think they warrant being chased off their feed. We had a whole thread about this awhile back, regarding pestering with overcorrection.

Pawing is normal for some horses and idk if that's the way to correct if.

The others are all completely normal behaviors for feeding horses and not something I would correct. I'd never let a horse "not stomp" when there's a bunch of flies around.
for me, i set up the scenario because of bad behaviour around food - so i do not believe it is overcorrection

if they are not pawing, stomping, or pinning ears while left alone in the pasture, they should not be doing it AT me.

if i do the correction, and set up the scenario again, then the correction did not take -- it takes as long as it takes
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-10-2014, 09:50 PM
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post #18 of 20 Old 07-10-2014, 10:33 PM
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Friesians are food motivated. I would leave him alone but also a horse with ulcers will demonstrate those behaviors also
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-10-2014, 11:05 PM
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It is always a good habit to get into to simply pat the horse on the head and put down the food then walk away. Some horses don't mind being fussed with when eating but it should be their time to be at peace. He needs some groundwork where you move him around backwards, sidewards and every direction you can think of as you have to get control of his feet. Getting the feet often gets the mind. It does make a huge difference to attitude.
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-11-2014, 07:43 PM
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I'd be getting up at a horse if they gave me this behaviour generally however I have been recommended by quite a few people to just leave horses alone while eating. Don't have them in positions where they feel they have to defend their food. Some horses just don't like this at all.

I had a mare like this, I used to groom her or just do stuff around her while she was eating and she got increasingly more aggressive at feed time, bringing the feed out etc. I worked with her to get her to back off and wait before she ate, but I also left her alone. She got pretty good in know time, respected me and my space, even when I needed to do things with her while she ate, but at the same time she preferred it when alone.

I'd work with your horse a bit more on the ground, ensuring respect, however I'd also set up a routine, move him somewhere out of the way to be fed, and leave him to be.
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feeding time , irritated , kicking

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