The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My husband has a 5 year old spotted saddle horse that we have had for a year now. We feed oats during the winter just to keep a little extra weight on. Whenever his horse comes in to eat he goes to his grain bin and immediately starts pawing. I can stand right next to him and pop him with a crop and he stops but as soon as I walk away he starts doing it again. I have never had a horse paw so consistently like that. Is it a behavioral issue or something else? I am at a loss of how to break him too. Thanks for any help!
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,800 Posts
Stand around a corner and toss a brush at his feet when he starts to paw. My horse's could never figure out where it care from. They eventually caught on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,021 Posts
My horse paws the entire time he eats. I can't feed him out of a feed manger as he sends his entire bed flying. I figure at 16 years of age he isn't about to stop and just cope with it. I was once told by an old cowboy it may have something to do with the natural instinct to "dig" for grass in bad weather conditions? I could be a million miles away on that theory though, I don't know how accurate it is!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,303 Posts
Some horses get very excited when fed and paw. Our mare, Cinnamon will do this at times, and her full sister will do it everytime she is fed. I'm curious about why you think this needs correction?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,033 Posts
I notice mine will do it too when they get excited about their grain, Zorro even does until he paws his tub over and spreads it all over the ground. Stilts does it and takes huge bites like he attacking his grain....especially if they got wet or cold. I think it's just excitement and impatience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,153 Posts
My horses paw while eating too. I saw the one boy hold his foot up for about 5 minutes while eating grain because he couldn't paw the bucket. I attach feed buckets to the fence to stop them from spilling them, muhahaha, thwarted!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,033 Posts
My horses paw while eating too. I saw the one boy hold his foot up for about 5 minutes while eating grain because he couldn't paw the bucket. I attach feed buckets to the fence to stop them from spilling them, muhahaha, thwarted!

LOL...meanie :twisted:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
two of my horses, a QH and TB both paw at there buckets, the TB just paws a little, and knocks over the food, but the QH will hold her leg up for ages! they even put there hoof in the bucket, so I tied them both to a tree, now they don't waste half there feed.

If it doesn't bother you - I don't see a problem with them doing it. not hurting anyone :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,153 Posts
^^^^I resent that! Whatever they spill, I have 3 dogs that steal the crumbs! What am I supposed to do, give the horses dogfood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
918 Posts
LovesMyDunnBoy - Don't see how, it does put more pressure on the other leg, that they're not holding up, but they rest there back legs all the time, and they only eat bucket food for a short amount of time.

and if pawing was bad - jumping, and cantering/galloping, well riding in general would be horrible for there legs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,033 Posts
Constant pawing can cause damage, probably not enough during eating to be an issue though.
 
  • Like
Reactions: iloverains

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,153 Posts
Constant pawing on concrete, this is a few dozen scrapes on the ground, just enough to mess up hay & grain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
He can't knock his grain over, they eat their oats out of buckets attached to the wall so that isn't a problem. I just don't like it because our stalls have dirt floors and he digs holes in the stalls.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,033 Posts
He can't knock his grain over, they eat their oats out of buckets attached to the wall so that isn't a problem. I just don't like it because our stalls have dirt floors and he digs holes in the stalls.
Well if you can't break him of it maybe you could put a rubber mat under his bucket?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
Constant pawing can cause damage, probably not enough during eating to be an issue though.
Damage to what? Pawing is a natural behavior used in several situations - pawing the dirt for clay and minerals, pawing through snow, pawing water to both clear a place to drink and to make the water muddy for bathing for insect control, stallion pawing as a display, pawing due to impatience - lots of reasons.

It is not likely that horses (or any other animal) develop natural behaviors that would cause damage. The only time I could imagine pawing causing damage would be if it were done excessively on something abrasive like concrete...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,033 Posts
Damage to what? Pawing is a natural behavior used in several situations - pawing the dirt for clay and minerals, pawing through snow, pawing water to both clear a place to drink and to make the water muddy for bathing for insect control, stallion pawing as a display, pawing due to impatience - lots of reasons.

It is not likely that horses (or any other animal) develop natural behaviors that would cause damage. The only time I could imagine pawing causing damage would be if it were done excessively on something abrasive like concrete...
I rode a horse last year that when tied would constantly paw with the right foot only, the horse started running past the first barrel(right hand turn) after having the chiro out, he said the problem was a deeper problem. I hauled him up to the the race track vet up in Grand Prairie at Lonestar. After radiographs, nerve blocks -a complete lameness eval. the horse had damage to the right foot. Vet said it was a contributer, but not completely...I will admit. The horse is 12 years old, had pawed with that foot his entire career and spent many years on the road, which translates to many hours tied in a trailer hauling and many hours tied to a trailer and at rodeos/barrel races(if you have been to many, you may be there awhile before you are up, and the parking may be a dirt lot most often asphalt) for many hours at a time.

But like I said before, the few minutes pawing probably won't effect him as opposed to a horse in this situation for this many years. As a result it took time off, hobbling while tied and bone supplements to get help get sound.
I realize this is just one case but it just proves that it is possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,205 Posts
Our appy pawed so badly he destroyed his plastic corner feeder with his knee, then we started feeding him in a rubber feed pan on the floor and he would paw and knock it over. Now we have a tip resistant plastic feeder on the floor and he's given up pawing now that he knows it doesn't getting him anywhere. IN the process of destroying his corner feeder he dug a whole in the barn floor, which is a dirt/packed stone floor.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
4,289 Posts
Our appy pawed so badly he destroyed his plastic corner feeder with his knee, then we started feeding him in a rubber feed pan on the floor and he would paw and knock it over. Now we have a tip resistant plastic feeder on the floor and he's given up pawing now that he knows it doesn't getting him anywhere. IN the process of destroying his corner feeder he dug a whole in the barn floor, which is a dirt/packed stone floor.
You know I've been messing with horses about 55 years, and like to think I know them pretty well and can get into their head, but I have never been able to figure out what is so great about dumping your grain out of a perfectly clean pan so you can lick it up off the dirt...:rofl:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,319 Posts
Horses are natural grazers, so when they're eating, in the wild they walk and eat.
It could just be that he feels like he needs to walk, just the urge! ahaha
We had a mare who did that at our barn. No harm came from it
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top