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Discussion Starter #1
My horse isn't aggressive at feeding time, but when I ride him and its feeding time and I put him in his paddock or stall and hay or/and food is there he rushes out while I'm undoing the halter to get to his food. How do you get respect and get the horse to stand still for you to do that even if it is feeding time? I do understand that it is feeding time, but still he should be patient...right? Thanks for advice.
 

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He should absolutly be patient I've taken my mare out of her just as the feeds gone in to work her and that's how it should be.

Sounds like he just need to realise who the boss is. I think he needs to realize that rushing away from the halter being undone is not on. Double halter him next time male him stand and behave as you release if he tries to push through you have the other halter to back you up stand there and take halter off and on a few times. Hope thy makes sense
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Ground work will be essential to getting him to be patient. He is impatient because he doesn't respect your authority, hence why he sees his need to eat as more important than your need to untack him and so on. I would suggest looking into some groundwork techniques and routines for you and your horse. Clinton Anderson and Pat Parelli are good ones to watch. Their whole mantra is "control the feet, control the mind." Horses aren't the best multitaskers, they can learn and do only one or two things at a time. If you can get him to move back, forwards, right or left in a respectful manner, then he will be thinking about what you are asking him to do rather than what he wants to do. It also teaches him that if he is impatient, it will take him longer and he will have to do more work to get to the food than if he just stands quietly until you are finished. :)
 

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don't put the feed in the paddock/stall. untack or let him go, then get the feed, teach him paitence by controlling when he's allowed to come and eat. then when he's eating, leave him alone. i had a bad kicker that was impaitent at feed time, he use to try get ME away from the feed, i started taking a lunge whip, wasn't allowed near me or the feed until i invited him in. he was a down right a$$
 

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Sounds to me like your horse is set into its routine. Sometimes, certain horses will use the "routine" against us by taking our idea and running with it.

First I would practice haltering etiquette without the food factor. teach him a cue that means it's all right to leave. leave he lead rope around his neck when you take the halter off so that you can pull him back to you when he tries to leave. Make him put his head in a submitful position ( neck lowered, head and nose tilted toward you and within close reach). As soon as he holds that position and relaxes (and relaxing is important) give your cue and let him do as he pleases. My cue to my horse is a few pats on his chest or shoulder. You could do that or use a verbal cue. I find that physical cues (body language and signals) are much quicker for horses to learn. Keep practicing asking for your horses head and then releasing and cueing when he behaves and relaxes. Practice it out in the lawn. Let him graze for a little while ask him to lift and give his head to you ( If he pulls and doesn't listen, instead of pulling and trying to haul his head up, just ask first with a gentle pull and if he doesn't respond, bump on the lead rope with increasing pressure till your horse gets the message and raises his head for you. ), and then hold his head and ask him to hold his head respectfully in position for you before you cue his release. Keep practicing until he's real respectful and responsive. Then do the same thing at dinner time. wait for him to hold position and relax (without his halter on) and then release him.

Another thing that helps, which I do with my horse so that he doesn't learn to get jittery at dinner time, is tie him in his stall and let him stand for a while and relax before letting him eat.

So #1 tie your horse up. #2 then put your feed in the stall. #3 wait for your horse to calm and relax (which could take a while. My horse was so impatient at first, but after a couple consistent lessons of this, he calmed right down)
#4 after he calms down, walk him to his food and remove his halter, reinforcing that he keep his head in position. (I do this with his head right over his food. It teaches really good impulse control) and then #5 when he relaxes and is respectful, cue his release.

This method works great for dinnertime pushers and for horses that pull your arms out of your sockets the minute you hit the lawn. They learn that they can eat and enjoy themselves, but they have to wait for your permission. I also can't stress enough that you reinforce relaxing! ( softening of muscles, lowering of neck, slow blinking, licking of lips, cocking a leg, taking a deep, slow sigh...) make your horse think that the food is available only if he's relaxed. And once he learns this, occasionally, while he's eating, interupt him and ask him to give you his head. relax. then release him.

This has worked miracles for me. no more pacing, no more tense pushyness. my horse doesn't zone me out whenever there is food involved. he takes his time like it's no big deal.

Now, I also, when my horse is eating, I also like to groom him, scratch him, and just hang out. This teaches my horse that he doesn't have to ditch me to enjoy himself or get a bite to eat!
 

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Another thing you might try is a small mesh hay net. I haven't tried it myself yet, though I plan to start immediately when I move my boy into the barn in a few days, but I've heard it helps get rid of feeding time anxiety.

The smaller holes in the netting don't allow the horse to bolt the hay. Instead, the horse has to slow down which encourages constant grazing so the horse isn't starving when feeding time comes. It's a more natural way to feed and also prevents ulcers by keeping their tummy from being empty between feedings.

Just something to try but definitely take the training advice from above as well. It's VERY important that you and your horse have a mutual respect of each other and that he understands that YOU are the leader. It will make things much safer for both of you! Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
He also is bad to handle at feeding time in general. If I'm leading him or grooming him and it's near feeding time, he will be really difficult to be around. He isn't dangerous but you do have to be careful or he will 'run you over' so to speak. He doesn't like to stand still when in cross ties or when tied up, he doesn't like to be groomed, etc. How do you handle this?

Thanks so much!!!
 

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Once you see his attention drift away from you, get it back quick before he even realizes his attention is drifting. Often asking him to do something for you will work. If he's totally ignoring you then you have to get more forceful. Some respond to snapping the lead, this creates sound and jerks on their halter a bit. My personal favorite is a "Heah!" along with a backhand slap to the chest. Doesn't take long before all you have to do is go "Heah!" and 100% of their attention is back on you. Some use a crop and that works too but not a method I use. I like tools that for one is always on me and two the horse wont see so know when to behave and when not to.

Two things you can do if he's walking on you. A tiny woman that I know who runs a stable and trains always has a 16 penny nail in her hand with just the point sticking out. Horse gets to near her and they get poked. The secret is to have your hand in position before they contact you so you are not jabbing them so much as they are moving into the nail. I've tried that method and it doesn't work to well for me. Instead, I use my toe to poke their shins if they step into me. Not a hard kick becasue you don't want to cause any harm, just a tap should do it and they really don't like it. Either way, they quickly learn what your space is and not to invade it.
 

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Here is a you tube link to 'dangers at feeding time' which fixes the problem totally.
www.horseproblems.com.au - Dangers at Feed Time - YouTube

I really like this guy. He's no BS and fair. The horse is told to get out of his space and he gives real quick consequences if he doesn't. Then he does what he needs to and gives the horse permission to come back and then leaves him alone to do his thing. This horse will progress rapidly because this guy is very clear about what he wants and there's no room for wiggling.
 

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I must admit I used to use feed time as 'petting time'. Looking back I can not believe it - I would check feet, pat, groom, rug and play with him! I changed to this method above and it changed my horse both at feed time and in my training with him too. It seemed like he was so happy to have me out of his space so he could feed in peace, that he would work harder for me and have more respect for me. Now I approach the field, he runs a good 20 feet away and waits - never comes near me. I touch his head and walk out of sight. I also mix up what time he is fed so he is never expectant of a feed.
 

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I would take the stern approach. Take him off of the crossties, back him up until he's focused on me, then walk him through the aisle outside, and if he crowds me I'd spin the rope infront of his face and if it hits him, he'll stop what he's doing and figure out that if he tries to crowd me, he'll be corrected immediately. I wouldn't put him back on the crossties until he had my full attention. Sometimes it takes a long time but don't let him get fussy.

Yes dinner time means hay and horses LOVE food, but keep in mind YOU are the herd leader.. if they aren't willing to be respectful than they are going to be directed until they start to focus and settle down.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
When you're riding on the trail and its close to feeding time and they don't want to go the way you're going, how long before they get it that its okay if they're not back by feeding time that the food won't disappear? Do I need to keep riding him a lot at feeding time to fix this problem? Tips?
 

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I just have to say that video was great. In the past, I've had a hard time being direct with horses because I feel like I'm being "mean," but something about the way he explained things finally made it click with me that if I don't get control of a small problem, it will escalate into a big, dangerous one.
Thank you for sharing that, I think I will go subscribe to that channel on YouTube!
 

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My colt was getting to be a pain at feeding time too so I used a stick with plastic bag on it to send him away. When I first waved it in his face he just looked at me, like, really am I supposed to be scared of that? :) But it worked to get him out of my space along with the shhhing sound I make. After about a week all it takes is the shhing sound and he gets it, with me and the help who feeds him when I am not there.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
He's fine when at feeding time and in pasture, but when you have him in halter then he's difficult.
 

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He's fine when at feeding time and in pasture, but when you have him in halter then he's difficult.
Well that makes sense, since he wants to eat and you and a halter are standing in the way :p Just don't give in to his horsey antics. You decide when you put him back and he better be respectful the entire way there or you WILL ask him to back up or turn sharply on lead or walk and trot in short spurts AWAY from the pasture, etc. Anything so he learns that him behaving in any way won't get him eating any faster.
 

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I discovered John O'leary some time ago. He's got some great videos, and some that are maybe more talking than "showing" but I like his approach quite a lot.
 

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Here is a you tube link to 'dangers at feeding time' which fixes the problem totally.
www.horseproblems.com.au - Dangers at Feed Time - YouTube
I want to thank Phaebarrett for posting this video! I went through and watched most of John O'Leary's videos and bookmarked his website, which is:

Horse Problems Australia Index Page

I really like his common sense and simple teaching style! Best source of free training information I think I have ever come across! This has helped me a lot. All of his videos are very interesting and non-mystical. Sometimes I think trainers get bogged down in teaching a system, and to fix one problem you have to start at the beginning of the system. But John O'Leary's videos actually fix individual problems and don't bog you down. Very informative! I was surprised at how good he was and I have never heard of him before!
 

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When you're riding on the trail and its close to feeding time and they don't want to go the way you're going, how long before they get it that its okay if they're not back by feeding time that the food won't disappear? Do I need to keep riding him a lot at feeding time to fix this problem? Tips?
First, I don't feed at a fixed time on purpose so they never know when it is feeding time. Something you can practice on your property but tough at a boarding barn.

Second, it is always your decision when you come back and not the horses. Don't let him buffalo you into returning.

Third, take them away from their food, saddle up and go for a ride. They are not happy about it but it is good training. They even figure out that the food is still there when they get back (barring pasture mates eating it).

Another training tip, they should always return to the barn/trailer at the same pace as they left. Of course they are usually in a hurry to get back and it is fun to turn them loose. Even more fun when you've been working your butt off to get them to pick up thier pace on the way out. Unfortunatly, that is what can cause barn souring.
 
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