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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
One of my sister's chores is feeding the bucks, who are in a small pen at the top of my 18 month old colt's pasture. A few months ago, I noticed that she gave Indy a handful of hay every time she walked through his pasture to reach the buck pen. When I asked her why, she said because that way he would leave her and the rest of the hay alone. I told her to stop doing this immediately, before he learned to expect it. I explained to her what could happen if he came to expect it to much and then didn't get it. She said that she understood and would stop.

Well, she didn't, and now when the minute she walked into Indy's pasture he swings his hindquarters at her and demands his hay. She always gives in. Our mom has found this out and when I explained why he did it to her, she said that whatever I told my sister to do about it, she would make sure my sister did it.

So, what should I tell her? I know what I would do, but my sister has zero horse experience and I don't want her to get hurt, since Indy does not respect her at all. What do you think is the best way to tackle this problem?
 

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Are you able to go a few times with your sister to straighten matters out? Depending on people as individuals, of course, showing can be more effective than telling someone how to do something (which may be part of the reason your sister is continuing as is).
 

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I don't blame your sister for throwing a handful of hay to your colt. Better that he is occupied than trying to snatch hay or barging into her and knocking her over.

I agree that he shouldn't be doing it but, that is down to you to either get him in or hold him whilst she crosses to feed the bucks. Any young horse is going try and grab something he shouldn't have and she is trying to avert an accident happening. It is not easy to be carrying something and drive any horse away let alone a young fractious colt.
 

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If she has zero horse experience, then why have her feed young horses? Issues will come up, and obviously they have if she gives him his own hay. She tried to deal with it in her own way because she has no horse experience.

I don't know if you are capable, or if you need a trainer to come out. But maybe get her to work with him on ground manners. Teach her.

She should be taught anyways if she's going to be helping. Problems come up and she needs to be able to see the danger and how to curb that.
 

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Is there a way she could feed the bucks without having to go through his pasture? Can you create a isle way for her? It just seems that if she has zero horse experience than it might be safer to not have them in together. He could just one day be full of shenanigans and kick out in play. She may not know the signs or get to close and get hurt. Also, this would eliminate the problem of her feeding him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Good suggestions, everyone. Not going through his pasture really isn't an option, so I think for the next week or so I will go out with her when she feeds the bucks and keep Indy under control, and also teach her to control him and earn his respect back. I also have this sound I make with all my horses, it's kind of a "no, stay away" sound, so I could teach her how to do that.

Thanks!
 

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A lunge whip. When I feed hay, no one is allowed near me or my cart/sleigh. They're not even allowed on the pile until I move away from it. I can enter a herd of ten and feed grain to one horse, everyone loose. The first couple of times, I need to back up my threats with said whip. After that, it's a point and a growl, maybe an occasional reminder (goofy geldings always like to check if the rules change now & then).

The bubble is critical to the person's safety. The more energetic/animated the horse, the larger the bubble.

Walk through, ignoring the horses and keeping them off you with the whip. Two, maybe three days of this and they will hardly lift their heads when she enters.

If she's concerned about warm fuzzies, she can re-enter the pasture without the hay and a smaller crop. Invite them in to visit, no treats, crop neutral but be ready to drive off a horse that becomes too pushy.
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Is she trying to walk through a horse pasture with hay and not have the horse be on top of her? I'm not trying to be funny (well ok I am) but you may as well try to stop the rain from coming! Chasing him off with a whip is something you -could- do, though without sufficient experience to predict the outcome and deal with 'situations'..well as the late great Bill Dorrance put it "surprising things can happen"! A less dangerous approach might be to throw a flake of hay to him over the fence, as far as possible away from the gate, before entering the pasture. It's okay to carry a whip with you, but if you get him busy eating before you even start it's not likely you'll have to ever use it.
 

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It's to your advantage to have all family members be able to safely catch hold and do basic handling with your horses. Part of that basic handling involves mowing how to gain some respect. Just incase anything happens!
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A friend came very close to getting kicked in the face. It was her quick reflexes that saved her, otherwise we'd have been attending her funeral.
 
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