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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a filly at our barn who likes to stick her hoof in the water trough in the pasture and splash the water everywhere. Of course, this gets the water quite muddy so we have to clean it out several times a week. Not only is this kind of irritating for us and a waste of water, but there is the possibility of her getting her foot stuck in there and freaking out. The filly is a year and eight months old. We cannot see the pasture from the barn, but when we are out there and she sticks her foot in there, she is corrected. She also does this with the water bucket in her stall. She is in an outdoor stall so her water bucket is just a plastic bin on the ground.

What can we do to completely stop this behavior?
 

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Is there any way that you could hang her stall bucket up, so that she can reach it with her face but not her feet? Not sure what to suggest about the trough on that track though (I'm assuming that the trough is much bigger than her bucket). Is it like a boredom thing? Maybe try giving her a jolly-ball or other horse toy to play with instead of her buckets.

How exactly are you correcting her when she does that?
 

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She's playing! I've seen horses who stick both front feet in the trough, and then just stand there, lol.....but I live in Florida, so its hot like 80 percent of the time and I can't blame them. However, I can see how it would be annoying (I also work at a dog daycare, and when dogs do it it irks me to no end!)

I second the suggestion of getting her water buckets off the ground, or if its at all possible, switch to an automatic waterer that attaches to the stall wall so she only has enough water to drink and not play in.
 

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uhh get over it?
There is nothing you can do to stop her when you're not there. Babies do this alot. My 11 month old tosses his grain tub around, if I hang it he just paws at the ground. She should grow out of it. Dont make it into a big deal. Move it around so it dosent get muddy in one specific spot if she dumps it.
 

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One of my fillies went through that when she was around that age.
I tried punishing her, I'd give her leg a smack with a stick :lol: Then I started ignoring her and she stopped. I don't know if it was the lack of attention or if she just outgrew it.
She is an attention hog so I think the ignoring it did the best job.
 

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Ya'll are lucky yours outgrew it. I have a grown percheron that still does it :?. He has already ruined 2 different tanks by pawing a hole in the bottom of it.
 

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Ya'll are lucky yours outgrew it. I have a grown percheron that still does it :?. He has already ruined 2 different tanks by pawing a hole in the bottom of it.
I saw a piece by Jesse Beery (the old time trainer) where he took a wood block attached to a rope then attached to a single hobble and strapped it on the leg. The block was positioned so that if the horse pawed it would hit him in the canons. I was getting ready to try it when she quit doing it. Saro had a huge hole dug at her feed bucket :shock:
 

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My filly does the same thing. She has ruined a big water trough and a brand new water heater by doing it. I don't really think you can stop it. If your not around every second of the day you cant be consistent with disciplining her. I think it will just confuse her if she gets in trouble only when your around. Hopefully she will just grow out of it.
 

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My 18 yr old OTTB has been doing this for all her years (from what I gather from her previous owner, I've had her since she was 10) and there really is nothing you can do to stop it. My mare only does it in the summer when she is hot and feeling playful.

So my advice is to learn to laugh.... and have some time to fill the tank back up :D
 

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D puts both of her feet in the tank. My farrier says she probably does it because she's got dry feet, but I don't buy it. She's always had great feet, and she still does it even when it's muddy or rainy out. She just loves to play in it. I think she likes the sound most of all.
 

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Yes you can "correct" it. Ive just gone through 2 horses that did the same thing and its maddening, not to mention that the others get to drink scummy, filthy water or none at all since one in particular splashed all of it out. And this one also totally ruined a brand new heater coil at the bottom of the trough, so it has to be stopped - its no good saying "laugh about it" ... and it might be funny the first time or possibly the 5th time, but by the time the 50th time has rolled around you are ready to tether them to the mailbox with a "Free Horse" sign around their neck ...

2 things you can try depending on your location and weather.

Get a green garbage can and elevate it off the ground with cement blocks or wood blocks and bungey it to a post in the paddock. The height and the narrow opening of the top of the garbage can doesnt encourage or allow them to stick feet in there. That should stop 95% or more of the behaviour

Elevate your 100 gallon large trough up off the ground as well. Dont even think of using the shallow smaller troughs (like the 40 gallon ones) as the mere lack of height encourages them to go for a swim in there. Mine ended up being 18 inches up off the ground before it stopped. 6 inches was useless, 12 inches didnt stop it, but finally 18 inches did.

Muck buckets or shallow water troughs are useless for these horses. You will have more ruined troughs and/or a lot of trips out to the paddocks to refill them if you do ...

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wow, thank you for all the responses! :)

We discipline her by using a sharp "hey" or "no" and usually smack her, clap our hands, or spray her with the hose (if we have it on) if that doesn't get a response.

Thanks for the help TrueColors! I am only a stable hand at the barn and the BO doesn't seem to be very concerned with the water issue as I and the other ladies I work with are. But I'll see what I can do. I'm not sure how much water our trough can hold, just that it takes 15 minutes to fill with high water pressure. I like your second suggestion best and I will mention it when the topic comes up.
 

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Well I hoped to find an answer to the pawing the water bucket. I have two mare's one is 5 and in foal, the other is 15 and a well behaved girl..Beth the younger one started this last week and now Lacey is doing it. I went out 4 times today to wash out the bucket put fresh water in it, only to have them splash it all out. It's hot and I hope they don't dehydrate.
 
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