View Full Version : Getting a horse out of a bad habit?
17th October 2010, 11:16 PM
Tilly has this really bad habit of begging when she wants something :miffed:
She usually does it on a morning after being stabled and she's keen to get out to the field. It's a pain though as it's dangerous when I'm trying to change rugs etc and I worry about her getting her leg over her lead rope so I have to tie her up very short. If I bring tack and she knows she's being ridden before going out to the field, she doesn't do it!?
However she does it at other times too like if she wants to come in
She has never been taught to do this as a "trick." She tends to lift her front legs up while she eats, so I think when she is hungry or thinking about coming in for her feed or going out to graze that she automatically does it through association?
Anyway, I just wondered if any of you have ideas for getting her to stop doing it, as it's driving me mad. Thanks x
17th October 2010, 11:27 PM
Pawing is a natural feeding behavior and some will just do it naturally if they want food.
17th October 2010, 11:37 PM
Ditto Bex - a lot of horses do that as normal behaviour so I don't think you will really be able to stop it fully but maybe teach her not to do it when your doing up the front of her rug
17th October 2010, 11:44 PM
I don't mind her doing it while she's eating as I know a lot of horses raise their front legs as they eat.
I just wondered if there's a method for teaching her not to do it on the yard for example when I'm changing her rugs? It's a bit dangerous especially when I'm reaching underneath for the belly straps and her front hoof is waggling about :eek:
18th October 2010, 12:48 AM
I'm not sure that you can teach her to stop doing it without completely changing her feeding times/ place of feeding.
Baby was taught to do it as a 'trick' by her previous owner and she only gives us her 'paw' for treats whether you ask for it or not. Its so cute how she will change legs on cue. She never paws the ground whilst eating her feed though. Chip on the other hand doesn't beg but he does a bouncy front leg movement whilst he's eating!!
21st October 2010, 12:12 PM
Beau does this before he goes in the stable, can't get him out of it. Lexus also does it but while he is eating and his feed goes everywhere!
21st October 2010, 02:13 PM
Rhea thinks it's impatience with Tilly and I think she's right. She only gets a small feed at night but she does the leg thing at other totally unrelated times like when I'm putting her turnout rug on in the morning.
It's kind of like her telling me to hurry up. But dangerous obviously as her hoof is up when I'm trying to fasten her rugs.
21st October 2010, 06:25 PM
I have had some success with a horse that does this when being tacked up (all checks made and there is nothing physical now but probably was in the past and now it has become a nervous habit).
All I do is stop when she does it and gently squeeze the fleshy bit (at the back of her front leg just under her elbow) until she puts the leg on the ground, then carry on as though nothing happened. She still does it but much less frequently. be prepared to spend some time though as at first it make tacking up a long process.
21st October 2010, 08:58 PM
Thank you Partner I'll try that in the morning :)
23rd October 2010, 12:44 PM
Buy a wide leather dog collar and a length of metal chain. Slide chain onto collar and fix around her leg above her knee. When she raises her leg to paw it will rattle & knock against her leg - this should help to stop her.
Don't reward the behaviour with any attention form you.
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