Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Bad Attitudes!

It's typical these days. With the girls locked in and not allowed out in the pasture, even though they have plenty of room to stretch their legs, we have some very bad attitudes at breakfast these days. Trust me, neither of these girls are lacking for food. As you can see by the pinned back ears and pursed lips, the bad attitudes are flying. I slept in today so my husband went out to feed and he said Kola actually reared. Thankfully, he just feeds through the fence. She has never done that when I've gone in there, but I received a whole lot of attitude yesterday when I tried to halter her so that I could get a closer look at her eye, which I think is doing fine. Now I did win in the end. They've been pissy for two months solid now since the closing of the pasture, mostly Misty pissed about the pasture and just involves her ignoring me. Kola suddenly now over the food. It is especially cold today. I'm hoping it will warm up by the end of the week and then we will work on a few manners. I can't do much in the pile of snow, but halters will be donned and we will do some leading and work on general respect. This Spring will be alot of lunge line. Any suggestions for today's attitude. He was tempted to hold their feed. I probably would have made them wait a bit longer for breakfast. We still have three months of this! Get over it girls!


photogchic said...

Brrrrr! Stay warm. Not sure what to do about the nasty behavior. I will check back and see if someone has a solution for you.

Callie said...

Today, attitudes were still a bit pissy, but with each other rather than with me. Stephen often mixes the routine which confuses them. I stick with my routine although varying the time that I feed in the morning. They get grain first and then while eating their grain, I throw the hay. Stephen will sometimes do that but what started them off yesterday was he threw hay first and then grained. They look forward to that grain. They only get grained in the morning.

Kathy C said...

I have found the same thing about routines. I can usually adjust my way of feeding to get better results from the herd, but as soon as someone else feeds I get reports of rearing, bucking etc.

More times than not it is due to the order of things being done. In general none of the behavior is actually directed at the person feeding, which is a blessing, but to peple unfamiliar with horses it is alarming.

Rising Rainbow said...

We never feed if the horses are pissy. Any kind of attitude and we shooh them away and don't put their food down until their ears come up.

Sometimes it takes a few times for them to realize that it is the attitude we're after. So I try and use my voice to reenforce by telling them "good" or whatever you use at even a flicker of an ear.

Letting them be pushy over food is a really bad thing because in the herd, the leader controls the food. The leader would never let them get away with any kind of challenging gesture because it would compromise control of the herd.

If you let them push you around (be aggressive over food) the message is you are NOT the leader. That is the last think you want them to learn.

Anonymous said...

You can't blame the horses for their attitudes if they are stuck inside their pen. They have a lot of bottled up energy. Especially since it is so cold. All you can do is make sure that they don't cross into your personal space in that frame of mind. Allow them to express their emotions, but just not anywhere near you.

Also, I don't know if you are riding at the moment or not, but if you aren't, definitely don't grain them. Feed extra hay instead. It will keep them warmer for longer.

Callie said...

They've got the usual winter "piss-offs" Not riding until Spring, too snowy and cold. They only get their grain in the AM and when I'm feeding, they generally mind their P & Qs. Don't worry, I'm Alpha. You're right, they want the pasture, but it's not happenin'.

Janey Loree said...

Sounds like someone has "pen-fever"! The only time we have attitude at feeding time is when someone else feeds. We all are creatures of habit and seem to act out when our schedules are changed...

Happy New Year!!!

BarnGoddess said...

yikes! it looks sooo cold.

I read this earlier but did not have time to post.

I wanted to tell you, my horses are acting the same way-grr

They KNOW I am the boss, I have to remind then occasionally.

Tonite as I was carrying Scooter's feed bucket, he was running around me in circles. Normally he just waits at his place but not tonite.
Maybe some round pen time or time spent at the end of a line will be well deserved.

Callie said...

Funny enough, this afternoon when I woke up and went out to feed at about 4pm, they were remarkably behaved. It was much warmer today and things are melting, so I grabbed about 4 flakes of hay, crawled between the fence went to put it in their feeder, but the feeder was melty and icky inside, so I decided to walk the hay out to the middle of the training pen in the cleaner snow and they carefully followed without trying to snatch it and were really well behaved even though I changed the routine. I needed them out of the way because I had a wheelbarrow to fill with crap from the barn and had to clean and top off troughs. I was impressed, they both stood nicely to allow me to clean out eye boogers. I think they appreciate my time with them, even if I'm just in there doing stuff around them. They like my company and get pissed if I'm not around.

Wayne Jones said...

My horses are the same when i put them out in the morning, i put four sections of hay on the ground 15 to 20 feet apart so they can move away from each other, feeding them so close makes them try and keep the hay to themselves.
They also get aggressive by the gate, coming back to the stables for the night.
My partner Janet has a problem putting them out & bringing them in together
I’ve tried to show her so many times, the horses simply don’t respect her
She often gets frustrated I bring them in & they walk like lambs back to the
Stables, our little Troughbred often chewing & licking his lips. bless him
My horse 18hand Cleveland Bay is always grumpy in the cold but resects me
As I respect him.

I agree with ‘Rising Rainbow’ they are cold, but should respect your space to this end you must be the boss…and I don’t mean whip or rope, but invade their space make them walk back giving you your space. But never push or wave your arms
Just move talking to them they know when you mean it, same way Janet talks to me!
But never push them just stand strong.
They are only looking for grass as its winter here in the UK we have frost & no grass.
I think my partner is too soft on them & this shows, can’t understand why she’s the boss at home but not with the horses ?
She shouts & i jump ?

Callie said...

Thanks Wayne, I've been home all this week. Last week my hours at work were a bit mixed up because of the holidays, so they've been fine with me.They give my husband grief. If they're in my space, I usually just have to say "back off" and they respect me. This is why I have mares. Geldings don't respect me. I've found that my mares have bonded well with me and respect me. Our weather here has been crazy.

jonipony said...

I have two ponies and they are clicker trained. Before I dump their feed into their bowl (they eat together) I ask both of them to backup. When they are backing up (in action) I click and then dump the feed in their bowl.

Sometimes I mix it up and make them both touch my hand first (target my hand) then backup.

Horses that are not being worked do NOT need any grain, just more hay. I feed my two ponies a few raw kitchen fruit and vegetable scraps and a handful of alfalfa pellets once a day. This is more of a treat than feed.