Aggressive at Feeding time

We’ve had a lot of animals come in over the years that have been aggressive at feeding time. Kicking out at person or other horses, striking with front legs, nipping at, turning haunches toward, pinning ears are all signs that the horse/dog feel threatened that you are in their space and may take what is they believe to be their property/food.
How do we retrain this habit out of the animal:
1) set boundaries of unacceptable behavior.
2) Don’t show fear.
3) Be patient, calm, and nonthreatening.
Ways of which I have retrained horses to not kick, attack, strike out at me when I feed them are: I have only fed the horse when they are showing a positive attitude and patience- I will stand and wait for them to put their ears forward, back away from me, etc. (BOUNDARY #1) I approach the horse as the leader not the submissive one. As a leader – the horse will naturally respect me. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ABUSE THEM OR BE MEAN. ( #2- be a leader)
(#3) I calmly put grain in the dish and tell them to wait for the command to eat. This requires patience on both our parts. I wait form them to be calm they wait for me to give command. I never wait so long as to exasperate the horse.
Over time I have found that this technique works great for aggressive horses.

One Response to “Aggressive at Feeding time”

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  1. Rachel says:

    This is really helpful! It helps me to understand horse behavior so I can adjust my behavior. I appreciate your differentiation between approaching the horse as a leader/setting boundaries versus being aggressive and/or mean when approaching them. Thanks!!

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