How do your horses behave at feeding time?
Are they pushy and at times aggressive or sweet and respectful?
Can you safely and comfortably feed without separating out the herd?
Can you feed one horse out in the group and not be bothered?
At my house I have what I call the feeding commandments and every horse that comes in for training or otherwise is taught the rules from the first feeding.
The Feeding Commandments
1. The person feeding must be allowed to complete the task at their leisure.
2. All horses must maintain a safe and respectful distance in relation to the person feeding and will be corrected accordingly.
3. No bullying or aggressive behavior will be allowed towards the person feeding or the other horses.
4. Feed will not be offered in general until all horses have settled down and are at or near their respective feeding stations.
5. Feed will not be offered until the individual horse has settled down and is at their respective feeding station.
6. No horse is allowed to change stations or steal from the other horses until the person feeding has completely left the area.
7. All horses must walk in front or to the side of the person feeding at all times. Horses are not allowed to "push" the person feeding from behind.
8. The person feeding may easily push any horse off their feed at anytime and the horse must move away respectfully and wait until the person releases their meal.
9. The person feeding may change the feeding order at anytime and all horses must respectfully wait at their stations and not try and steal from others.
10. The person feeding is allowed to feed only one horse if they choose and all other horses must wait a respectful distance and not try to sneak in or bully the chosen horse or person feeding.
11. The person feeding is allowed to feed all horses by hand and all horses must wait patiently for their turn and not crowd or bully the person feeding or the other horses.
Where do your horses stand in relation to the feeding commandments? Do you and your horses follow any, some, and all of these rules?
Stay tuned for the next post where I break down the rules and talk about how you too can achieve them.