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Feeding Question

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Feeding Question
  •    I have always herd that it's not good to feed horses treats from you hand. They say it makes the horse pushy and always in your space. But the other day I saw know someone that feed alot of treats from her hands. The horses respect her all the time. They never push her around or anything. Is it ok to do?
  • As with just about anything else, there are going to be "it depends". The fact that you're hand feeding is not the issue. It's more if your feeding or the horse is helping itself. You need to make sure that you're not allowing the horse to enter your personal space. If you approach him, there is no issue. He will need friendly reminders to not approach you at all but this can easily be taught. This is no different than a horse crowding you at feeding time.
  • It comes down to who your horse views as dominant.  If they think they are, you have a problem that needs to be corrected before you get hurt.  (Remember: When you work with horses, its not if you get hurt but when and how bad.)  Horses think nothing of kicking each other to enforce the chain of command in a herd.  A 1,000 lb. horse kicking another 1,000 lb. horse rarely results in serious injury, but the same 1,000 lb. horse connecting with a 150 lb. person can be deadly.  Giving treats to a horse is okay so long as they know who's boss and they have been invited into your space for that treat.  I rarely give treats and never on a daily basis.  I want my horse to welcome me for the attention I provide not the treat in my pocket.