Aggressive Eater!

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LuvMyBabies

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My little Scooter is the most aggressive eater I've ever seen! He has been this way ever since the first day he got here. He pins his ears, not at me, not at another horse, but he acts like he has to kill that food as he eats it, it's hilarious to watch! He paws the ground and keeps bumping his feed bucket the whole time he eats. He even drags his teeth along the bottom when it's almost gone. I have never saw this behavior in any other horse I have had. A little about him...he was nearly wild when I got him. The nice guy I got him from had sort of rescued him. He said when he got him he had never been handled much and stalled alone much of his 7 years in this world to that point. He said when he got him he had to get his feet fixed and groomed him and he made him beautiful again. He just couldn't get him to settle down. I took him and when he came home he would climb up the walls if you tried to touch him. He would threaten to kick but never really did. I would just take a chair and sit in there with him. Eventually he got closer and eventually I could pet him. I put my calm little mare in there with him, it's a 10 x 12 stall, and she showed him he had nothing to fear. They are very close and inseparable. After a while I started gently petting him when he eats, and I protect him from my mare stealing his food. He was the aggressive eater from day1 though. It doesn't have anything to do with her. He's my little sweetheart now and I can get him to come to me from the pasture even if the others won't. I still haven't figured out what causes the aggressive eating though. Sorry so long, I just wanted to fully describe him. :)
 

chandab

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Was he starved at one time? Sometimes, horses that have been starved are aggressive eaters. Or if they were in a herd at one time and had to fight for their feed, it sometimes sticks with them even when given individual portions that they don't have to fight for.
 

LuvMyBabies

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I don't know his whole story, if only they could talk. I have wondered about that before. He was a beautiful mental mess when I got him. I love them all but I think I'm closest to him because I have put so much time in trying to get him to realize he can trust me, he is safe. He (the guy I bought him from) did say he had rescued him. He had him gelded and tried to work with him. He did have him healthy and groomed show ready when I got him. He just was not mentally show ready nor trusting at all. I do believe he trusts me now, and my mare, and slowly he is starting to trust other family members. He may always eat that way, I don't know. I do know as long as I live he will always be with me. He will never have to be afraid again.
 

Magic Marker Minis

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He's very cute.

I do know we have a few minis that paw while eating. They were never in the same environment as your boy. I do have a yearling colt that paws, paces back and forth in front of his feeder, and is always rubbing his head on his feeder.

I would say the same as the person above. Probably had to fight for his food and hasn't gotten over it. He may never relax during feeding but at least he will know he is in a home that will never hurt him.
 

LuvMyBabies

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I stand beside him every time he eats his feed. He has come to expect it. I gently rub him and sometimes he gets still and relaxed at least some. He always starts off eating crazy wild though. He never shows aggressive behavior to me or anyone else and he is the lowest in the pecking order in the field. I think you could be right though. He may have had a worse past than I realize. He's my little buddy and I hope one day he realizes he is home, safe, and the only thing he should worry about is not getting too fat. I've had him just a year now. He has came a long way from the skittish, crazy little guy he once was. My hope is one day he will be as settled as my mare. I can toss hula hoops over her head and she doesn't mind. My son and I can toss hula hoops like frisbes to each other and she will stand still in the middle. One day I hope Scooter can be that trusting. It will just take time and patience and he can have all that he needs. :)
 

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