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fallin4minis

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Hi everone,

My 2yo gelding has always pawed while eating his feed, even as a weanling. I never considered it a big problem since he did it while eating only. I couldn't always be with him while he ate so I didn't think there was much I could do about it anyway. Well, he now does it when he's tied up and twice recently pawed while standing (in hand). Both times I've popped his shoulder and firmly shouted 'NO'! I do have a crop that I'll now keep with me to use when he paws while being asked to stand still.

My husband just completed a wash rack/ grooming area with concrete floor (which I love
and I've been waiting to use) and I need to break him of this habit so he doesn't chip his hooves or injure himself.

I would love to hear suggestions from you who may have corrected this problem with one of your horses.

Thanks!
 

Alex

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Ive been wondering the same thing. My stallion always paws when he eats his grain. He never colics or chokes or any thing. Ive tried putting a couple large rocks in the tub in case he was bolting, Ive tried raising his tub. Any Ideas?
 

Basketmiss

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My mini Giddy does the same thing! He only paws while eating his grain, its like he is so excited he cant contain himself!!
 

wildoak

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Pawing is an annoying habit at best, and one that can damage feet & legs at worst, but it's near impossible to break. You might put mats down in your wash area, would at least minimize the concussion to his legs and do away with the noise (I think they like to hear themselves sometimes LOL). My farrier many years ago solved it with a big horse by bending in the ends of a horseshoe slightly and slipping it around her fetlock like a bracelet. It did not break the habit, but when she wore it in the stall she wouldn't paw more than once or twice. I worried about the impact of the shoe banging on her fetlock, but in her case it was better than constant pawing. If they paw while tied, try shortening the lead - harder to paw if they are tied high and short, BUT this said I don't recommend leaving a horse tied that way for long or unsupervised as it's uncomfortable for them.

Bottom line - it's near impossible to break the habit but you can minimize it while you are around. I have watched mine on camera and the majority of pawing is done while they know I am in the barn.


Jan
 

Reignmaker Miniatures

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I have always been told that if a horse paws while standing tied, they need to spend more time standing tied. If they are tied regularly for long periods of time (daily) and never released while, or soon after pawing, they learn patience eventually and accept the standing better. This probably won't help much with the pawing during meals tho.
 

Debd

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I have a 14 month old gelding that paws when he eats, but also when I am spending time with him. If I stop paying attention to him he will paw (I've learned to always be ready for it) I have begun to grab his leg when he does it and hold it. He doesn't mind for a short time, but after a while he wants to put it down and I continue to hold it. He is slowly realizing that it isn't much fun pawing at me. I'm hoping with time this will break his habit.

Good luck
 

Keri

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Mine do it while tied. I leave them tied until they can learn to stand nice and happy. Sometimes they are there for hours. I just tie them in the dirt. Need to tie them where I need a hole dug and then plant a tree when they are done.
But after a few times of that, they stand nice and pretty.
 

chandab

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My farrier many years ago solved it with a big horse by bending in the ends of a horseshoe slightly and slipping it around her fetlock like a bracelet. It did not break the habit, but when she wore it in the stall she wouldn't paw more than once or twice. I worried about the impact of the shoe banging on her fetlock, but in her case it was better than constant pawing.
I had a set of those horseshoes made for two of my saddle horses that were horrible about pawing; it cured one completely, the other one needed the "bracelet" while tied.
 

fallin4minis

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Jan, I think you're right- I think he does like to hear himself! And the mats are an EXCELLENT idea, why didn't I think of that :DOH!

Thanks barefoot for the article link, makes sense. Now that I think about it, I used to always tie him up while cleaning his stall but I've gotten out of the habit of doing it. I had just started letting him 'hang out' with me and then the game of 'keep away' with the muck bucket began


I'll make it a point for him to spend more time just being tied. A good lesson on patience and just a good thing to do daily anyway.

Thank you all for your replies,

Fran
 

JewelsOK

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Where did I just read about this.... July's edition of America's Horse (AQHA magazine) The solution that the author (Dennis Moreland) of the article had was a "kick chain" - leather band that went around one pastern and had a 12" piece of stainless steel chain attached so that when the horse pawed, the chain will slap the other leg when the horse paws. Supposedly the horse learns pretty quickly that he is causing his own pain and stops. It allows the horse to train itself. The author has a website: www.quarterhorseoutfitters.net

I have also seen people hobble the horse while it stands tied.

Good luck!
 

Indian*R*A*I*N*Dance

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Rain is starting to develope this habbit since he's alone right now. If I have him tied and he does it I will pick up that leg like you would to pick it out and hold it there until he stops pawing the air. Also, if im combing out his main/tail and he does it i'll give him a smack w/ the comb on the shoulder and say no. It seems to be working, hes not doing it as much as he use to.
 

MInx

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Our first little mini, tiny little SHortcake did that and Carl put a square of plywood on the floor of her stall under her feeder and covered it with the bedding, at least then she couldn't dig to China..oddly enough after a while she quit the habit having decided we think she didn't like the sound.


Anyway it worked for us. Maxine
 

Bess Kelly

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While you are being annoyed and trying to get them to stop
.........remember to watch their hooves because this isn't as much of a chipping problem as a wearing it out of level. Sooner than you think the toe wears off, the front of one or both sides and the begin the walk "off", wearing the hoof wrongly. You'll hardly notice until it gets pronounced but, it's there.

The chain on a bracelet does annoy them when it smacks the other leg!
Definately a "self-training" situation and trust me, they will pay more attention to it than you think. Rarely causes extreme pain but, it is a sting and something they don't want to have happen. Might scare them the first time or two so be sure there's room for the "jump" to see "who did that?"
 

AnnaC

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Out of interest the first stallion I had was a 'paw' fanatic! But mostly in anticiaption of his food/while eating/seeing me coming with his headcollar (when he was stabled in the winter months) ready to turn him out. Therefore I mostly put it down to excitement. BUT all his retained daughters do and so do their daughters! Agreed they are certainly not as bad as he was - mostly doing it as their food is on its way.

Has anyone else found a 'genetic' connection??

Anna
 

wade3504

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Pawing is a horse's natural instinct to want to move forward. It's in their nature to basically be moving all the time whether eating or doing anything else. If they can't move forward they paw. Even in a natural setting when a horse grazes they are usually always moving, maybe not fast, but moving. They weren't really meant to stand still so really it's not a bad habit that the horse came up with.

I'd get mats for the wash rack but to get them to completely stop I don't think that will happen.

Amanda
 

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