what a kick - NOT

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dixie_belle

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I have two minis and am really short on experience. One of my guys (the larger of the two) is ruled by his stomach. He is such a chow hound. I've noticed he'll gobble all his food down in the evenings, then go eat what the little guy hasn't eaten yet. So i'm concerned Fluffy isn't getting all his food (although from the size of both of them, neither one is suffering!!) anyway, this weekend, i decided Spot (big guy) didn't need to be eating Fluffy's food so i turned him away, several times, in fact. The last time i did, he turned around (and i thought he was going to leave) and he lashed out with both feet. Naturally, i was standing right there and got it in the meaty part of my thigh. Luckily nothing was hurt seriously but i left the area (discreation being the better part of valor) Since then i've been seperating them in the evenings. Spot goes in the stall, no food, Fluffy goes out in the loafing shed with the feeders. I seperate the food into the two feeders, wait until Fluffy has a good head start, and then release Spot from jail. Last night he went right to Fluffy's feeder and pushed him out of the way so i wanted to move him to his feeder where his food was. He turned his back to me was was fixin to let go again when i wisely retreated. Now here is the problem......I don't want him to learn to kick (although i think he already has that trick down pat) so should i simply seperate them each feeding and feed apart or can i break him of this? any ideas?

Shelley
 

Mona

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You may not know it, but by your retreating each time he kicks/attempts to kick, you are encouraging his dominance over you. If it was me, I would do what you described in the latter part of your post, but I would also have a crop/whip and as soon as he turns butt to you, and before he even has time to kick, smack his rear end with the whip. Show him that is NOT acceptable behavior.

The way he is treating Fluffy, is normal horse behavior...he is showing that he is the dominant one, but when he involves his people(YOU!) into this equation, it is NOT acceptable, and you must deal with it now, before it gets worse.

Good Luck! I know you will get many good training responses from your post, and maybe mine is no good, but that is what I would try to start with, if it was my horses.
 

dixie_belle

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Actually, i was very concerned that my retreating was an encouragement of his unacceptable behavior. But i was unwilling, last evening, to be sporting another huge black bruise on any part of my body. ha ha ha

i have never spoken harshly to the boys, much less hit them, so my first thought was to get feedback here to see how to handle this budding problem.

i do not want to have an animal that kicks when he doesn't get his way. that is totally unacceptable.

i would prefer not to hit him, but am open to all ideas on how to nip this problem in the bud. keep in mind that i am a novice and have only had my boys for a short time. i'm learning, as are they!
 

ChrystalPaths

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Hi, first I adore the names "Spot & Fluffy". I picture 2 very spoiled and well loved chubby fellas.

Second YOU are lead mare. I'd get that straight in YOUR head and his pretty quick. By retreating you are telling him he is alpha horse and that is a bad bad thing. You have to be BIGGER than him.

Raise up your arms, charge growling into him if he spins that butt towards you. His big soft butt or shoulder is just made for a flat footed kick, no toes. If you charge him he will be so shocked he'll back off and look at you like you have horns. THAT is exactly what you want.

You could "tie" Spot or hold him while he eats "his" feed all the while growling QUIT if he so much as looks at Fluffys food. Perhaps one should be fed in the shed and one out? This is one reason I feed mine in a stall but it isn't possible for many. Go look at Mona's pic on the thread "feed time". All her pretties lined up in a row eating like ladies. It can be done. Usually they work out the pecking order and settle. Sounds like Spot is being a bit of a bully piggy.

Ok went back and re read your post and it says you let Spot "out of jail" to feed. Why not feed him IN JAIL. Only takes a few minutes for a mini to clean up the feed. THAT may well help Fluffy out. Or put Fluffy in for his feed and leave Spot out where you can work him on behaving at feeding time.

Still you need to address Spot's bad manners. Oh, carry a small bucket or something similar and toss it at him if he turns to kick, if you can't bring yourself to kick him. Startle is a good way to get his attention on you as BOSS. Trust me that if chubby butt can take a sharp hooved kick, your shoe, sneaker or boot won't hurt him. After he is a good boy reward him greatly.

Best of luck..remember YOU are the lead mare...repeat it in your head alot!

Gosh I love the names.
 
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justaboutgeese

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You will gat many responses offering many suggestions. I agree with Mona in this case. He has figured out that if he threatens you he wins. He needs to loose a round in order for him to respect you as the alpha.
 

Marsha Cassada

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I, too, am a softy about dominating my horses. But they don't have the same feelings about you, I am afraid. You MUST not let him get away with that behavior. For one thing, there is the danger of founder if he is eating other food PLUS his own. You are responsible to see that he does not do that. If you cannot bring yourself to smack him, use the whip to lash the ground by him. Drive him away by lashing the ground. You will not hurt his feelings at all. In fact, he will be anxious to please you. If you find you cannot live with a horse you have to dominate, you should let him go and find one that is not so hard. You have to work with your own temperament, and if you don't care to be a "boss mare", then you may want to get a horse that will work with you. Good luck.

Marsha
 

Ashley

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Tie the big guy up at feeding time. And I do not tolorate kicking, if one trys to kick me they get kicked in the butt right back. NOrmally one time cures there need to try to kick.
 

Voodoo

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I agreee, a swift kick, or lash with a whip will quickly let him know that kicking is not a good thing. By retreating you are only showing him that he is the boss, and that is totally unacceptable. You really need to nip this is the butt though (quite literally
)before it gets too far out of hand. Best of luck and I promise he won't hate you for it.
 

susanne

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Don't forget the 3 second rule -- you have 3 seconds to make them think they're gonna die. Muster up your biggest, loudest, harshest QUIT!!!! -- and use body language to show that YOU are in charge...loom over him like a huge beast. Move into his body space and loom over him. Once he has backed down, tell him what a good boy he is, and scratch his magic spot.

You need to be the benevolent dictator...if he misbehaves, you're the witchiest boss mare around, but when he does things YOUR way, you're the kindest being in the world. Don't think of it as being harsh -- they are happier when they know what is expected of them. It is not a kindness to let him become a dangerous horse.

The food thing, as previously mentioned, will probably never change unless Fluffy suddenly becomes more dominant, which is unlikely. I would separate them by at feeding time and make that part a non-issue.
 

Minimor

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I too would do exactly as Mona said. One good smack with a crop will hurt you a lot more than it hurts him
 

lilhorseladie

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I feed all my horses seperately. That way I know who eats what and that no one is running someone else off. I too would use the whip idea or a swift kick in the hind end if you can get to him. He needs to know who is Boss.
 

Danielle_E.

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Dixie Belle. You have two options as I see it - the one is to feed them seperate for their entire meal OR you have to become the "alpha" in this situation and not accept this behaviour. I know you said you have never "hit" your horses or spoken loudly to them. Well if you are going to be the "alpha" in this situation and keep feeding them together you are going to HAVE TO put yourself in the situation as if you were a horse meaning what do you think another "alpha" horse would do in this situation when your boy did this - he would kick right back at him and not allow it to happen SOOOOOOO nobody is telling you to "beat" your horse here but you will have to reprimand with the 3 second rule in mind and a quick rap with a crop on his behind WILL not hurt him but WILL make him think twice about kicking out because he will associate kicking with something not pleasant and you SHOULD at the same time yell "QUIT". It may only take the one time and you will have "educated" your boy that this is not acceptable behaviour.
 
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Miniv

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I ditto Danielle's post.

The most important thing is not to give him mixed messages. Set the ground rules and stick to them.

MA
 
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