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 STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING

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Tammy



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PostSubject: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Mon Feb 21, 2011 8:34 pm

Looking for some insight into Stetch's pawing, what to do about it or whether it's just something I'll have to live with. He does it to show impatience. I've been reading up on how to teach your horse patience but I can't find anything about what to do if they ALREADY have the pawing habit. He does it at feeding time, if separated from the others, when standing in the crossties, if tied outside, on the trailer, etc. I'm so confused. Do I ignore it? Do I yell at him to stop? Do I give him a tap tap until he stops? Any suggestions would be welcomed with open arms and an open mind.
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Ellie*Mae

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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 7:38 am

Tammy, this may or may not work for you....when she was young, my late mare Abby would paw when she was tied, everytime she lifted her leg I put my foot in front of it so she would hit herself on the shin, I didn't kick her, or say a word, I just put my foot up so she hit herself. If I was brushing her I would watch from the corner of my eye so I could catch her at the point she lifted the leg and put my foot up. Eventually she stopped doing it, and stood rock solid every time she was tied, stood to be harnessed and hooked, etc. Someone told me to try that and when I told him it had worked he said he was just being a smart a** when he told me to try it...go figure, it worked!

That didn't help when she was in her stall however, she was a stall kicker....:-) I think it's how the brain is wired.
Having said that, haven't been able to cure Worthy of weaving in the 17+ years we've owned him lol!
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~TC~



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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:22 am

As for pawing in the stalls or cross ties.. I like to teach my horses to stand with the stall opened, and without being tied. Once the decision is given up to them to stay put, there is no reason to paw anymore. They could leave the situation of they wanted to.. but if they did, it would be unpleasant until they got back to where they should be.

For example, if the stall door is open and they take a step out, or come out completely, I drop what I am doing, make a fuss..(Bang a rattly, noisy shovel on the ground.. wave my arms and clap my hands up high.. and head towards them quickly, but calmly, with a method to my maddess... lol whatever it took to make it not all that fun for them to be "out of position", until they found their way back to their stall. Then I stop and go back to my business like nothing even happened. The horses have to think about their actions before they make a decision. lol The look on their face is kind of funny after an episode.. like "Wtf was THAT all about!? I am not venturing out THERE again! lol" )

Same with standing untied.. I ground tie them, but if they take a step, I just put them back. Might take some extra work..like driving their hind quartes around in a circle a few times, make them work. Have them come to a stop where they should have been, and just go back to my business like nothing happened.

Again, the decision is their's to stay put.

The pawing in both situations..(Even at feeding time) ceases. They lose the reason to paw because there is nothing holding them back anymore. Their brain is in use trying to decide to stay put instead.. lol
If a horse starts pawing at the door at feeding time, after they learned not to leave their stall unasked, I just open the door up wide.. They take a look around like "Now what?".. and just stand there and wait for their supper...lol

This has helped with patience for those times you DO have to tie to a trailer.. or stand in a line up at a show, or waiting for your turn at a clinic, etc.
If I had a horse paw under saddle, I would just put them to work.. turning on the front end, drive the hind quarters around, do something to make them work each and every time.. Not to stress them out by getting frustrated, but just put them to work...calmly, but with meaning. (you may have to reapeat this 57 times.... or 88 times.. but have it in your mind that you will do it each and everytime).

Takes determination and patience... but once you have it in place, and that expectation of them, you will want ALL your horses to stand with the stall door open etc, and have that respect to stay put unless asked to move.

The big thing is, you HAVE to let them make the mistake, instead of micromanaging them, or always keeping an eye on them.. and most of all, trust them to do what you are asking of them. If you always keep any eye on them, they are more likely to try you. becomes a game to them.

I could leave my horse, stall open, or standing untied for 5 or 10 minutes at a time while I was out of sight..

Just another option for patience training, that might work for you.

:)

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MoonShadow

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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 3:35 pm

I find this an interesting topic..

I'm just wondering, why it matters if they paw at the ground when its meal time? Is it possible that what we humans interpret as lack of patience, is maybe.. just glee that supper is about to be served.. maybe their way of applauding.. why do we always interpret some (which to me appear benign behaviors) as negative. That being said, I do understand that what may not be a problem in one situation, can be dangerous in another.
Pawing can be a sign of pain as well..or to get the ground ready for a nice roll, or a sign of aggression when directed at another horse.. That one particular behavior can in different instances mean different things. Maybe pawing at meal time is instinctive.. I often see mine pawing at the snow to get to a nice blade of grass, or pawing in the mud to find some juicy tid bit.. If that is the case, then maybe asking them not to paw,(during anticipated meal time) might be counter productive and set up frustrations, that will come out in another behavior..

My horses will on occasion paw when I'm dishing up supper.. they are not in locked stalls, and are free to come and go. My reaction is usually to look up at them and laugh.. while saying, "doesn't matter if you paw or not, won't make me move any faster".. Then they stop. It is not a behavior that particularly bothers me. I wonder now, if it should bother me???

Just some food for thought... something to paw through.. lol..
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SexyDexy

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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 4:22 pm

George has a pawing problem but it involves the fact he used to have testicles and he has a facination with his own crap. IT DRIVES ME COMPLETELY BONKERS!! He has a poo, turns around and paws the crap out of it. I can't even clean it up after because it is ground up so fine that it falls though the fork. My theory is that he is doing this to "spread his scent". Something that has stuck with him from his stallion days. I scream and yell at him like a lunatic whenever I catch him doing it, makes no difference, except the neighbours think I'm nuts. Thankfully he only does it to his and not Dex and Prince's.

He does paw in crossties when he gets bored. It only takes a growl from me and a tap on the leg and he stops though.

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~TC~



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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:23 pm

Pawing the ground for food or minerals, or a stallion that paws his manure, a horse that doesn't normally do it can be pain etc, is normal behavior to me..

Excessive Pawing that wears their hooves down due to impatience or excitement, or while under saddle (Impatience) , one that bangs it's knees against the stall door while doing it, or wearing down stall floors or holes in the stall, getting their leg caught over the electric fencing etc... I would not be interested in.. While a natural behavior.. the horse has learned that doing it for other reasons, it gets it what it wants.. which is attention.
A horse can naturally jump over something, but if it kept jumping out of the paddock, I would not enjoy that much..lol A horse naturally rolls, but I would not be interested in it doing so while I had them under saddle, or while they were standing tied... or during a halter class..

The way I look at it, if they are either in the barn, while under a halter and lead, under saddle, or while people are around, the rules change. They are to be be respectful and safe.
While in the pasture, they can do as they please, be a horse. (As long as they are being safe of course and no one ets hurt)...


It could be stress related too, like a way to release frustration. At that point it is just a symptom of a cause and maybe the cause should be addressed instead.


Also, There are lots of things horses do that would bug one person and not another.. I dislike a horse in my space uninvited, that rubs it's head on me, or yanks me around... Other folks it may not bother and they allow it to happen.


It's your decision on what you expect and not expect of them at that point I guess. If you don't mind those things, and they are not dangerous or a health hazard...then no biggy, I say! :)




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Tammy



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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Feb 22, 2011 9:24 pm

You ladies are WONDERFUL! I really appreciate all the insight. Now I just have to formulate a plan and then test it out. Pawing in his stall doesn't bother me much. It's his damn digging to china when he's outside and either (a) waiting to come in, or (b) not happy that his little buddy isn't beside him. I'm more concerned that it'll do damage to his hoof, leg muscles, etc. He ALWAYS does it with his right leg.

I'm going to work on all of the with the ground tieing and the staying in their stall unless invited to come out. Winter is a perfect time for it!

Keep the ideas coming though. I LOVE IT !!!!
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Simi
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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Wed Feb 23, 2011 9:18 am

I am with TC mine are taught the same way I never ever use cross ties, dont even have them in my barn any more I goind tie the horses when working with them and i leave the stall doors open and the older guys stay in no problem but the babys are still learning.. none of mine paw and stand quiet when being worked with none paw for food.. Fritz use to paw it drove me crazy... I wish you luck tammy and hope you can get him fixed..

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PostSubject: Re: STRETCH AND HIS DARNED PAWING   Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:13 pm

I just got this article in my email from America's Horse Daily, it made me think of this thread.




HORSE TRAINING UPDATE Brought to you by


March 1, 2011

Kick the Habit
Kick chains can put a stop to the banging.

Dennis Moreland shows how to
fasten a kick-chain.

By Dennis Moreland for America’s Horse

I once had two mares who didn’t have bad manners in general, but when they’d see me come into the barn to get their feed, they’d stand there and paw. I put a kick chain – which can also be called a pawing chain – on each of them, and the next day, they stood there and watched me without making a racket.

The mares wore the chains while they were in their stalls for the next couple of days, and then I never had to use them again. The bad habit had been broken.

A kick chain consists of a piece of leather fitted around a horse’s pastern, with a 12-inch piece of stainless steel chain attached. You want stainless steel chain and hardware, because the horse is going to be dragging this piece of equipment around in his stall, and you don’t want something that can rust.

It works pretty simply. The chain will slap the horse’s leg when he paws or kicks. He’s causing his own discomfort, and most horses will figure it out pretty quickly.



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