Author: Charles Wilhelm

Hand Feeding Horses

Feeding horses by hand is a pet peeve of mine and I want to talk about it in detail, giving the pros and cons and why I am against it. In the horse industry there are a lot of people who hand feed their horses. It is a way to have communication with the horse, a way of showing affection and a way of accommodating his needs. It is a loving moment. On the other hand, some horses begin to expect the treat and become pushy and aggressive, crowding into the person’s space.

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A Word On Hoof Care

Hoof care is an important element in the care of a horse. With a young horse it is important to start foot care early. Handle the feet as soon as a foal will allow it. You can prevent a lot of conformation problems by trimming early. Sometimes a hoof grows upright and boxy instead of at an angle like a normal hoof. This is called a clubfoot.

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Horses That Spook Easily

Sometimes horses appear to spook at nothing. I think that many times spooking is a conditioned response. The horse has learned to spook as a response and when we don’t do anything about it – when, in fact, we accept that behavior – the horse just seems to think that this is what we want.

The first thing I do before I address this as a training issue, is to check the horse’s diet. If the horse is on any kind of alfalfa feed, I change the diet to something less hot. If the horse has been on a high protein grain with a lot of molasses or any sugar in it, I stop feeding that.

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My Horse Bit Me!

This is something that I have heard from people across the country from the west to the east coast. What I hear are two different things but basically they refer to the same problem: My horse bit me/kicked me for the first time. What caused that and what should I do?

My response is always the same and it is never meant in a derogatory or sarcastic way. The horse may have bit/kicked you before, you just didn’t recognize it. What I mean is that any time you approach your horse, you have an opportunity to “read” your horse.

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