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Paws when he eats?
I have four horses that all paw at the ground when they eat. But since I have switched to feeding them soaked Beet Pulp they have stopped, all except my 11mo. old. And I was just wondering why he is doing this. Or if maybe he is just doing it for the heck of it.
I would be interested in knowing why some horses paw and others don't.

Rocky paws and knocks his rubber tub over, but Joe sticks his head in and rarely comes up for air.

It is interesting that since you changed to beet pulp that they have all quit, but the young one.

I'm not sure why they would paw while they eat, but some horses will paw before they are fed, because they think this will get them fed. The reasoning here is that once they start to paw, that's when the one feeding them rewards them by giving them their food. The horse will connect the food as a reward for pawing.

Many first time horse owners will reward their horses unknowingly for bad behavior in circumstances like these and not even be aware of it. It's something novices and beginnings have to be vigilant about when doing anything around their horses. It's so very easy to reward the horse for something they shouldn't be doing if one isn't careful. I bet there are some of us that are more experienced that may still do it every once in awhile and not even realize it. In this respect, horses can pick up on things like this very quickly.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
This is an interesting question to me as well. Two of our seven horses do this, and end up knocking their feed pan over and dumping it. They don't paw before eating, only while eating. The rest don't do it. The only thing I know to do at this point is to stand there and watch them eat and when they paw at the dish, tap them on the leg with a crop, so as to make it a little uncomfortable for them to paw at it. So far though, it's not helping much. I have also noticed that it is the 2 slowest eaters that do this. They also are the 2 that get the most feed. Trying to put all the factors together to come up with a theory.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer


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