Hand Feeding a Horse

In All The Tie Rail, Ground Work by Eric Ancker0 Comments

“But it’s so fun” said every girl in the history of all time. – Denise

OK, first things first. Don’t hand feed your horse. But, if you are OK with the possible implications of it…go for it. As long as you are aware of the following information, make your own decisions. But, don’t hand feed ’em.

Here’s the deal, if you hand feed these are some of the possible implications:

  • Pushy horse. And a pushy 1,000 lb. animal can become a problem.
  • Bitey horse. If your horse expects your hands to hold treats, they may try to get some treats out of hands that aren’t currently offering them by biting them. Ouch.
  • You are food. If you always offer a treat when they see you, they will always expect a treat from you. And you end up looking like a big ‘ol treat in their eyes. You’ll see the immediate expectation for you to offer that treat. Your relationship becomes dependent on food instead of praise.

A human horse relationship based on food has nothing to do with a horse calming down and listening. It usually becomes the opposite. An excited bitey horse is not ready to listen at all.

All of that said, you may be saying:

“My horse doesn’t do that!”


“I don’t care, I want to hand feed my horses and I’m OK with the possible problems associated with it. It’s probably not going to be that bad anyway.”

Then good on you. Go for it and hand feed. I’ve been known to be wrong…from time to time.

But when your horse gets a bit pushy remember that I told you so and the moral of the story is:

Don’t hand feed your horse, unless of course you’re OK with the possible implications.

Now you’ll never see me hand feeding a horse, but feeding a dog by mouth – as often as I can.



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