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Franklin Levinson's

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Youngster looking for attention

Hello Franklin,

I own a 10 month old Friesian/Quarter Horse cross. He is about 750-800 lbs. And a little over 13 hands. He looks very much friesian and very little quarter horse. He has been imprint trained since he was hours old and has no issue with being tied up, bathed, clipped, trailered, groomed, led, lunged, etc. But very recently I have started to notice large craters in his 16x16 large outdoor pen. He is turned out and exercised regularly. At first I thought maybe he got cast with how the craters looked... but ...everyday he has 2 or 3 large paw spots in his pen. His friend has recently been moved away from his pen and is a few yards away from other horses. Could this be causing the pawing?

Also, where I have him stabled they have a 4 horse hot walker. When the weather is warm enough, I will lunge him, put him on the hot walker and let him stand for a few minutes then I drag the hose out and hose him down to cool him off. When I walk a few feet away from him he starts to paw. When I say he starts to paw, it's not the little pawing, he almost hits himself in the head with his knees. I know hie has long legs but I don't want him to get injured. I normally walk up to him yell no or stop and slap his chest and he will stop.....momentarily. Normally he'll stop pawing when I walk up to him or he'll stop then start right up again and it's frightening because he will almost kick me!

This is totally off subject but when I go to grain him, I reach through the rail with the grain scoop to pour it into his feeder and I tell him to back and he backs but he pins his ears back. What can I do to stop these behaviors.

Lacey from Utah

Hi Lacey,

Have you ever known a young child who bangs on something to get attention? Or, even throws a temper tantrum to get attention? How about screaming its head off for attention? Your horse is doing this in the way horses do. If he is not getting the sort of attention he wants he will paw again. This is what can happen when young horses do not get to simply be horses enough away from humans and socialize with other horses. He needs company of his own kind. In other words, more time with other horses. If this does not happen, the behavior may get worse. If you cater to him, chances are he will get more ‘spoiled.’ Too much time with humans and not enough with horses is probably the issue. Good Luck.

Sincerely, Franklin

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