Some horses are pawing at their stall door around feeding time while others show no real interest in food. Try these tricks to tempt him into digging into a nutritious meal.
- Give him some space. Timid horses may be distracted from their feed by the kicking, pawing and general ruckus that often accompany feeding time in a barn. Try moving the finicky horse to a quiet area where he can eat in peace.
- Feed in small portions. Some horses might be overwhelmed by large meals. Dole out grain in as many small meals as you can manage. An ideal solution is an automatic feeder that delivers grain in small quantities throughout the day.
- Provide good company. Some horses prefer the company of others and will fret instead of eat if left alone. Keep such horses in the barn with another at feeding time until they’ve had ample opportunity to eat.
- Spice it up. Horses have flavor preferences just as we do. A picky horse may find his grain boring or unappealing. Try a drizzle of molasses or a spoonful of applesauce mixed into his feed. You may also want to try giving your horse a handful of a different type of grain; if he seems to prefer it, gradually make a switch.