The Different way different horses think

YorksG

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We have two youngish horses, one a cob, one a part-bred Appy. The cob is scared of nothing, very food orientated and would like to be in charge :) The Appy is quite reactive, not that bothered about food and couldn't be in charge of anything.
We got them both treat balls on Sunday, put some Weisencobs in them and put them in their respective stables. The Cob immediately started shoving the ball about, leaving a trail of feed which she didn't realise was there, trying desperately to empty the ball. The Appy blew down the hole in hers (think child playing a recorder :) ) tipped it over, ate the couple of treats that fell out and carried on with the process. The second time they had the balls put in, the cob did eat the treats as they fell out, but still used the "bash it about" method of emptying it, the Appy simply rocked it backwards and forwards, eating the treats as she rocked the ball off them :)
So we appear to have a very strategic thinker of an Appy :)
 

milliepops

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hehe I love things like this for illustrating how different they are.

My welsh is sharp as a knife, not much gets past her... but she is NOT the patient type. Millie (wb x) immediately sussed her treatball and sensibly set down to gently rocking it back and forth methodically to get the treats. Yum.
Kira just can't handle the frustration of not having everything at once, so she kicked and stamped on the ball in a fit of temper, upon which it squashed flat and wouldn't produce anything at all, so was then ignored!

I haven't tried Salty (wb) yet. I think she's a bit dense so it could go either way ;)
 

Shavings

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I love this, i always say they are all different and work in different ways.

what works for one horse may not even be entertained by another


Levi and the treat ball.. well first off i got him one of those rubber ones with the handle.. that was removed by yard staff after he had his head over the stable door swinging it.. it hit one of them in the back of the head..


and the proper treat ball well just think CRASH! BANG! CRASH!! Oooh foood!!
 

YorksG

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It is fascinating :) MP, is your smash it about one like that in general? The Cob is :)
Shavings, the idea of the Cob with a weapon is a terrifying thought :D The noise from The Cobs stable is hilarious, she has taken to bouncing the treat ball off the walls :D
 

PapaverFollis

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My OH once gave his ISH gelding (who was, bless him, an utter hooligan - the only reason I could ever handle him was because he was 19 by the time I met him :lol:) a treat ball. Apparently he sniffed it then stamped on it until it broke then ate the treats. Then was like "that was fun, dad, can I have another?" :lol: He did similar with a hanging turnip, looked at it, reached up and bit the string above it until it broke, then stamped on it and ate it. Too many brains, that horse. One of those that could open any stable door and get out of any field etc etc.
 

milliepops

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It is fascinating :) MP, is your smash it about one like that in general?
Yep. My nickname for her is The Destructinator. She has quite a forceful approach to most things. Millie never once damaged a rug or anything in her possession... Kira - well, she pulls straps off rugs for fun, rips boots, leadropes, headcollars - it's all fair game for her. Can't have nice things. She's learnt to contain herself around people but she does love to give you a big strong hug with her neck now and then :eek: Everything has to be done with Maximum Power!
 

Amye

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I haven't tried Salty (wb) yet. I think she's a bit dense so it could go either way ;)
Sounds like my WB... ( a bit dense). He doesn't care for treatballs. He sort of had a go at first, then went, I have a massive pile of hay over there - why don't I just eat that...?

It now sits unused. Anything that's too much effort is a no. He just can't be bothered! (Apart from those compact blocks of hay which he loves)
 

YorksG

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Yep. My nickname for her is The Destructinator. She has quite a forceful approach to most things. Millie never once damaged a rug or anything in her possession... Kira - well, she pulls straps off rugs for fun, rips boots, leadropes, headcollars - it's all fair game for her. Can't have nice things. She's learnt to contain herself around people but she does love to give you a big strong hug with her neck now and then :eek: Everything has to be done with Maximum Power!
That is so like the Cob :D She comes in with rugs "off the horse", the Appy always has her rugs on straight and is just neat in general :)
 

Bernster

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Fabulous, love it! F would def be in the smash it about category. Like Kira, he is also destructo-horse with anything he can manage to get his gob around - his favourites are reins, rugs, fence posts, pony tails and my calves for some bizarre reason (although fortunately they are too tubby so he can't get his gob around those!).

He used to have a plastic ball-toy that he'd chuck over the stable door getting the grooms to play fetch. They were very glad I lent that one to a friend.
 

BBP

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Mine (Spanish x Welsh clever but cowardly) has changed his approach over time. He started with hooligans football, mad waving with front legs sending the ball flying everywhere. Then he went to trying to chew an extra hole in it. He has now progressed to pretty intelligent wiggling about and is very efficient at getting all the treats out very quickly and eating everything.

The two Connemaras try for a few minutes but if they don’t get instant gratification they give up and eat hay and don’t try again.
 

emfen1305

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My heinz 57 cob x appy is very strategic with his treatball, he worked out he can roll it up the banks and treats fall out so he spends some time rolling around to position it and then up the bank it goes until they are mostly gone.

He has also recently discovered that if he picks up his bucket and either drops it on the floor or knocks it against the wall that the feed round the side falls to the bottom so that is a new game for breakfast and tea

They are quite clever really, shame I can't convince him that the drain that has been in the same place for 3 years isn't going to eat him though...
 

Leo Walker

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Mine is a thug with his. Hes the same with the hay ball version. Instead of gently pulling hay out and eating it he throws it round, smashes it off walls and chucks it over the door for people to fetch. Hes not angry about it, he seems to really enjoy the game and will go to the ball in preference to his loose hay. He is definitely very bright and works things out quickly, he just likes to be a thug!
 

Crazy_cat_lady

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I thought my Welsh D would be petrified of his treat ball as he's scared of multiple things however like your Appy he sussed it straight away and just rocks it back and forth then eats the nuts that come out, he will often pick the ball over his tea. He also knows whenever I've put a lickit in his holder even though he doesn't have them too often due to cushings.

Yet my old loan pony would often put his foot on the ball and kick it against the wall and he was a much more confident person.
 

JJS

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Tudor made the most awful racket chucking his around. He knew perfectly well how to get the treats out, but also seemed to take great pleasure in kicking it around for the fun of it. He's the same with everything though: can't have rugs left in his stable without pulling them down, can't see a grooming brush without picking it up and chucking it, throws his food bowl over the door the second he's done with it, or else makes a game of throwing it about. Hoses have to be picked up and sprayed at the nearest person, so God forbid you ever leave one running near to him. He also has the ability to untie any knot, undo head collars on other horses, and will happily release his friends before untying himself and following them as they make their escape. He's certainly a character!
 

SEL

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My Appy needs either food or entertainment otherwise she gets into trouble. Despite the electric fence being on the mains she used to spend bored afternoons trying to pull up the plastic sticks without getting stung. Apparently treat balls are boring once the easy treats have fallen out - chucks it over the door.

My gorgeous Ardennes is Homer Simpson in a horse. A bit thick but will do anything for a doughnut. He takes himself to his stable at night because dinner is served there. If his feed bucket isn't there you'll be lucky to get the door shut before he's shot out in a fluffy strop. He finds treat balls a wee bit challenging....
 

ycbm

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I've no experience of treat balls, but my experience of gates and horses is that there are the following types:


- I'm going to watch how you open that gate and copy it (1)
- I'm going to jump the gate (2)
- I'm going to smash the gate down.(2)
- I'm going to wait here patiently until you open the gate (most)
- the gate is open but I'm on the wrong side of it waiting for you to come and get me. (2)
 
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Buddy'sMum

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Given his painfully accurate aim there is no way that I'm about to risk arming my roan, and it would be unfair to leave him out whilst the other three had fun, so my horses' reactions to treat balls/convenient missiles will have to remain unstudied! :D
Same :lol:
Buddy is a crack shot with tub trugs. Treat balls are a definite no-no.
 

vmac66

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My last horse used to nudge his treat ball very gently from side to side always keeping it near his front legs. The treats would fall out right under his nose. His body never moved, just swayed slightly. My freinds horse bashes his about and my mare just can't be bothered with one x
 

iknowmyvalue

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I daren't give henry a treat ball because I think he'd definitely take the destruction approach :D YO had to attach a corner manger in his stable because when his feed bucket was empty he'd either chuck it over the door or trample it!

He's definitely in the gate/fence smashing category too, over summer decided he wanted to get in the field with the horse next door, I went out to find him happily sharing her hay having taken out 3 wooden fence posts and 3 strands of electric tape to get there!

Not as bad as my friends horse who is a right monkey for putting things in his mouth. Got the same corner manger treatment after he threw a feed bucket at YO and hit her with it! Also used to pick up brushes, headcollars, rugs, whips, hats, body protectors (or whatever else he could get hold of) and either chew them or throw them around. Has also been known to pick up forks/brooms and start waving them around. Though I think the funniest incident was at PC camp when he grabbed the waistband of one of the kids jodhpurs and lifted him off the ground :D Needless to say, he's not allowed anything in/near his stable :D
 

YorksG

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My Appy needs either food or entertainment otherwise she gets into trouble. Despite the electric fence being on the mains she used to spend bored afternoons trying to pull up the plastic sticks without getting stung. Apparently treat balls are boring once the easy treats have fallen out - chucks it over the door.

My gorgeous Ardennes is Homer Simpson in a horse. A bit thick but will do anything for a doughnut. He takes himself to his stable at night because dinner is served there. If his feed bucket isn't there you'll be lucky to get the door shut before he's shot out in a fluffy strop. He finds treat balls a wee bit challenging....
I have had three Appy mares, all far too clever :) The first one could open any bolt, unless there was a clip on the bolt. She picked me up by the hair if I stood with my back to her over the door and once got hold of a length of chain which she managed to hit me with! Anything left in her stable was fair game, this was before treat balls were invented. We gave her a swede on a string, which she demolished in 5 minutes flat :0 Big bolshy thing she was , but terrified of big vehiicles and donkeys!
The second one was a terror for throwing stuff about and rugs would be on the floor, nothing on the ledge of her stable was safe, it would end up out of the window, she could undo ropes and bolts as well. The current girl is the one with the treat ball, she can also undo ropes, as we discovered when we got her, she had unfastned herself on the lorry :D
 

mule

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One of mine loves to put things in his mouth. He and the other gelding were play fighting and there was a broken jump pole on the ground. He picked it up in his mouth and swung it in the direction of his friend. The other gelding kept a very close eye on him after that :D
 

SEL

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I've no experience of treat balls, but my experience of gates and horses is that there are the following types:


- I'm going to watch how you open that gate and copy it (1)
- I'm going to jump the gate (2)
- I'm going to smash the gate down.(2)
- I'm going to wait here patiently until you open the gate (most)
- the gate is open but I'm on the wrong side of it waiting for you to come and get me. (2)
So the Appy is 'hurry up and open the gate. If i had hands I'd have done it by now you stupid slave and why do I need a head collar on? I know where we're going "

Ardennes - "huh? Gate is open? We're on the move? Where has everyone gone? PANIC!" Best to leave gate open and let him catch up otherwise it's an ex-gate.

Appy is very, very good at letting you open gates off her back. When she was v young she quickly sussed out the nasty one on the little bridge that many older horses used to hate. Even after a year of not doing that route she positioned herself correctly for me to do it. Although if I missed the catch on the first attempt then there would be foot stamping!
 

mule

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One of mine loves to put things in his mouth. He and the other gelding were play fighting and there was a broken jump pole on the ground. He picked it up in his mouth and swung it in the direction of his friend. Friend was shocked :D
 

timbobs

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My darling boy is not the most intelligent bless him. Tried him with a treatball and he just wiggled it ever so slightly side to side at speed with his nose while trying to reach the treats with his tongue.

To be fair he did persevere for about 15mins before never attempting it again.

https://instagram.com/p/BaEWEpVHdnX/

Video if anyone wants a laugh 😂
 

scats

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I had a gelding, super bright welsh x Tb, who used to roll his treat ball up his front legs with his chin. It was minimal effort, as in he could stand in one place, and all the nuts fell at his feet ready to be eaten. He’d have the ball empty within 1 minute.

He was one of the sharpest horses I’ve ever owned, but he was an absolute doddle to back. I still miss him.
 
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I've no experience of treat balls, but my experience of gates and horses is that there are the following types:


- I'm going to watch how you open that gate and copy it (1)
- I'm going to jump the gate (2)
- I'm going to smash the gate down.(2)
- I'm going to wait here patiently until you open the gate (most)
- the gate is open but I'm on the wrong side of it waiting for you to come and get me. (2)
Donkey - gate is closed. I'm going to eat the gate.
 

SpottyMare

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My appy mare sussed her treatball out in seconds when she was 2 - just rocks moves it until the hole is pointing downwards and then gently rocks it from side to side with her nose. She also got apple bobbing immediately and when I hung up a stalk of sprouts she got through that in about 5 mins, before pulling the stalk off the string so she could chew it.

She doesn't get involved in the melee around the gate at coming in time - just waits slightly out of the way to be headcollared and walked through.

When she was 2 her 3yr old buddy got caught in a fence - I was worried when she didn't come to call for breakfast (but she called to me) so went to investigate, and found her standing calmly next to her friend, who'd somehow managed to knit her hind leg into two strands of wire. She's credited with keeping the trapped horse calm. The other 2 (older) horses in the field had disappeared over the other side of the hill to the bit with the good grass, but she'd stayed.

She waves a front leg around when she's eating, so has managed to get herself caught up between a tyre and the feed bucket that was standing in it, and her hayball. On both occasions she was still eating, but just neighed quietly at me as I walked past the stable - I go in to investigate and free her, but no panic or worry on her part at all. On both occasions she was still eating... :D I also watched her get her rug caught on a fallen branch when she was a yearling - again, no panic, she just worked out how to free herself before I got to her.

She seems to be a very clever little horse...
 

tristar

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ordered a treat ball and hayplay, treat ball out of stock, hayplay arrived i thought i bet that`s a waste of money, but no, they took to it straight away, well one played footie with for 5 minutes, then started on the hay, the others the same, every time its been filled its been emptied, a great success.

but then perhaps it appeals to the curious minded that love the challenge of opening doors, pulling up fence posts, digging up arenas to find grass etc.
 
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