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On saying hello to a horse

(28 Posts)
ProfessorDent Mon 23-Jun-14 13:09:21

I took my elderly mum in her wheelchair to a field where there are nice horses, a trio minding their own business. Naturally, events took a turn where first one, and then the other two huffle along to the fence where we are standing, to say hello.

Then we look at each other.

Are we supposed to feed them, are they expecting an apple or something? Or would that lead to them biting my hand off? Or being shouted at by an angry farmer? Or do I just talk to them, sing their praises as a wonderful example of equine glory?

I stroked them a bit but it all seemed a bit disconsolate and I started to make excuses to leave. It wasn't like when you stroke a cat and they start to get into it.

It reminded me of being a teenager and going to chat up a girl only for neither of us knowing where to take it.

Minnieisthedevilmouse Mon 23-Jun-14 13:10:56

I would guess most people took something like polos, apples, carrots, or heck just picked the grass by the fence side.....?

Didn't think of that?

stolemyusername Mon 23-Jun-14 13:15:17

Personally I would just give them a fuss, I wouldn't like people to give my boys random foods tbh, also not all horses are friendly, you could quite possibly get nipped!

ThursdayLast Mon 23-Jun-14 13:18:07

They do look expectant don't they?
But feeding other people's animals is usually a no no, so I think you did the right thing.
I like their soft soft fuzzy noses

PeppermintInfusion Mon 23-Jun-14 15:48:59

Some of the juicy grass from your side of the fence usually does the trick, and nobody can complain as it's what they'd eat in the field anyway.

Just keep your palm flat with your thumb tucked out of the way wink

Think they just like the attention and company as well though.

chockbic Mon 23-Jun-14 15:51:11

Nothing worse than a disappointed horse.

Except for maybe getting your fingers chewed.

HoneyDragon Mon 23-Jun-14 15:56:50

Threads like this make me happy smile

marne2 Mon 23-Jun-14 16:09:59

grin, yes! they were probably expecting food! carrots and apples are good! I'm sure most owners wouldn't mind there horse being fed the odd apple or carrot.

LizardBreath Mon 23-Jun-14 16:16:16

Never ask 'why the long fave to them'. They get extremely irritated and will jump the fence to hoof you over.

Please don't feed them, you don't know what diet / allergy problems they may have. A nice pat / stroke will suffice, just beware of grumpy ones!

CMOTDibbler Mon 23-Jun-14 16:18:03

Please don't feed horses, and especially not apples or carrots. It can lead to them mugging people for food (which isn't funny), and can harm them as carrots and apples are high in sugar and a horse may be on a restricted diet due to laminitis

hughmirin Mon 23-Jun-14 16:27:52


are they yours? do you pay the vet bills? do you know their diet and medical history? do you have permission?

leave them alone and do not feed them anything - how rude and entitled to think an owner would not mind

my goodness - feed them grass you pick yourself??????? this could kill a horse

what a stupid thread

hughmirin Mon 23-Jun-14 16:28:56


are they yours? do you pay the vet bills? do you know their diet and medical history? do you have permission?

leave them alone and do not feed them anything - how rude and entitled to think an owner would not mind

my goodness - feed them grass you pick yourself??????? this could kill a horse

what a stupid thread

ProfessorDent Mon 23-Jun-14 16:44:57

Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh, you mean?

LaBelleDameSansPatience Sun 03-Aug-14 19:47:20

How can feeding grass you pick yourself kill a horse? Just interested ...

JamForTea Sun 03-Aug-14 19:52:33

Jeez calm down Hugh, what a ridiculously ott response!

I only learned recently it's not the 'done thing' to feed horses, ProfDent. Your OP did make me smile though, and I know what you mean about horses not getting into it.

whatsagoodusername Sun 03-Aug-14 19:56:53

I also want to know how feeding a horse grass can kill it? Apples/carrots I understand, but not grass that would otherwise be the same, just out of reach.

hoobypickypicky Sun 03-Aug-14 20:02:02

Some horses don't react well to certain treats just as some people don't so the best option in the absence of hte owner is to offer the same sort of grass that they're eating on the other side of the fence if you want to.

The thing that horsey friends say to me, where their horses are in a field with a lot of passers by, is that it's ok with one person offering an apple but if several do it over a short period of time it could lead to illness and Mrs Bypasser doesn't know that 11 others have already given the horse something other than their regular diet that morning.

A flat hand, a stroke and you're fine! smile

But yes, unlike my cats, who wonder what the hell you thiink you're doing so much as making eye contact with them and view you with disdain, horses are prone to make you feel guilty for walking away! grin

Picklepest Sun 03-Aug-14 20:16:48

The poster is wrong. It isn't freshly (that minute) grass that kills horses it's mown grass. It ferments. Builds gases in the tummy. Causes colic (stomach ache) where the guts twist. Horses can't be sick so it can kill. But mown, not fresh picked stuff.

Picklepest Sun 03-Aug-14 20:18:32

I got told off once by a farmer for not feeding his horse the bread from my sandwich. Didn't know bread was considered a horse treat. And some horses suck mints. The look of pleasure is marvellous. I knew one that sucked Guinness out of a can too.

futureponyclubmum Mon 04-Aug-14 20:54:20

ase don't feed the horses. You don't know if they are on a restricted diet and feeding treats by hand encourages them to be snappy or in a group squabble. Whilst most horses are well behaved in the stable but when they are off duty in the field they can be unpredictable (talking as someone who has been bitten, kicked and mown down flat over the years!) so I would admire and talk to them but not touch even over the fence, especially with your mum in a wheelchair who can't move out the way if one snaps at her.

futureponyclubmum Mon 04-Aug-14 20:55:42

Please not ase...stupid phone

itsnormalforbridgwater Fri 15-Aug-14 16:14:09

Don't feed horses if you don't have permission. They could have allergies or be recovering fatties!

A good old scratch around the ears or neck is enough.

Leela5 Fri 12-Sep-14 13:50:26

Please don't feed horses you don't know - mine gets nippy if he's fed treats from hand so I purposely don't do it. I would be annoyed if someone else fed him by hand as I would have to then deal with his behaviour. Anyone would be welcome to give him a pat or stroke over fence though, he'd love that grin

Hoppinggreen Sat 13-Sep-14 21:35:43

I've seen too many horses become sick from well meaning people feeding them so never feed a horse without the owners permission.
I blow very gently into their nostrils and then follow up with a chin scratch and a firm neck pat - seems to go down well!!

CatKisser Sat 13-Sep-14 21:43:14

Oh I'm with you on this awkwardness, OP. I have a field full of horses directly attached to my garden. The scenario is exactly as you describe.

Must say though, I've learned that people don't want their horsed feeding - I hired a man to hack down my overgrown lawn and he left the cuttings right by the adjoining fence. He obviously thought it'd be nice for the horses and, unaware, I thought that seemed sensible.

Next day, when I returned from work, someone, presumably the owner, had nipped into my garden and raked it all away from the fence. I must admit, I still don't know quite what the problem was, but fair enough if he didn;t want his horses eating my grass cuttings.

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