Tack Help? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-11-2012, 10:38 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Tack Help?

Hi guys :) First wanted to say I am new here!
So, I do English riding, and when ever I tack up my horse (this usally happens with me and Bullet) he will try to nip/bite me. This usally only happens when I first place the saddle on, and tighten his girth.
Any tips on how to get him to stop doing this?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-11-2012, 10:46 PM
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First off, have you checked him over for any pain that could cause this?

Otherwise, I would do the "Pressure and release" approach.

Is this horse pushy normally, or just when saddling?

I would take the cinch up and just gently touch it to her belly. If she pins her ears, just hold it there. Don't tighten it yet. If she tries to bite you, smack her. Hold the cinch there as long as it takes her to relax. Then let it drop and pet her.

Repeat as necessary, always release when she stops and relaxes. Eventually she will stop doing it with the light pressure, and you can tighten it more. Same thing applies.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-11-2012, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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He is a normaly 'pushy' or 'grumpy' when tacking, riding or even in his stable.

I would feel where the girth would be, well his whole stomach infact, and if I put pressure there with my hands, he wont be irrated. Once the weight of the saddle is pressured on.

He doesnt just do it with me, stablehands would warn me when I first tacked him up, cause he can be a pain in the neck tacking up sometimes. So it isnt like he just doesnt care for me.

But I will deffently try doing that when I go riding next.
Thanks :)
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-11-2012, 11:20 PM
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Check saddle fit, definitely. If the saddle hurts him, he won't want it on.

Otherwise, he might just not like having his girth tightened. Some horses are naturally girthy. Tie him up tight so he can't reach to nip at you, and if he does, a loud NO! Coupled with a smack should discourage him. My horse used to be very girthy, and after a few smacks a couple of different times, I've never had a problem again.

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-12-2012, 12:04 AM
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Yeah, I would saddle fit, then vet check for sure.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-12-2012, 09:39 PM
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If the saddle isnt fitting correctly, and causing pain/discomfort, then he will for sure resent having the girth tightened. I would have him checked for a properly fitting saddle, AND, I would have a vet out and see if he might have stomach ulcers. That would cause pain and discomfort too.

Once you eliminate those possible causes, and you completely rule out pain, then I would slowly start re training him to have a girth tightened. I would start by removing the girth completely from off the saddle, and wrapping it around him. Any grumpy signs, pinned ears, trying to bite, etc. a firm no, and a slap. Once he is alright with the girth being wrapped around, attach it to the saddle again, and try wrapping it around. Again, any grumpy or sour signs, give him a slap, and a no. Finally, slowly, slowly, slowly start tightening the cinch. Tighten it a tad, and give him a minute. Tighten a tad, and give him a minute. Any naughty signs equal a slap and a no.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, thanks!

I checked with the vet and nothing was bothering him, so I will do a saddle check today and try to re train him.
Thanks for the tips!

Live. Love. Ride On.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-13-2012, 01:19 PM
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There's one lesson horse at my barn that does a similar thing. He'll try to nip when you put his splint boots on, or when you put the saddle on, or the girth... He just doesn't want to work - saddle fit and other pain issues were long since ruled out. So, when I have to ride him, as soon as I see that head snaking towards me, he gets one quick pop on the cheek. That's always enough to make him behave.
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post #9 of 11 Old 08-19-2012, 04:20 PM
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It may be that this horse has been unkindly girthed on many occasions. As in pulled all the way up on the near side at one time.

I don't know if my horse is girthy or not because this is how I do it - on the offside - two holes up. On the near 1. Fiddle around, put boots on, use the fly spray, whatever. Up the hole on the off side 1. Fiddle some more. Put my helmet on. Up the near side 1.

Bridle, lead out and tighten the last hole just before I get one. Needless to say, the rotation depends on how the girth fits. I can use my TB's girth on a qh I ride, but it has to start all the way up on the off side and then gradually tighten the near.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 10:23 AM
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One reason why he might dislike having the saddle put on that hasn't been discussed... Is when you put the saddle on, GENTLY place it on, DO NOT THROW it onto his back. I see a lot of people do this, and it bothers me, a LOT. Also, when doing the girth up, only tighten it half way when you are still tacking up, then once you bring him/her out to the arena or mounting block, tighten it fully.

Intermediate Rider~Learning Equitation and English Pleasure~Interested in Eventing
A horse will tell you everything you need to know about him, if you listen.
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