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post #11 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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A horse that licks can quickly turn into a horse that bites, and a horse that bites can quickly become a horse that 'attacks' someone if they think it means they get food or are dominant over the person.

Stop the licking. Nuzzle, ok once the licking has stopped, and it shouldn't be a 'i want food' nuzzle.

As for the charging: is it deffinatly aggression, or is it possibly excitement? Some horses will gallop up to someone in their field, thinking they will get loved on and fed. Strick routein could help with excitement as the horse isn't taken by suprise and thinks 'ooohhhh goody, dinners arrived!!!' Agression is more worrying :/ either way I would take a lunge whip into the field and only let him come into your space (length of whip in this case) with a soft expression, head low and in walk. If he tried to canter to you, send him away with the whip. Hes may turn on his heel and do laps, and eventually try again, or just graze. If he grazes, approach him calmly and quietly slip the collar on, speaking softly and telling him hes a good boy for being calm.

If a friend comes to feed him, get them to do the same thing so he realises every human wants to be approached calmly, and not get faced with half a tonne of galloping horse!!

With routein and firm rules on how he can approach people, he should become less prone to charging. Eventually the routein will be able to lose its ridgidity if it suits your lifestyle better :)

When it comes to being grupmy when handled, make sure you are always insisting on submissive, non challenging behaivoir. If he pins his ears, show dominant behaivoir back at him, like moving his feet, as dominant horse would if a lower ranking horse tried to challenge their dominance. Get your friends to act the same way too. In some ways, it sounds like in this horses past he has been allowed to get away with this stuff, so thinks its ok to treat humans as less dominant than him.

Time, firm but fair handling and never giving an inch should help

We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too ~Kristen Martz

Last edited by OwnedByAlli; 07-14-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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post #12 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Your right, it doesn't excuse him for being an ass. But I wasn't there to correct it. I could go out and whack him now for it.... but I don't see the good in that. lol. The mouthing thing is just something I allow, I don't really mind it, If I get bit then I get bit. I guess it's my way of figuring out if I can trust the horse?
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post #13 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 05:14 PM
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One problem at a time. Let's just fix the bitting problem first. Horses in the pasture bit each other a lot don't they? But do you ever see a bottom horse but the lead horse? Nope. You have to make that clear that you are the top horse. Make that clear to him that people are on top. Make him back out of your space, don't let him lip on you- he is invading your space. Also People feed him, of he hurts a human then where is his food? Make him wait for his food. Maybe pour his food in his bucket and keep him backed off of it until you say so. (bring a whip also :)

Once you solve your bitting problem, I don't think he will lunge out.

Also get a nice and patient trainer! Hope I helped! :)
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post #14 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks alli, I like all that advice (except the licking part, that part I'll talk to my friend about the charging thing, maybe it really was excitement? I'll try what you said and see if I can get a friend or two to help me out too. Thanks! And YES He was totally allowed to get away with things! It's almost as if he had little middle aged women go up to him in pasture and then screamed because he walked towards them. lol.
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post #15 of 16 Old 07-14-2012, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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horsetail, I think it's clear i'm the dominate horse since he's never shown aggression towards me or anyone that has actually worked with him. It's the people he doesn't know. He respects people if they earn the respect, but he doesn't have a respect for all humans like a lot horses do. I'll try the food thing with a friend tonight or tomorrow! Thanks!
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post #16 of 16 Old 07-15-2012, 03:20 AM
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Alright this posts concerns me. Biting and charging are not normal horse behaviors with people. With each other yes they can be. With people not really. I have only seen similar to what I am reading three times before. Two were horses I worked with personally and one was a friends horse. Most of the time from what I have read and seen this behavior is normally a result of an overindulgent owner/or an owner who wants to treat their horse like it is a person and not a horse.

Behavior normally starts as a foal for instance very common licking. It’s super cute when a baby licks you, licking only teaches a horse to be mouthy. Licking turns to biting, biting turns to owner being fearful, fearful/insecure owner can easily make an aggressive horse. The jump from biting to charging or from charging to biting can be super easy once the horse realizes that it is in fact in charge. You might not see the correlation between the horse licking you and biting others but I most certainly do. You are teaching a horse that it is okay to use its mouth. So if it is okay for the horse to groom you (which by the way in horse language is saying that you are equals with the horse), then it’s okay to bite or nip at horses it sees as below them aka your boyfriend and friend. It is your horse this is just my opinion on it. Take it or leave it hope it doesn’t get anyone hurt.

I will tell you about the three horses I have known with this issue.

Case #1: Oldenburg Mare: The horse was bought as a 6 month old. The owners were experienced horse people but very timid. As the horse grew they became more and more scared of her by the time she was 3 years old and 16 hands and 1200lbs they wouldn’t even go into her pen because she charged them. They threw the feed over the gate and let her be. She was bought by an experienced horse owner for a flippin steal because ’she was unmanageable’. It took 3 months of only chasing her, we never did any work with her we only chased her around twice a day every day. (she wasn’t broke for anything because people were too scared to work with her). That was really all it took. She learned rather quick that charging was not okay and that we were her boss not the other way around. She is a fantastic horse and I’d give three toes and two fingers to have her now in her prime. Watching her dance in the arena would make just about anyone stop and stare. She was used as a child’s lesson horse in some of her later years and now is teaching a 30 year old how to ride dressage.

Case #2: Paint Gelding: I know that this horse had 1 owner when he was sold to my friends. That he was their first foal. I know that they had attempted to break him to ride without success, and I know that they were terrified of him. My friend broke him to ride and he did great with him. If anyone else came near his pen he would charge stop about 10 feet away. He would nip and bite anyone who wasn’t his rider. I was asked to come over and see if he would do it to me. I came over walked right up to his pen, hopped the fence. Put his halter on snapped on a lead rope took him for a walk did some ground manner training. And he was an absolute angel. Never laid his ears back never bit and never tied to charge me. They had children and he wouldn’t stop trying to nip and bite and charge them. They decided that he was a liability because they had a 4 year old child that didn’t listen all that well. They found a home for him with a childless woman. She rode him just fine and was good for her. 3 months after she got him, her boyfriend went to go halter him up for her. He charged but this time he didn’t stop, he trampled him. He ended up with an arm broken in two places and most of the ribs on his right side were cracked or broken. After the gelding did this anytime someone would pass by his pen that wasn’t his rider he would charge them, he started biting and breaking skin, and was ultimately euthanized as a horse that was too dangerous.

Case #3: Hunter jumper mare: I was there when this horse was born so this is the more difficult one for me. What we later discovered was that the stallion the mares mother was bred too was in fact insane and had to be euthanized. He had been drugged when we went to look at him he seemed like he had a very nice personality and his conformation was nearly flawless. None of guessed that he was drugged that came out many years later. From the time this mare was born she was a handful. She required a very firm hand. And one of my family members was a bit overindulgent with her. She was out of his favorite mare, and ‘she just has spirit got like a horse with spirit’. You never knew what she was going to do for one minute to the next. Breaking her was slightly nightmarish, and I would have eaten dust many times if she wasn’t so darn smooth. Well she took to charging and biting timid people, we basically just told everyone that she was an experienced riders only horse and just to stay away from her. She was the low horse on the totem pole. Well to make a long story short. My niece who was 5 at the time came out to visit my magic. (they have a very special relationship) I was not there.. She slipped away from my mom and made her way down the pasture. She took a short cut through this mares turn out and it nearly ended her life. The mare charged she did not stop ten feet in front of the person this time she picked her up with her mouth and flung her she then attempted to trample her. My mother happen to notice my niece was missing and was already down in the pasture just in time to fling her body over my nieces and that stopped the mare dead in her tracks. My mom has not a doubt in her mind that, that horse would have killed that little girl. At this point in time I wanted to put the horse down. I had worked with her for many years and she was already a handful. It was deiced not to put her down. She was sold and is now only used as a brood mare because her current owners are too scared of her to ride. (like we need to pass that genetics around.) By the way that bite she took out of my niece required 29 stitches and 1 plastic surgery and she still has a huge scar on her chest.

I know this is very long and I apologize for that. But I really wanted to make it clear just how dangerous these behaviors that haven’t hurt anyone yet really are. My advice is to start chasing that horse around, then have the people he as charged or nipped chase him with you behind them then without you (if you think they can) Make him start respecting every person that comes near him. Please remember that horses are not people they lack the ability to reason , what they do have is a fantastic memory so make him remember that when he charges or nips he gets chased around till he is exhausted and willing to follow his chaser. I hope this helps.
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aggressive , bad attitude

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