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Best Advice for a New Clueless Horseowner

This is a discussion on Best Advice for a New Clueless Horseowner within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        05-23-2011, 02:01 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by tsaleska    
    Why do horses do the biting thing... is it dominance or what??? Dumb question I know... but the problem is I don't know.....
    Some horses/donkeys do it out of play and some do it out of meanness and yes it can be a dominance thing. Just make sure you don't hand feed him and you reprimand him every time her tries to bite or kick at you. Never allow them in your space unless you want them near and be careful if your in with the animals and they all crowd you. You need to be a safe distance away in case one gets mad at the other and goes to bite or kick. Never be cornered or in a place you don't have an easy access to get out of the way. Just be real careful.
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        05-23-2011, 02:47 PM

    Yep... I was hand feeding... guilty as charged... well that is over.... I learned my lesson the hard way.... Thank you everyone for your help.....
        05-23-2011, 03:12 PM
    Green Broke
    We all make mistakes. This is how we gain knowledge. Even the best of the best make mistakes. So don't be embarrassed or hard on yourself. Pick your self up, dust your self off and try again.
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        05-23-2011, 03:33 PM
    Green Broke
    I agree! I am not sure about the goat.. My riding instructor has 2 at her barn and they ate the mane and tail of the pony that was with them. (They were all kept in one stall since they were all small) But other than that they are good companions.

    You might also want to consider gelding the donkey, as stated before, the biting could be from playing to agressiveness. Don't be scared to give them a slap or kick just like another horse or donkey would.

    Do you have any information on the cutie pie? Like how old he is etc.
    And I think we need more pictures!
        05-23-2011, 03:41 PM
    Sounds like you have a good start. You've looked into vets and farriers, which will help you develop professional relationships with them, so you will have one in an emergency.
    I would consider gelding your donkey. I have heard that gelding a donkey is riskier than gelding a horse due to negative reactions to anesthetic. A gelded animal does not have hormones to deal with and is not only a happier animal if they aren't being used regularly for breeding, they are also less prone to dominance issues.
    While it sounds like you have a handle on possible reasons for the biting and immediately reprimanded him, I would be concerned that he'll try it again.
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        05-23-2011, 07:20 PM
    Originally Posted by tsaleska    
    Why do horses do the biting thing... is it dominance or what??? Dumb question I know... but the problem is I don't know.....
    Dominance has some to do with it, yes.
    Dominant animals will bite others that are lower on the totem pole if they are too close to their personal space, are eating out of turn or are overall just seen as a bother. My mares do it to my gelding all the time for seemingly no reason.

    Your best bet is to NEVER let him get away with it. I don't really like crops, but in this case, it may be a wise idea to keep one, but I really suggest training rather than just smacking an animal. I don't know much about donkeys, so I really couldn't give you much advice on training him, but I would definitely geld him.

    Also, worming is as easy as holding the horses nose down with one hand, as if you were bridling, and then sticking the tube in the corner of the mouth and squirting the paste in :)
        05-23-2011, 09:33 PM
    Green Broke
    My neighbor has a donkey in with her herd. People put them in with their livestock out here because they chase off the coyotes.
    We had goats in with our ponies as a kid without problems. As long as there is plenty of food (and its spread out) and plenty of room to get away from each other, they should be fine.
        05-23-2011, 10:17 PM
    I wanted to get some goats to put in with our 2 horses but if one decided to eat their tails then it would be open season on the now I will just go for a mule or donkey :)
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        05-24-2011, 09:15 AM
    A good idea to get a feel for your new responsibility is to volunteer at a stables or to ask to work with a friends horses, ask them to teach you the ropes and check your local library for books or use the internet!
        05-24-2011, 09:28 AM
    Good advice so far! Sounds like you are doing well with them.

    We don't have any now, but my grandpa did keep goats with the horses when I was a kid. They kept the fence rows clean & ate whatever weeds that came up in the pasture that the horses wouldn't touch. He never had to spray fence rows or mow the pasture. He even loaned out one of the nanny goats to a friend with an orphan foal for a replacement mommy. I will have to dig up those pictures, pretty darn cute watching a foal on it's knees nursing a goat :)

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