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biting

This is a discussion on biting within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        12-09-2009, 04:39 PM
      #11
    Started
    He's trying to tell you that something is bothering him. Don't punish him for it, he's just giving you feedback. Figure out WHY he's biting, fix it, and the biting will go away.
         
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        12-09-2009, 05:42 PM
      #12
    Banned
    My gelding used to (he still turns to look at me, but its much less aggressive) get very angry when I tightened his cinch. I used a combination of telling him to "quit it" with a tap/poke/smack on the shoulder and later backing him up when he was getting serious about it, and slowing down the girthing process. He also blows out quite a bit, so I can't get it all done at one time anyway. Now what I do is I put the saddle on, tighten it a few times till I can at least tie a knot in it, wait around for a few minutes pick his feet, put on his boots, then tighten it up some more, then put on his bridle walk him out to the arena/mounting block, then tighten it up one final time, mount up, and go.

    I've actually found that when he's just free to walk around/move away from me, he's much more civil then if he's single tied or cross tied....today I stood in the yard and tightened it up, and although he cranked his head around to bump me with his nose, he never pinned his ears or attempted to lip/bite me.
         
        01-04-2010, 11:18 PM
      #13
    Foal

    This on top of three scars I have from my horse biting.
    Plus numerous times that it didn't scar.

    My horse bites if you try to pet him through his stall bars,
    So I assumed it was territorial.
    But he also nips at you if you are putting him the cross ties,
    So if he gets close I'll bring him out with a chain lead rope.
    Then he tries getting you when you groom and tack up,
    Figured he was ticklish, so try to be gentle.
    I've only smacked him a few times,
    Don't want him to become head shy so try not to.
    He bites you when you put his blanket on too.
    Honestly, I don't know what to do.
    Need help!! PLEASE!
         
        01-05-2010, 11:04 AM
      #14
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horsexquad    
    YouTube - My Worst Horse Injury (Bite)

    This on top of three scars I have from my horse biting.
    Plus numerous times that it didn't scar.

    My horse bites if you try to pet him through his stall bars,
    So I assumed it was territorial.
    But he also nips at you if you are putting him the cross ties,
    So if he gets close I'll bring him out with a chain lead rope.
    Then he tries getting you when you groom and tack up,
    Figured he was ticklish, so try to be gentle.
    I've only smacked him a few times,
    Don't want him to become head shy so try not to.
    He bites you when you put his blanket on too.
    Honestly, I don't know what to do.
    Need help!! PLEASE!
    Maybe you would like to start your own new topic. Tagging on to someone else's thread results in your questions getting "lost"
         
        01-05-2010, 07:03 PM
      #15
    Weanling
    I used to feel that way too when people would tell me to smack my horse for biting. However, then I realized it would take over 100 half-hearted smacks to temporarily get your horse to stop biting and only 1-3 clear, 100% committed "don't-you-dare-bite-me-ever-again" smacks to get him to truly stop the habit. Horses tend to cue in on any abscence of follow-through. Frida had this habit for a bit, borne out of my previous tendency to be a treat vending machine. I used to just nudge her away with my elbow and she was persistant, even knew how to unzip my jacket pocket and rub her head on me nearly lifting me off the ground. One firm, swift rap to the neck with a short crop and she hasn't messed with my clothes since, and I can touch any part of her head and massage her ears and poll with no problem.
         
        01-05-2010, 08:38 PM
      #16
    Foal
    Another lesson to try once you rule out a bad fit is run the leather(s) of the billet through the ring(s), then pull the girth to the point just shy of point where the horse may protest and immediately release the pressure. When the horse does not react, praise. Now bring it up again a little more snug and immediately release and praise the horse for no reaction. If the horse does react go back to the point he does not and start again. The point is to put the pressure on and then remove it before the horse has time to react, thus he finds there was nothing to react to. You would use the same approach/retreat before the reaction for ear shyness type issue too. Again, the key is to be long gone with the pressure before the horse reacts.

    Biting is a declaration of war and should be dealt with strongly and decisively. There are many people missing body parts due to horses biting and nipping. It is the one behavior I will lose my temper with a horse. But I will never strike the horse in front of the poll or on the legs. The correction can last no longer than 3 secs from when the horse bit to when you quit and after the correction I reassure the horse I still care for it, just not the biting.
         
        01-05-2010, 10:24 PM
      #17
    Weanling
    I agree with ReiningTrainer, I'll never forget Klaus Hempfling's advice on swift, angerless correction followed by a gentle rub or pat on the area he was schooled.
         
        01-06-2010, 12:04 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Mark Rashid has a saying that I enjoy and repeat often.

    "If the only tool that you have is a hammer,then everything starts looking like a nail".
         
        01-06-2010, 12:17 PM
      #19
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ReiningTrainer    
    Another lesson to try once you rule out a bad fit is run the leather(s) of the billet through the ring(s), then pull the girth to the point just shy of point where the horse may protest and immediately release the pressure. When the horse does not react, praise. Now bring it up again a little more snug and immediately release and praise the horse for no reaction. If the horse does react go back to the point he does not and start again. The point is to put the pressure on and then remove it before the horse has time to react, thus he finds there was nothing to react to. You would use the same approach/retreat before the reaction for ear shyness type issue too. Again, the key is to be long gone with the pressure before the horse reacts.

    Biting is a declaration of war and should be dealt with strongly and decisively. There are many people missing body parts due to horses biting and nipping. It is the one behavior I will lose my temper with a horse. But I will never strike the horse in front of the poll or on the legs. The correction can last no longer than 3 secs from when the horse bit to when you quit and after the correction I reassure the horse I still care for it, just not the biting.
    Very well said, that sounds like a great way to teach them that the cinching of the girth is okay by making it as comfortable as possible and rewarding the good behavior!

    That said, if you follow the above and your horse STILL wants to bite, I normally just "bite" my mare back...which just means taking my middle and pointer finger and poking her quickly in the side of the neck when she bends her head back to bite. That stops her in her tracks, and without hitting her or using unnecessary force. It doesn't hurt her, it just gets her attention and lets her know that I don't approve of the behavior. But as said above, you have to do it instantly...you can't wait until you're done cinching the girth and THEN do it, it has to be IMMEDIATELY following the undesired behavior or the repremand is worthless.
         

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