Biting. HELP! - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 01-17-2011, 09:13 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: pennsylvannia
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My mare recently started biting. I was getting her in the field and she tryed to nip me. I let it go because i thought she was mad cause there was a pony like right behind her. So i groom her and walk her to the arena. I tighten the girth and she bites me. I smack her in the mouth. I don't take crap from her. She is a fat mare and it was disrespect. I get in the saddle and she tries to bite my foot. I reach down and smack her in the mouth. I yell at her and continue on my riding. Then she tries to rear and she has never reared since i got her NOT ONCE ! I make her listen and then get off. I don't give her a treat. So next day she bites again so then i make her mad and i get on and make her canter and i pick up my whip. I keep on making her canter. She hates to canter and gallop. She is used as a school horse at the barn. She is used for like begginer/ intermediate. I trot her and then i stop to adjust my stirrups. She tries to bite me. I tap her mildly with the whip. She stopped doing this now.
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post #22 of 26 Old 01-18-2011, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
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Originally Posted by vivache View Post
When a boarder's horse started biting, she'd hold a thumbtack and prick him in the lip mid-swipe. It didn't hurt any more than a fly bite, and he didn't bite again.
I have a friend who has lots of horse experience. She had a horse that was a biter when she got him. What she did was the same as what vivache described, expect she used a nail positioned so that the point of the nail was between two of her fingers to the top side of her hand. When the horse went to bite she let the horse's muzzle make contact with the point of the nail. What registers to the horse's mind is that the "hand bit him". Horses do not like to hurt themselves on purpose. The horse did stop even attemtping to bite.
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post #23 of 26 Old 01-18-2011, 12:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
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I agree it is a respect issue. Hunter is a grumpy pony who has tried to bite, especially in the cross ties and I am trying to brush him. I used to be afraid of him (not just the biting) but have since got my confidence back and since I haven't been putting up with any of his crap he has a whole new respect. He had other issues (couldn't get him to load without 2 people) he now walks right on to the trailer with just me there. He tried a little attitude again the other day but I smacked him when he tried to bite and he threatened again and then stopped. I think I may try the nail trick.. Good luck
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post #24 of 26 Old 01-18-2011, 01:32 PM
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I would not follow the advice to smack him in the mouth. This tends to just cause them to want to bite more, as now you have engaged in the fight. I would go into an open area with a long rope. Start grooming, taking off the blanket, etc. basically whatever you would normally do. When he tries to bite, immediately send him away and make him WORK. Circles, changing direction, backing up, etc. When he appears more submissive (head down, chewing, coming closer to you) then pick up where you left off. Do not make a fuss about it. This may take quite a few times for a really stubborn horse, and you will have to reinforce this every time you work with him in any way. Remember, he has been doing this for 7 YEARS, you are not going to get it to stop in a few minutes. Doing more groundwork with this horse may also be required. Get him to respect your space and follow not get mad, this is counterproductive. If you meet force with force, an understanding is impossible. You need to get through to this horse's thought pattern to modify such an ingrained behavior. Obviously, if this is not your horse, this may not be possible. If the trainer is unwilling to do anything about it, you may have to resign yourself to the fact that this is going to be an ongoing problem and you just need to take steps to protect yourself. Unfortunately, many "trainers" aren't willing to put in the time to actually correct a problem and just use cover-ups to mask them. I have known many people like this and ultimately I have found that I am happiest when I find a situation where I am around people who use more intelligent methods, even if that means switching instructors or barns.
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post #25 of 26 Old 01-18-2011, 09:20 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: CO
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Have to say I agree with Kevin on this one...While I like to be as 'quiet' as I can around horses, I will be as loud in my body language as I have to, in order to get a point across, especially in regard to dangerous behavior. That said, I usually only resort to smacking if I am in no position to be able to put that horse's butt to work.

If this horse is not your horse, I would strongly suggest using a different one for lessons; you should not be the one having to correct the behavior, or risk being injured by a horse who has little respect for his handler's space.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #26 of 26 Old 01-19-2011, 01:11 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
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Not to hi-jack the thread, but what about if the horse in question is a mouthy, 6 month old colt? And isn't biting with aggression, but wants to chew on EVERYTHING.

My colt wants to nip and chew, and it's gotten to where smacking either at his mouth or with a crop at his body, doesn't really get his attention. I think he finds it to be a game. His ears aren't back, it isn't aggressive, but it's annoying as heck and I don't want it to get worse.

Do they ever grow out of the mouthy stage of wanting to put everything in their mouth? He chews on his lead rope, his halter when I try to put it over his nose, any kind of tack or clothing, just about anything he can reach, has to go in his mouth. He even ripped off and ate a piece of plastic grocery bag much to my horror- I just couldn't get it away from him before he ate it.

What do you do with a colt that isn't really being aggressive, but just has to chew on everything, including your clothes and his tack???

I am thinking he needs a small bit to wear as a pacifier.
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