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Biting Horse

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        12-08-2009, 05:08 PM
    Please check out any physical issues first and foremost. It's very possible he's telling you he's in pain.

    You need to get to the root of the biting issue. You need to ask yourself WHY he is biting. It's not as simple as "he's being a jerk" or "he's being disrespectful." He has a REASON he's biting and he's just giving you feedback. That's how horses communicate. It could be that he is in pain, that you aren't being fair, that you are going too fast, that you aren't asking permission before doing something, etc. That's the first step.
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        12-08-2009, 06:15 PM
    Originally Posted by strawboss    
    this is a time that John Lyons would tell you to invoke the 3 second rule. For 3 seconds that horse will have to believe in its brain and total being that you are going to kill it and it can't escape death. I don't mean to harm the animal, just make it think it's going to die. Yell, throw up your arms, slap it with a switch below the knees, charge it, etc. then stop. The idea is to make the horse understand that this is behavior that WILL NOT be tolerated. The reason is simple enough. If you ever see someone who has been bitten by a horse you'll understand. It's amoung the most dangerous things a horse can do. Just like you can't stand to be kicked and when a horse turns its butt to you, you won't tolerate that behavior, biting is the same thing. People so often don't understand that a horse looks at them as if they are another horse and will treat them like another horse. If they can be top horse they will. If they know that trying to be top horse will get them into more trouble that they can live with, they will willingly be second horse in the pecking order.
    The stable owner aught to understand that a biting horse is a real liability.

    When I first got my horse, I was 12 and she was four. She had a few respect issues and liked to bite. She tried to bite me once and I took the lead rope and hit her repeatedly on the shoulder. I made sure she was backing away from me and not circling or trying to turn around and run. If ever she tried to nip me after that, I would pop her in the nose, then rub her face. She never bit me after that. :)
        12-08-2009, 06:22 PM
    Originally Posted by riccil0ve    
    Assuming this horse wasn't seriously abused or mistreated in the past, next time he pins his ears and comes at you, smack him in the muzzle, HARD. You won't hurt him, more than likely, you'll just shock the heck out of him.

    That being said [and I'm sure I'll get tons of crap for it but whatever, it usually works, and horses aren't like dogs when it comes to biting], make sure he isn't in any pain, and make sure he respects your space. Set him up for success, tie him up shorter while tacking up so he can't get to you, have a skilled horse person hold him while you mount, simply don't give him the opportunity to bite you.

    I didn't read the rest so im not sure if someone commented on this. But NEVER smack a horse ANYWHERE on its face. Especially the muzzle. For one, this is how you create a head shy horse. And two, horse's nose's are FRAGILE! You CAN seriously hurt the horse by smacking it on the muzzle. This being said, a smack on the neck, shoulder, hindquarters is perfectly acceptable, though it should be an open hand. It is meant to startle the horse with the noise, NOT hurt him.
        12-08-2009, 07:07 PM
    Thank you guys sooooo much! I'm surprised by how much helpful feedback I recieved in such a short time. Now to answer some questions of my own:

    Marecare: Honestly I really don't know much about the history of this horse or other things like how much turn out or riding time he gets. He's a lesson horse and I'm only there twice a week. I'm going to the barn in a few days though and I'll try and get some more info for you.
    Also, I don't think he's in pain or anything from something recent like a saddle. He's been biting for quite some time now. I have a feeling that it's most likely because all the young clients that rode him in the past maybe were to quick in tightening his girth or whatnot...

    I have to say, your 3 second rule sounds the most effective. I think I'll try it. As for the nose smacking thing, even if it did work, I don't think I could bring myself to do it, I love him too much.

    So, do you all think that if I apply these tricks on him he eventually won't continue to bite me or do you think that there are just too many people riding him? Well, anyways I'm definitely going to try these tricks.
        12-08-2009, 07:34 PM
    Ok never hit a horse on its face! He will then become head shy and you've moved back 2 steps.
    Get him checked out! Theres quiet obviosly he's trying to tell you and if you start hitting him because he's in pain he's no longer going to trust you.

    My horse used to have a problem with tightening the girth. What I did was put the girth on the last hole and gradually tighten it. Maybe he's used to people coming in and suddenly tightening the girth up the whole way in one pull? Is his back sore? Most likely is because again when I got my horse if you went near him with a saddle he'd threaten to bite you and throw up his head. I got the saddler out and the physio and they both said he'd been in a lot of pain and his saddle from previos owners hadnt fitted him!

    So before doing the 3 second rule or anything else there get him checked out!
    If he's a riding school horse chances are he's got a sore back from different people riding him and probably ill fitting tack and might not have been groomed properly or any of that. Im not saying he's been mistreated or anything because I don't personally know but im just guessing.
        12-08-2009, 07:34 PM
    I think if you follow the 3 second rule he will leave you alone, but he will continue to bite everyone else. I work with some horses at the University I go to and that is how it is. One only rears and paws at me intermittently (sp) (she does it to everyone else on a very regular basis) and another has entirely stopped biting me. I used the 3 second rule to an extent. It was what I was taught growing up.

    If you ever have to smack a horse on the face anywhere be sure to rub them afterwards. I don't disagree with smacking a nose if someone bites me, but you have to be concious not to cause them to become head shy. I do the smae thing if one is doing something dangerous and I have to quickly slap them with a whip to stop the behavior immediately. I will rub them all over with the whip once they have stopped and relaxed.

    Good luck. Since you are only there twice a week all you can do is have the horse stop treating you in this manner.
        12-08-2009, 07:51 PM
    If you hit a horse on the head and then pat him are you not then sending mixed signals? Your hitting him for biting you then patting him for hitting him? I don't understand?
        12-08-2009, 07:59 PM
    You wait a little while, and as soon as they act right and relax you pet him. You give him a o god moment, but then when they do something even as small as coming back up and standing right you pat them and let them know you're not going to get them unless they do something wrong. I've used it and never had a head shy
        12-08-2009, 08:27 PM
    It sounds to me like this horse has had it being a lesson horse and is sick of bad riders climbing all over her and kicking her and pulling on her mouth.
    I think I would bite also.

    Wouldn't you?
        12-08-2009, 08:36 PM
    About the hitting the horse in the mouth then rubbing their face thing -- I waited a few seconds after I popped her in the mouth, then rubbed her face a few times to make sure she wasn't head shy. She is still not head shy and she doesnt bite. I've done this with a lot of horses and it works pretty well.

    I am strongly against hitting the head, though, because my friend's horse is extremely head shy. I don't know how exactly to explain it, but I hit the bottom of the muzzle so they don't really see it coming, and they don't become headshy... does that make sense at all? :P

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