biting the lead rope

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biting the lead rope

This is a discussion on biting the lead rope within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • How do you get a horse to stop grabbing the lead rope
  • Horse went to bite when on the lead rope

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    11-01-2010, 10:58 PM
biting the lead rope

I have a 2yo RMH who enjoys trying to 'lead' himself. He is always putting things in his mouth. I figure it is a personality and age thing, but I really don't think he should be holding onto the lead rope with his teeth!

How can I get him to stop? I have pulled it out numerous times, made him back up when he does it and ignored it...any other ideas?
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    11-01-2010, 11:02 PM
No ideas, but my friends horse does this All the time. He chews on the cross ties and everything. He's just a mouthy horse.
    11-01-2010, 11:16 PM
I bet your horse is super smart and full of personality. Some horses are "mouthy" as another reader mentioned. There is really not much you can do about this when you are not present and say they are tied at the trailer or something. However, like any undesired behavior it should be corrected and to do so requires commitment and consistency.

The most effective method is to give your horse a slight spat on the nose everytime you see him think about biting the rope. Do not wait for the actual bite. Your spat should only be as firm as needed to deter him from continueing to go for the rope. Set him up for failure and correct him for any attempt to bite the rope. In a few days or even minutes he will learn that this behavior is not acceptable.

Its just like kids. Make it hard to do bad and easy to do good.
    11-01-2010, 11:27 PM
Hahahah that sounds just like my horse! When he's tied I will find him nibbling the lead rope the same position he will have his bit everytime I will say, "You ding bat (never meaning it) I haz your bridle right here!" I wouldn't worry about it honestly. I think it just means they have good personality. Cause Skylar is extremely sweet and he has never offered to bite ME. So as long as he doesn't go that far I wouldn't worry about it. But if you don't like it I wouldn't yank it out he's probably thinkin, "Hey I was playing with that!" and just go back to it. I would gently scold him and play with his mouth to get his mind off of it like gently grab the top part of his upper lip God luck!
    11-02-2010, 03:02 AM
It is definitely partly an age related thing. All babies go through a chewing stage, it helps them feel secure chewing on something, its also their way of seeing what things are, and showing that they are submissive to the leader. It is your choice to correct it or not. I chose not to with my mare because it was truly a stress related issue, and getting after her just increased her stress, but ignoring her, and letting her settle in, and get used to all the people she now sees and all the activity, its gone away on its own, that being said, if she starts to get grabby which she has, I do get after her about that, because grabby for the rope, or whatever she's going after down the road turns into grabby for treats, or grabby persons arm or leg or head for attention, and that is unacceptable. She knows her boundaries, and what is acceptable and what is not, and that is my ultimate goal with her, is her being respectful. My reprimand is a swift tap to the shoulder or neck, as I'm removing the lead rope from her mouth, as she does not need any more than that, and I refuse to do any sort of tapping smacking pushing ect. To her head.
    11-02-2010, 07:39 AM
He is VERY full of personality and I doubt that it is stress related, he is only stressed when we take his sister out without him! He is mouthy and that is my concern because he can be playfully mouthy with me and sometimes he crosses the line. It honestly seems like he is trying to take the lead rope away from me...smacking him on the nose doesn't work because he thinks it a great game...

Any other ideas?
    11-02-2010, 10:34 AM
[QUOTE=momo3boys;802749]He is VERY full of personality and I doubt that it is stress related, he is only stressed when we take his sister out without him! He is mouthy and that is my concern because he can be playfully mouthy with me and sometimes he crosses the line. It honestly seems like he is trying to take the lead rope away from me...smacking him on the nose doesn't work because he thinks it a great game...

Any other ideas?[/QUOTE

Your reprimand no matter where you apply it should be firm enough that it is definitely not a game he wants to play. If you are uncomfortable spatting his nose try somewhere else but the most important thing is to be consistent and to deter him from grabbing the rope before he grabs it. Good luck.
    11-02-2010, 10:37 AM
Lol, sounds like my Shunke, the horse in my avatar. He will even unsnap his reins if I am not paying attention on a ride. I should switch them over to ties but snaps are so easy when I want to switch headstalls.
    11-02-2010, 10:43 AM
We have a horse that is a real goof ball and has a personality more like a dog and he puts the lead in his mouth he also does this with his reins......he always has a real mischevious look on his face........he will also very quietly mouth your shirt and then take a hold of the sleeve and try and walk away taking you with him.....he will bring branches and wave them in your face......or the cloth dog bone he has.,,,he will also stick his tongue out in hopes that you will grab it and play with it.

I don't think it is anything to worry about he will probably do it less and less.

Super Nova
    11-02-2010, 11:02 AM
I have a horse who is 9. He's acts like a big dog! He has been chewing on things and putting things in his mouth since he was 3.
It hasn't got better with age for him. He will pick up the lead rode, his brushes, if im on him or if he has a bit in his mouth he will reach for the reins. He's like a big baby!

The only thing I have found that stop it is, a firm Quit, and cup my hand and pop him.
Also I have learned he does it when he know im not around a lot now, so I will get a hand full of pebbles and make myself incognito. He will start going for something and I will throw a pebble. The expression on his face is priceless.

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