Boot Nibbler - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-13-2011, 08:44 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Arizona
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Boot Nibbler

Hi all, I did a search for similar posts and couldn't find one so here goes...

My horse has begun nibbling on the toe of my boot while doing neck stretches under saddle. Not sure if that's the correct term, but when he's warmed up, I'll gently pull his neck to each side slowly to stretch him out. He seems to really like this and looks very comfortable and relaxed. A few weeks ago he began nuzzling my boot with his lip, and now it has escalated into bumping his teeth on my boot. He hasn't ever bit, but it seems to be slowly escalating.

I'm pretty sure this is a sign of disrespect by all I've been reading on this forum, but because I am inviting him into my space, and he seems so calm, I'm not sure. I also don't know how to break him of it. Giving him a kick in the teeth just seems a little much at this point. I have nudged him away with some force, but I'm just not sure what to do.

I should note that he is otherwise very respectful and has good ground manners. He has never offered to nibble me while on the ground, and he does not crowd me. (this is not to say he has not tested the boundaries, but with a proper correction, he doesn't make the same mistake twice.

What do you think? Thanks.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-13-2011, 08:54 PM
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Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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He may be demonstrating that he is bored with what you are asking him to do and is looking for ways to entertain himself. Maybe it's time to up the ante a bit and ask for more focus while you 'stretch' him (small circles, disengage the hindquarters, sidepass, etc). Or, maybe limit the stretching to times when he feels stiff to one side or the other and just dropping it altogether at other times.

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post #3 of 3 Old 06-13-2011, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Arizona
Posts: 448
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Never thought of the boredom thing. We are at a point where his training is getting pushed up a notch, so I'll add in some movement. Thanks for the idea! I'm hesitant to stop doing it altogether because he's a pretty nervous guy and this seems to calm and relax him.
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