Feel like a bit of a failure... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 34 Old 10-26-2012, 08:57 PM
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Have you tried completely "losing it" on him? I mean becoming a 12 foot tall growling monster? How does he react when you smack his mouth? I have only once had a horse bite me that was actually a bite of dominance. This particulare gelding and I never really got along. I was always watchful of him; I knew he was looking for an opportunity. Even so, that day that he finally went for it, I was so shocked and angry that I flipped right around, yelling and smacked him as hard as I could in the mouth. I never had another day of trouble with him. After that, HE was always watchful of ME and he never, ever disrepected me again.
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post #12 of 34 Old 10-26-2012, 08:59 PM
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this may sound kind of cruel but a girl i used to ride with had a rescue stud who was a disgustingly aggressive bitter she actually took a piece of electric wire that was plugged into her fence. she kept a glove on and he decided to nail her on the side one day and she touched him with the wire on his muzzle. she said she had never heard a horse squeal like that but he never offered to bite again.
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post #13 of 34 Old 10-26-2012, 09:03 PM
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Is there a possibility that he is a rig? (cryptorchid)
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post #14 of 34 Old 10-26-2012, 11:08 PM
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My mare used to bite me but I twisted her upper lip a few times made her back up off me and she doesn't do it anymore

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post #15 of 34 Old 10-26-2012, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by toosexy4myspotz View Post
this may sound kind of cruel but a girl i used to ride with had a rescue stud who was a disgustingly aggressive bitter she actually took a piece of electric wire that was plugged into her fence. she kept a glove on and he decided to nail her on the side one day and she touched him with the wire on his muzzle. she said she had never heard a horse squeal like that but he never offered to bite again.
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Not cruel to me . A dangerous horse is a dead horse. Better he gets a quick, hard lesson. Brock kicked me once and I kicked him right back, HARD. Never tried again.

Regarding biting, make sure when he tries that you go after him with everything you've got - nothing less than your full force or he'll treat it as a game. He may never stop being mouthy but with a few hard lessons you'll be able to stop him doing it with just a look.
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post #16 of 34 Old 10-28-2012, 08:03 PM
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If you have access to a small herd of horses, watch the way they interact. They work out their pecking order by pretty tough means. When the dominant horse wants another to get out of his way, he will first threaten by tossing his head and laying his ears back. If the offending horse doesn't MOVE NOW, the next level is for the dominant horse to bare his teeth and threaten a bite or move his rump around and threatening a kick. If that doesn't work, the next thing is either a hard bite or a kick.

Sometimes when a horse bites its handler, it is being a bit pushy and wants a treat - like a spoiled child, and the bite is more of a nip. Sometimes it is trying to assert dominance and the bite is a hard painful bite. It's pretty easy to tell the difference. Either way, it's a display of a lack of respect.

A "spoiled child" bite can be handled by firm but gentle correction, such as firmly forcing him to back away from you by threat and by a firm hand on the halter rope. Consistency in demanding respect by firmness is key.

The dominance bite has to be dealt with like horses do it. I don't mean you have to bite him, like one poster mentioned, but you have to be aggressive. Forcefully back him until his eyes show he's afraid of you, hit him hard, kick him, or whatever you can, but make him know he's somewhere down the pecking order from you and that you will not tolerate him getting into your space without your permission. Again, consistency is the key. Horses in a herd rearrange the pecking order all the time as horses age and others are introduced. You have to maintain your image as the top-dog. It's not hard to maintain, but sometimes it takes harsh means to get there.

Clinton Anderson and many other trainers get all the dominance and respect issues squared away during ground training. They use whatever force is necessary to get submission and compliance. fixing theses issues is best done during ground training. Once that is squared away, you'll rarely have issues while in the saddle or other activities.
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post #17 of 34 Old 10-29-2012, 12:21 PM
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I wonder if giving him toys that he can carry in his mouth is just encouraging him to use his mouth to play? I would take away his carry ball and those kind of things because it seems like he does not know the difference between biting a ball and an arm, especially since it doesn't sound like his biting you is out of aggressive but play (though both are bad). You can't blame him for play biting you when he is encouraged to play bite other things.

Grooms at the track showed me a trick they used for biting TB's that bite while grooming. They hammered nails through a wood block and then put a strap through it so it attached to their arm or back of their hand. So when the horse they were grooming would reach back to bite (which they did often, TB racers are often ill tempered and not worked with behavior wise) they would end up hitting their nose on the block.
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post #18 of 34 Old 10-29-2012, 02:32 PM
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I went to clip a new horse for a friend. She was holding him whilst I clipped around the back end. All of a sudden I noticed her removing her sweater - she then allowed the horse to chew on that with the remark "I'd rather he chewed it without me in it!"
She would not give him a good whack across the muzzle because "It will make him head shy."

This horse proceeded to chew anything at hand (or teeth) he would also take a good nip at people.

At a show I was landed with holding him, the first thing he dod was to take both reins into his mouth and start to chew. I gave him a flat handed whack across his muzzle and jerked the reins free. He looked at me quite shocked and immediately took hold of the reins again. Second whack just as hard as the first, and jerked the reins free. Third time he just took one rein in his lips. I gave him the same treatment.
He stood for about 2 minutes and then tried to eat the grass. He yanked his head down and ignored me when I asked him to raise it. I then gave him a kick with my heel on the end of his nose. Again three times he tried all with the same reaction from me.
I never got angry I just punished the bad behaviour and he stood standing by me for at least 30 minutes.
His owner had returned and was sat on the bonnet (hood) of her car drinking coffee. I returned the horse to her and the minute she took the reins he stuffed them in his mouth. I whacked him just as hard as the first time.
I will never forget that horse's look at his owner! He was so surprised because he thought she had whacked him! He never chewed his reins again. The biting soon stopped because she would whack him hard enough to hurt him.
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post #19 of 34 Old 10-29-2012, 03:36 PM
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The first place I worked there was a horse that the owner had bred. He was a chestnut QH that had enough Thoroughbred in him to look more like the Thoroughbred but with better bone. He was a bright red Chestnut and he was a good solid 16hh. He was gelded before a year old.

This horse would bite.. and he REALLY meant it. He would go for you. If you smacked him hard (and believe me.. I do not take any crap like this from horses) he would come back at you worse than before.. and I mean really come at you. You could escalate it and so would he. I would call him a truly dangerous horse and it was in him.. I suspect genetics.. because he was most certainly never abused (had the finest care and training actually).

One day I was picking manure out of the run in shed (daily chore) and he came into the shed and went for me. I had a wheel barrow and a manure fork and a rake.. and he came at me with ears pinned and teeth bared at a gallop. I used the only weapon I had.. the fork.. and I stuck him but good. Another horse would have backed off.. but not this one. He came at me again. He did respect the fork enough after the first stick to dance around some and try to avoid that. He even reared and came at me on his hind legs striking with his front feet!

I managed to work my way around to the man-pass door and got out of there.

Now, this same horse was good to ride and not bad to lead, groom and so forht.. but any other time (in his loose box, feeding him, out in the paddock) he would come at you and his intentions were entirely evil.

This horse was eventually sold and made into a successful 3 day event horse. Worked great.. but he did bite his owner in the back once so badly the guy had to go to the hospital.

My point in telling this tale is that sometimes you may run into a horse that will escalate the fight if whack him. In the case of this horse, I believe he needed to be laid down. I also think he should have been hobble broken. I could think of a couple of other things I would have tried with him.. but he was NOT my horse and the owner was "English riding Only" and would never have used hobbles or any other "western" type training.

I am not saying the OP's horse is like this gelding. All I am saying is you really need to read the horse that bites and be prepared that he may very well come at you harder and meaner if he is that sort. You need to be prepared to do anything you have to.. and have the skills to do those things.

As good a three day horse as this gelding turned into, I think he was dangerous enough that, if after trying a few things (like laying him down) he remained dangerous I think the cure should have been a lead slug between the ears.

I do not know what happened to him. This was back in the 1970's.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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post #20 of 34 Old 10-29-2012, 06:31 PM
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I have a mare that escalates if you whack her. So I have to gain her respect without hitting but through solid ground work. At first this confused me and i wasn't sure how to communicate with her since most horses you say no and give them a whack with the whip they think oh i better back off but not miss joy. Now I can point with my hand, tap her or the ground with the whip and get her to do what I want now. But before i got her to respect me she would crowd, charge me, rear and bite. If I smack her with the whip she'd get real upset real fast but if I tap the ground and make her feet move its a whole different story. So your biting issue could probably be solved with some good ground work and getting the horse to respect you. If your have a hold him and he bites you need to make those feet move work him, change directions, make biting no fun anymore.
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