filly education - bitting

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filly education - bitting

This is a discussion on filly education - bitting within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-22-2009, 03:52 AM
filly education - bitting

My filly (10 days old now) gains confidence and start playing with us. As she plays she start bitting small bites on our shirts, pants ect.
I guess this should be stopped. The questions is how?...
I don't want it to continue but don't want her to fear us...
Thanks for the advice.
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    03-22-2009, 06:37 PM
Any suggestions?
    03-22-2009, 08:24 PM
That is a dificult question. If it were an older horse I would say smack it when it bites you, but you want her to trust you. So mabe just push her head away from you whenever she gets too 'in your space' this may teach her to stay out of your space and if she's not in your space she can't bite you.
    03-23-2009, 05:45 AM
Thanks for the answer. Indeed this is my dilema, her trust vs. her behavior..
Right now it is pure playing. It even looks like she is looking for a nipple. I guess what bothers me is the possibility that it will grow up to real bitting.
Intuitivelly, I did exactlly what you reccommended as I didn't waht her to fear me. I guess I will continue with this...
BTW - how does mother-horse teaches/punishes her ofsprings in nature?
    03-23-2009, 07:02 AM
She will bite or nip at the foal, shove it with her nose, pin her ears back or squeal along with other things, depending on how bad the filly is annoying her.
Not much different to how horses usually act among each other really.
    03-23-2009, 09:59 AM
One thing you can do if she is mouthy is just rub vigorously on her muzzle....not enough to hurt, but just enough to be annoying, until she takes her mouth away. Do this every time she bothers you with her mouth. It doesn't make them headshy, but does work. I would only ever smack if she actually bites you with teeth (as opposed to baby mouthing).

I also agree that establishing personal space early is a great idea. However, be careful about just pushing her head away....this may turn into a head swinging or pushing game for her. She may be a tad bit young now, but when she's ready you can train her to back up from pressure on her chest and/or nose and use that.
    03-23-2009, 10:37 AM
I agree with the muzzle rubbing. At that age she is just exploring her world so severe actions would end up making her fear whatever she is nibbling on.
Giving your shirt or tie a wiggle every time she starts to chew on it is a good lesson too. If she is on a lead rope you can just wiggle the rope.
Silly story... When my filly's were tiny I would go out to do a little "let me touch you" lesson. When I would pick up the back feet they both would nibble on my back side. I could be seen standing out in the barn wiggling my butt on a regular basis
    03-23-2009, 11:13 AM
Flick her nose and say "quit". Rubbing her goes beyond the 3 second rule. You want to be in and out and done with the correction.

Remember to treat her like a horse. Yes she is cute but she is going to get bigger fast. Petting and scratching her neck is better than her face.
    03-23-2009, 11:28 AM
I like mls's suggestion, but I would add that you should make her leave your space. Not harshly or over the top, more like a "shoo, this isn't ok". But I think if she is nipping at you and you flick her without moving her away she may think its a "game". How many horses have you seen sitting around "play biting" at each other, I think they realize its "bad" when you don't want to play I.e moving them away. But be nice and don't make it last long she is just a baby after all.
    03-23-2009, 07:24 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
Flick her nose and say "quit". Rubbing her goes beyond the 3 second rule. You want to be in and out and done with the correction.

Remember to treat her like a horse. Yes she is cute but she is going to get bigger fast. Petting and scratching her neck is better than her face.
I would just be careful with flicking her because she is so young and you don't want her to become head shy. I think when she becomes a little older that would be a good method but not when she is only 10 days old and has not established trust with you yet.

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