HELP!! Horse wants to bite! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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HELP!! Horse wants to bite! I have a 2 1/2 year old gelding. He is always trying to nip at me. He went through this stage about a year ago; however broke him of it by twitching is nose. He is now back to doing the same. I am so irritated I can scream. I hate this behavior in a horse. As long as I keep his head away from me he will not bite...but he will sure try. Help any advice is appreciated!
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post #2 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 11:37 AM
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Does he bite when you're leading, or just standing there with him, or all the time? what i found really helps is holding your elbow up, but dont touch or hit them with it. The only way he will run into the elbow is if he leans in to bite you, and thus he'll learn that biting you, and entering your space more specifically means that he runs into a pointy object and that he shouldnt do it anymore
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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He pretty much tries all the time, unless he is cross tied when grooming and/or tacking up. Its much worse if I am standing near him. I would like to be able to stand close to him and pet him without worrying about getting bit. Its like I can't allow his head near me at all. I am still so mad....just want to punch him(I never would just expressing my frustration)
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 12:59 PM
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Its good that you're not going to act on your anger and needlessly hit him, but sometimes he might just need a good whack-he needs some sort of discipline for this inappropriate behaviour. If you dont mind me asking, what do you do/how do you react when he bites? the fact that you cant stand in his space without getting bit says that he thinks he's the dominant one and that you should obey him when he wants you to leave him alone. Im not saying punch him repeatedly in the face or anything-but when he bites you get aggressive with him! Force him out of your space, get mean and scary, and dont let him come back until you see fit. A lot of people say you should never hit a horse in the face; my instructor has always maintained that you can (especially for biting), but make sure that you pet and caress his face twice as much afterwards. As long as they know that they get hit in the face only when they bite, and not just any random time, its unlikely that they're going to become headshy. The one time my horse bit me (we were in a loose pen and she was eating, thought it was a good idea to not let me stand near her when she had hay) i chased her out of the barn away from the rest of the horses and wouldnt let her back to the food and the other horses until she was settled down and ready to be a respectable herd member again.
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post #5 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 01:04 PM
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My colt used to do the same thing and after a couple of days of me just taping him on the nose everytime he managed to bite me he stoped, but according to how much it hurt me depended on how hard I would tap him. I wouldn't recomend actually smacking him unless he was to compleatly ignore you as this might cause him to eventually be head shy.

Hope this helps! =)

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post #6 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 01:23 PM
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There was a horse with a similar problem at an old barn, and they started carrying a crop, and he got a noisy, but soft tap on the nose every time he bit, or looked like he was going to bite. you can try that?
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 02:01 PM
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Agree totally with Hello-the elbow helps a lot, so does a well placed, well timed slap on the nose. The other tihing I have had to do from time to time is stop handfeeding. This means NO hand fed treats. This could very well be age related-many youngsters tend to be mouthy, but you also need to establish a bit of respect-now vs. later.

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post #8 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 02:19 PM
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Originally Posted by franknbeans View Post
a well placed, well timed slap on the nose.
Big ol' slap along with a very loud QUIT. Colts tend to be very oral.

You will have a lot of folks telling you to not hit the horse - especially in the face. I do not buy into that. If a horse bites a pasture mate - the pasture mate will bite back or kick. By slapping and using the word QUIT, you are setting the ground work for the short one word commands in training down the road.

Biting and kicking are not acceptable behavior in any age. Our 3 month old filly gets a slap if she tries to nip. Some folks may think it's cute but ask those folks with scars from stitches - or with missing fingers - how cute it is.
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 03:17 PM
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I agree with mls and fanknbeans. When a horse is disrespectful, I generally go after the offending part of their body. I treat a biting horse with a smack to the nose and then some groundwork to get the horses feet moving every direction to establish dominance.
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post #10 of 27 Old 08-03-2010, 03:26 PM
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I agree with the lot of you. It is an act of dominance. And like someone said, if this gelding did it to a dominant horse, that gelding would probably get more than a slap or tap. I honestly wouldnt feed treats from your hands either. Be it grass, or whatever until the nipping gets resolved. Elbows work wonders. Or if that doesnt work,,, the crop. You dont neccessarily have to pop him in the face or mouth, but one good pop on the butt will make him think twice. If he goes for a revenge bite,,,take him and show him who's boss. Move his feet however wherever.
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