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post #11 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:22 PM
Green Broke
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Could she have ulcers? A friend of mine had a darling little palomino that suddenly started biting, throwing bucking fits, laying down. Turns out Fancy had ulcers. They got the ulcers healed up and she went back to her sweet self. Poor girl was in a lot of pain.

Might be worth your while to have her scoped.

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post #12 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 12:31 PM
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Assuming the horse has a saddle that fits, cinch that doesn't pinch and no other internal problems, this is quite an easy fix. Do like CowboyBob said above (thanks, saved me from typing all that out!), also when you go to do up her cinch, go slow. Every horse I have trained to saddle is never cinchy/girthy because I have always done this - tighten a little, then pick out one hoof, go back and tighten a little more, pick out another hoof, etc, till all hooves are picked out and the saddle is tightened. Combines the chores as well, you have to clean your horses' feet before you ride anyways, might as well make it part of the saddling process, also when picking up the feet, the horse moves his weight around, settling in the cinch better. Good Luck.
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post #13 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 01:27 PM
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Is this the skinny mare from your other thread? If that's the case and she still isn't at a healthy weight, then you need to stop riding her. A skinny horse can have all sorts of problems: she could have internal problems that hurt when the girth is tightened, she could be going sour to riding because she is not healthy enough to handle her current workload, the saddle could be hurting her if it doesn't fit, the list goes on.

You need to COMPLETELY rule out pain as a cause for this behaviour, or else any attempt to train it out of her won't work. I rarely see a horse get this violent to the girth unless it hurts them.
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Gremmy View Post
Is this the skinny mare from your other thread? If that's the case and she still isn't at a healthy weight, then you need to stop riding her. A skinny horse can have all sorts of problems: she could have internal problems that hurt when the girth is tightened, she could be going sour to riding because she is not healthy enough to handle her current workload, the saddle could be hurting her if it doesn't fit, the list goes on.

You need to COMPLETELY rule out pain as a cause for this behaviour, or else any attempt to train it out of her won't work. I rarely see a horse get this violent to the girth unless it hurts them.

Couldn't agree more with this! I mean if she IS in the shape you posted in the picture on your other thread Gremmy is right and she most definitley should NOT be ridden. Not that biting is an acceptable behavior, but really if YOU were in that shape don't tell me if you were let's say asked to run a mile let's say you'd be any happier and NOT in pain! That's me at least trying to help you understand in a nice way what you're doing to this horse if it's the same one. I will not give advice for you to keep riding and working her, because IF the same horse again I would not be riding.

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post #15 of 21 Old 02-20-2013, 02:56 PM
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I think you have two different issues and I think they should both be addressed.

1) Biting is NEVER OK. I think there is a huge difference a between REASON and an EXCUSE. I do not think a horse EVER has an excuse for biting, kicking or doing anything aggressive towards a person. NO REASON IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME to be an excuse.

So -- I would strongly correct a horse any time it reaches out or swings around to bite or 'almost bite'. If the ears are back or the mouth is open, there is going to be very quick punishment from me. A horse will be corrected strongly for just swinging its head around toward me when I am saddling it. If you allow it, a bite will probably come at some later time. Swinging its head around toward you is a direct 'warning' from the horse that it does not like what you are doing. It is horse body language for "Stop! Right now!" This never works out well for a horse at my house -- no matter what his REASON might be.

2) -- You may or may not have a pain or a 'saddle fit' or man-made girthing up problem. You may have HAD this kind of a problem at one time, but horses have a way of developing a bad habit because of something that happened at some other time -- maybe a long time ago. Everyone (probably including the horse) has long forgotten the incident. Many horses get this way because someone tightened a saddle too tightly and too quickly after putting it on. A horse may have been saddled with a bad fitting saddle. A horse may be 'ticklish' and touchy in the girth area. Some horses need to be 'lightly' girthed and then walked around in a circle before tightening them up. We NEVER tighten any horse up when we first saddle it. This avoids almost all of these problems from developing.

But, no matter what the reason is, THERE IS NEVER AN EXCUSE FOR BITING!!!
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post #16 of 21 Old 02-21-2013, 07:41 PM
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Might be best to get vet out to do some diagnostics to see if there are repro problems, broken ribs, broken withers process first.

And you need better horse handling skills too, as there is no way a horse should get far enough to hurt someone like this during girthing up.

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post #17 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 02:08 AM
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If pain, and your technique can be ruled out, that's a serious issue! Check out my post on the other thread that you tell your injury stories on, about the stud horse that almost picked me up by my breast (fully healed with no complications or deformity thank the good good Lord)... That horse had a come to Jesus meeting for lack of a nicer way to put it. I'm not a horse abuser by any means but biting is absolutely unacceptable. He'd been getting nippy and no one stopped it then, so it went to the next stage with one of my body parts! Once I caught my breath and senses I tore his butt up. He hasn't tried even moving a lip in a persons direction now. It should have never got to that point though.
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post #18 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 02:13 PM
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What I do is grab a crop or whip, and hold it under my arm and point it at their face while I do up the girth, I don't hit them with it unless they actually bite me and so far that hasn't happened. It isn't really training them not to, but it sure makes me feel better.
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post #19 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 02:24 PM
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My horse does the same thing - except he acts like he is going to. Me, I don't tighten the lead so he can't turn his head - that just doesn't teach them very effectively.

What I do, is when I tighten the girth and his head comes around, I lift up my elbow or hand to block him, but I act like I didn't mean to. When he turns his head around again, I do the same thing, just act like I'm making sure the saddle is secure, but lift my arm or hand to black him. He is getting better at this, so I hope that this helps. You could also tie him shorter, but I just suggest that you train him not to - that way it doesn't become too bad of a habit for him, and that he knows he shouldn't do that.

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post #20 of 21 Old 02-22-2013, 05:06 PM
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First, please check saddle fit. Contact a saddle maker in your area and most will come out for free and they will set some trees on your horse then they will ask you to put your saddle on and they will evaluate it. I took my horse into the vet and she ended up getting $200 worth of Chiro work done. He said he could tell she was the most sore in the saddle part. And she was also a VERY cinchy horse. I had a saddle fitter come out and I have a thoroughbred so high narrow withers. He told me my show saddle fits her everywhere really nice but the only problem was she had such high withers there was no clearance from her withers to the saddle. He told me get a cutback saddle pad or make my own. I cut my one and now that saddle fits like a custom saddle. I know a lot of people say saddle pads can't fix problems. Talking to this saddle fitter who is very well known he said "not everyone can afford a custom made saddle, and just you using a cutback saddle pad is all that needs to be done". Please PLEASE PLEASE have a saddle fitter come out.

Second, cinch up just until they want to bite. Then tuck it in quick and walk maybe 15 steps and tighten up a bit more until they are about to bite, walk another 15 or so steps and tighten up just until they are about to bite until you have your saddle cinched up.

Third, If saddle fit and vet issues are out of the question then you need to get tough. They are a 1100+ lb animal. Slap them in the nose like you mean it and sternly say "NO". And when I mean slap like you mean it, I mean like you really mean it. I know a lot of horses they just got half slapped in the nose and they kept doing it. The moment they were slapped in the NOSE like the person meant it they never tried to bite again. If they move their head quick enough. Slap them in the shoulder like you mean it and say sternly "NO". There is no reason for them to bite. Once is all it takes for you to teach them, or your problem with just get worse. I was scared to full out slap one of the horses I was working with and someone else did it and she NEVER tried to bite again. I now will full out slap like I mean it. There is no reason they should just out of meanness, if it is Saddle fit then get things together and correct then if they do it out of meanness than you need to show that meanness back!
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