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How to stop biting?

This is a discussion on How to stop biting? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-10-2013, 06:26 PM
      #11
    Weanling
    Wow there are alot of options here. I have tried the "I'm going to kill you thing'' and he reacts but in a defensive, not submissive way. I don't think he is afraid of discipline because I see this in the way he reacts to other horses. I would say he is medium to low in the pecking order and he keeps agitating even after the other horse has definitely said "I've had enough". I like the nail in hand thing sorta, but I am not very coordinated. I even tried biting him back once lol. I just got a mouthful of hair. I honestly think he is rebellious and may need some creative tactics. I think the nail in hand may be my first try at that. It is just annoying to have to carry a nail around, but if that gets the point across then it will be worth it. I don't know why he is so grumpy sometimes and other times he is a lovebug. Sounds like gelding PMS lol.
         
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        01-10-2013, 07:12 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hberrie    
    Wow there are alot of options here. I have tried the "I'm going to kill you thing'' and he reacts but in a defensive, not submissive way. I don't think he is afraid of discipline because I see this in the way he reacts to other horses. I would say he is medium to low in the pecking order and he keeps agitating even after the other horse has definitely said "I've had enough". I like the nail in hand thing sorta, but I am not very coordinated. I even tried biting him back once lol. I just got a mouthful of hair. I honestly think he is rebellious and may need some creative tactics. I think the nail in hand may be my first try at that. It is just annoying to have to carry a nail around, but if that gets the point across then it will be worth it. I don't know why he is so grumpy sometimes and other times he is a lovebug. Sounds like gelding PMS lol.
    It sounds to me that you need to do a heap of groundwork with him so he IS submissive when you blow up on him.
         
        01-10-2013, 07:17 PM
      #13
    Weanling
    What do you suggest as groundwork?
         
        01-10-2013, 07:24 PM
      #14
    Weanling
    If you're in a place where you can't lunge him, take the same approach(making him work when he attempts to bite you). Back him up. Basically, take the kid out of the candy store. This is doubly good because, if he can't be in your space, he can't bite you.
    You have to force him to respect your space. Eventually he will associate biting with having to work. It's the same idea as using a nail - the horse will associate biting with a negative consequence.
         
        01-10-2013, 07:36 PM
      #15
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hberrie    
    What do you suggest as groundwork?
    I would start with lots of "giving" - make him give to your pressure and move away when you ask him to. Make him move his feet, make him move his shoulders and his hindquarters. I would lunge him, forcing him away when he shows signs of dominance, let him come in when he shows signs of submission, much in the style of Monty Roberts. I would also have a CTJM with him - I would put him in a situation where he could bite, and wait until he went for it, then I would blow up so insanely that he was certain he was going to die.
         
        01-10-2013, 07:42 PM
      #16
    Weanling
    I am embarrassed to freak out in front of the other barn people. One thing I was told when I bought him was that his previous owner was always screaming and hitting him. I don't want to be "that person". It seems like the more dramatic I get the more dramatic he gets.
         
        01-10-2013, 07:47 PM
      #17
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hberrie    
    I am embarrassed to freak out in front of the other barn people. One thing I was told when I bought him was that his previous owner was always screaming and hitting him. I don't want to be "that person". It seems like the more dramatic I get the more dramatic he gets.
    Hopefully you should only have to go all ape-s**t on him just the once, and he should learn his lesson from that. Then it's just maintaining the respect, which is the moving and the giving.

    If anyone wants to judge you, let them. I would pick my personal safety over other's having a good opinion of me any day of the week.
    themacpack, beau159 and hberrie like this.
         
        01-11-2013, 09:37 AM
      #18
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hberrie    
    I am embarrassed to freak out in front of the other barn people. One thing I was told when I bought him was that his previous owner was always screaming and hitting him. I don't want to be "that person". It seems like the more dramatic I get the more dramatic he gets.
    Going over your last comments now makes me think that your horse's biting is more out of him being defensive than him being just plain naughty - the two are similar but if he's getting bullied in the field to the point he's constantly feeling the need to fight his corner and his last owner bullied him then its all carrying on into his relationship with you
    He needs to stop seeing you in either of these ways and see you as a leader he can trust and rely on and not someone he feels the need to defend himself against. Ages ago when I first started work for someone where I stayed for a long time his prize horse was a large irish mare who when he introduced her to me he said - 'if she doesnt bite you when you go in she'll kick you when you come out' I soon discovered that being aggressive with her had a very negative effect and soon realised that she didnt ever attack my boss - because she adored him and trusted him
    I used side reins to deflect the biting when grooming her - she never did try to kick - and I just built up a relationship with her - riding her, caring for her, controlled liberty work - didnt take long to change her attitude to me
    Another thought - have you considered that there could be some underlying health issues to cause the crankiness - some pain somewhere, ulcers will make a horse feel irritable and Lymes disease will totally change a horses personality
         
        01-11-2013, 07:14 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    ^^ I have wondered about ulcers because I watched a video where the horse was palpated at different points on his back and shoulders and the amount of reaction indicated ulcers. My horse reacts strongly to being palpated almost anywhere, but people tell me he just is cranky and sensitive. How can you know for sure that a horse has ulcers? I agree that he is defensive(protecting himself) the more I try to get after him the worse he gets. He can be a real sweetheart sometimes too, which is why I really feel like something may be bothering him. I feel like he wants to be good but can't. He is always good under saddle though>
         
        01-12-2013, 08:38 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Subbing
         

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