Mouthy foals - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 03-06-2014, 05:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Georgia
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Mouthy foals

My colt is now 2 months old and he is getting very mouthy with everything - other horses, stall door, and now the lead rope. When I lead him he is taking the lead rope into his mouth and pulling on it like a puppy. Can I get some specifics on how to stop this behavior with the lead rope? If I hold the rope directly at the snap he of course can't reach it to mouth it as we walk. Is it as simple holding the rope there so he can't reach it or should I be making it more of a lesson in not mouthing? If so, how?
Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 3 Old 03-06-2014, 06:32 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
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Colts this age are notoriously mouthy. In addition to being curious and wanting to play, remember than nibbling/nipping is an instinctive part of horse romance. You do want to alter this behavior early otherwise it will get worse.
We use a combination of things. Keeping a very short lead (as you mention), smacking on the nose (along with "quit"), and using elbows to keep the head away. At that age, keep leading lessons short. We do 5-10 minutes every other day, correct the behavior, and be patient. If you're consistent, they will stop it.

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post #3 of 3 Old 03-06-2014, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2,303
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Good luck!

My Gelding is 2 and has to put his mouth on EVERYTHING. He picks up his water buckets in the stall, likes to swing his Jolly ball around, drags sticks in his paddock if he can find any, and takes off his buddies fly masks within 5 minutes of them coming on. I'm fairly sure he'd rip apart blankets if he was allowed to wear one (or allowed near anyone wearing one.) And when there is nothing to chew or carry, he'll stand there licking the wall.

He can also untie a quick release knot.

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