My horse bit me! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Oregon
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Question My horse bit me!

Ok, so I was in an accident and had to take some time off from my horse activities, but I have been trying to get to the barn at least once a week to give her some attention. Like brushing and foot picking. I could not do really anything else as I injured my arm. I noticed on the time before last that she seemed a bit pushy. I made a mental note to address that when I could. So a week goes by, I walk into the barn and my normally pretty pleasant horse, lunged at me through the feed window and bit me! I was astounded! I went in her stall took her out and did the grooming like usual. She was fine. She has been pushy in the past and I am not afraid to throw an elbow or an open hand smack.

Some background on where she is at. I moved her there in Aug. For the most part she was out 24/7. The barn was pretty empty. She had a best friend across the fence and a few others around in paddocks. Then this month a jumper trainer moved his beginner jumping program in and has taken over. When I do make it to the barn he is in doing lessons. People are there all the time and a lot more horses are there. Plus she is not out at night anymore, but is still getting out during the day. Then the BO moved her stall right across from the arena enterance and moved her best buddy two horses down and stuck a "food aggressive" horse next to her instead. When the bite happened, two horses were in the arena and four people were sitting in front of her stall in the new "viewing area."

I went out this morning and decided to lunge her and she actually did better then normal. Mmm k.

So, where is the aggression coming from? Boredom because I have not been able to work her? Boredom because she is in more? The extra horses? The cranky horse next door? The extra people? I have a strict no feeding her treats policy, but I am not there 24/7.

Would love to hear any and all ideas.

SidMit is offline  
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 12:16 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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hmmmmm rather hard to say without seeing the horse but here are my opions
1. Your horse picked up bad habbits from the other horse
2. Boredum is a possibility...probably a lil angry you haven't stayed with her longer
3. Horses don't act up for no reason, when you are there watch her see how she acts when you aren't there have someone else watch her
Good luck!!!
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 10:17 AM
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She may not like all the people and other horses near her and has started warning and got no response til she turned to biting! That sucks! I see it a lot with horses who are stalled. Maybe becoming sour to being confined?
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 07:09 PM
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I would guess that whoever handles her lets her get away with anything, or is rough.

I see many barn workers just waving a bucket at a horse to send them away, and the horse grows defensive. I know you're hurt, but I'd try to spend more time with the horse.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 07:12 PM
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It really would p me off if this happened to me. I hear way to many issues with people who board their horses. Why is this?
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post #6 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mbender View Post
It really would p me off if this happened to me. I hear way to many issues with people who board their horses. Why is this?
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Oh man! I hate boarding. We are hoping to get our own place after the first of the year. Then I do not have to worry about the place being taken over.
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post #7 of 9 Old 10-30-2010, 07:46 PM
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I think most of those boarders that have problems is because they don't handle their horses enough, and too many other people are. Remember that a lot of these barns will hire the cheapest help, not the best, for basic barn chores and such. I'm not talking about the trainers or instructors, I'm talking about the people who are in and out of the stalls all day feeding, cleaning, filling buckets, etc. They may or may not have any horse knowledge at all. Horses that don't have consistent leadership may try to take over the role of alpha themselves, and begin to test those around them, including the owner that they aren't seeing as often as they are seeing the barn help.

I am more prone to think this case has more to do with boredom and too much pent up energy than being moved to a different stall, unless she is extremely nervous and high strung. It's not your fault if you have an injury that prevents you from doing anything right now. I would suggest, if you have a friend at this barn that you trust, that you might have them work with her some purely to burn off that extra energy, even if you feel you need to be there to watch to make yourself feel better about what's going on with her.

Some horses just don't do well in a stall. I have a gelding that will try to kick through the wall if left in more than a few hours, and will pin his ears and threaten any horse nearby, even those he is buddies with in the pasture. He is just not happy in a stall. In the pasture he is the sweetest and most tolerant horse we have. Having said that, he never threatens a human, or offers to bite. That is NOT okay. That's a behavior that will escalate and get someone hurt. You have to correct her sharply and quickly if she does it again. Good luck!

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-31-2010, 01:13 AM
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OP, you said that as you passed her window she lunged out and bit you. It's possibel that she did this so quickly that she didn't actually realize it was you that she was biting. Of course , horses recognize different people but it might not be as quick as we are.
If she has some anxiety pent up due to being next to a food agressive horse (and I think that is more likely than mishandling by a worker), she is just anxious and crabby and it's a blind emotion that is just going to be blindly acted out. That might explain why when later you worked with her, and she knows who you are, she behaves normally.

Just a thought
tinyliny is online now  
post #9 of 9 Old 10-31-2010, 08:16 AM
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I agree with you tinyliny but if this continues and this horse realizes that by acting out this way gets a reaction, negative or positive, the horse will associate this with attention and it could get worse. I would try and see how to fix this. Make sure there isn't rough handling or teasing from staff. Maybe see if you could switch stalls with another horse? Doubt it but never hurts to ask. Put some toys with a treat in it in the stall. Try and make sure you can get that horse out as much as posssible. No matter though, don't let the horse get away with that type of aggression. As frustrating and baffling as it is and for me, I would be sad/upset, but I couldn't let my horse get like that. I feel for you and hope there is someway to nip this in the bud!
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