Need advice for disrespectful TWH

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Need advice for disrespectful TWH

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    10-29-2011, 11:47 PM
Need advice for disrespectful TWH

I purchased a 6 year old TWH gelding several months ago. When I first acquired him, he was generally disrespectful and pushy. Althought, I have made great strides with him, he still has some very annoying behaviors that I have not been able to resolve. One of those behaviors is that he lays his ears back whenever I, or anyone else, approaches his stall. He used to bite, but he rarely attempts to bite me because he knows he will face quick and severe discipline. He will, however, attempt to bite others. He also seems to detest grooming. When grooming he won't stand still and seems to genuinely dislike being brushed. Any suggestions for how I can cure both of these annoying behaviors?
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    10-29-2011, 11:54 PM
Perhaps your brush is too stiff for his skin. I have one horse that is ok with a soft shoe brush.
    10-30-2011, 01:49 AM
Have you ruled out all physical causes?
    10-30-2011, 03:41 AM
That's pretty sucky to walk up to a stall and get bitten! Well, I have a thought on this, but not sure if it's enough or correct. I am no pro.
But the biting comes after he's already been thinking about biting. I mean, he thinks about for abit before doing it. So your job would be to intereupt him every time he starts thinking that way. Signs of such thinking would be pinning ears, curling lips back , stiffing neck. I would use a whip and when I approach his stall, if he pins his ears at me I would instantly slap the wood of the stall with a good noise. That will knock his brain out of that sort of thinking.

Next time he does it, (and catch it when that thinking first starts), say "Ah!" short and sharp and smack the wall or your boot or anything that will startle him out of that thinking. After a bit, just going "ah@!" when you see that stink eye on him will knock him out of it. When he does put his ears forward, do nothing. Don't go cuddle him. Just say nothing, or a very small, "good boy".

Groom him in short bursts. Groom a bit, turn away, a bit, walk away, and use soft brushes. If while grooming he tries to bite you, smack him a good one in the cheek or jaw. Keep the whip in your left hand if you need to and bop him good withe the knob whip handle. But if you do this, after this you must be consistent in how far back you will allow him to reach around. You can't punish for reaching around once, then think "isn't he being good" and then allow hime to reach around the next time as much as he wants.

If he starts being nice consistently, then you can allow more reach around, but with a biter, I would not let him reach around back beyond 45 degrees off the point of his shoulder.
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    10-30-2011, 05:25 AM
Originally Posted by bubba13    
Have you ruled out all physical causes?

I did think of possible physical cause. I had heard that biting often is due to dental problem. Had his teeth floated shortly after I bought him. Vet said that his teeth were in good condition. No other known physical problems, but I will keep a close eye on him for possible physical discomfort that could be causing his grouchy disposition.
    10-30-2011, 05:26 AM
Some good suggestions Tinyliny. Thanks!
    10-30-2011, 05:29 AM
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Perhaps your brush is too stiff for his skin. I have one horse that is ok with a soft shoe brush.
Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, he reacts the same way to soft brushes as he does to stiffer ones. I try to be gentle with brush in the event that he has sensitive skin. Even then, he seems irritated with me.
    10-30-2011, 09:47 AM
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He may just be a horse who has learned he really doesn't like interactions with people. What did he do before you bought him? Was he ever shown in either flat shod or big lick? Often I have seen horses come out of that environment with really sour attitudes towards humans. I won't say that I blame some of them. While there are very good TWH trainers out there, there are also some pretty brutal ones.

I like what Tiny suggests, though I hesitate to ever hit on the head. When a horse tries to bite me, I use one good whack on the front of the cannon bone to show my disapproval. That has worked well for me.

Use the praise for when he behaves well. If he decides to bond with you, it may be slow for him to trust you. Be persistent in your good attention but very CONSISTENT.
    10-30-2011, 12:49 PM
I had never seen a horse who didn't like to be brushed until moving into my last stable. There was three in there and all three would bite you in the stall but not when in the arena/pasture.

Just came to the conclusion they genuinely dislike or feel pain when brushed and associate being pulled out of the stall with pain because the next step is brushing. You've got to remember their skin is quite a bit more sensitive then ours. Try limiting how much you brush and bath instead to see if that helps.
    10-30-2011, 03:12 PM
I am certain that he was never shown in flat shod or big lick. His owner told me that the horse was imprinted as a foal. However, I am wondering if he was not imprinted properly. I have heard that faulty imprinting can lead to life long behavior problems for a horse.

behavior, disrespect, grooming

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