Need help....any ideas??
 
 

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Need help....any ideas??

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        10-16-2010, 05:30 AM
      #1
    Foal
    Question Need help....any ideas??

    My 15 year old horse does not like children and has tried to bite my 18 month old daughter when she was being held near him. I have talked to my trainer and she says she has never heard of a horse going after a particular group of people I.e. Children.

    Some background info. In case it would make a differance..... he was a stud for 13 years, been guilded a little over two years now. Never tried to bite an adult, but has penned his ears at adults he was unfamiliar with or that are really short. Always pens his ear as soon as children come within 10 feet of him. He has been corrected for the ear penning and still continues to do it, but not so much towards boys now? He was being held by a familiar adult when he tried to bite my daughter and corrected within 3 secs of the failed attempt. He is perfectly fine with the children (now that he is use to their helmets, never spooked oover the helmets, you could just tell he would get nervous) when they riding him.

    Anyone heard of a horse not liking children and where is a good place to start in getting him to stop? I want my whole family to enjoy him, but I want all involved to be safe! Could he be just scared of their size??

    Thanks!
         
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        10-16-2010, 06:22 AM
      #2
    Green Broke
    Maybe he has a bad experiance with them, like how some dogs are afraid of men
         
        10-16-2010, 06:55 AM
      #3
    Foal
    I found an article online with a similar problem.
    The link:Aggressive horse towards children

    And the Article:
    "Many horses, want and need to have appropriate leadership (a leader around) all the time. Some horses in the presence of a human (even a child) without a real positive energetic connection with that human will attempt to fend for themselves and that can become the behavior you saw. Not having a conscious connection with the humans around it (children or adults) can make some horses nervous and seemingly aggressive. If some horses are groomed unconsciously they get aggressive towards the groomer. Also, it is in a horse's nature to dominate where it can. This is part of their survival mechanism. Some horses will attack a 'vulnerable' (unconscious) individual, be it horse or human. Some horses do not like children because there is frequently no conscious connection, no leader present. Children actually make the horse fearful, fend for itself and behave as you saw.
    You can train this horse to be more accepting of children. However, you should not allow the children with the horse unsupervised. What you do is to put the horse to work if he begins to look threatening at the kids. Work being going around in circles, hind quarter yields, etc. Do you understand what I mean? I have had a couple of horses over the years that just did not like kids. This is rare but does happen. They were dangerous around children. I did manage to make them more safe. But I always needed to supervise children around these horses and make my leadership presence always felt by the horse. This is not unnatural behavior. It is common actually. However, it is a problem and maybe this horse is not the best for your family. You might consider a change, unless you feel competent you can train the horse out of the behavior. It is not about discipline or making the horse do anything. The horse is not being bad. It is just being a horse and exhibiting one of the myriad behaviors horses can have (mostly good but some not so good for humans). Do not blame the horse as being bad please. Do not punish him. Either re-train him or move him on to a more appropriate home."
         
        10-16-2010, 09:29 AM
      #4
    Guest
    Nan - this is a problem for you rather than the horse. It is sad but the fact is that you can't ever be sure that the horse will not hurt a child. The reasoning is immaterial.

    The fact is that the horse weighs 1000lbs or more and has a mouth the size of a crocodile's and it stands on four feet which weigh at least 250lbs each. Your child is at risk whenever within touching distance of a horse.

    Don't take the chance. Keep the two beings apart.

    On sunny days I used to take my horse to the nearby village. I used to tie him up whilst I went in to the local shop. One day I came out of the shop and there were at least 4 young mums with children all clustered around my horse who was a big gentle chap who weighed close to 1400 lbs. But I was horrified. The mums and the kids were far too close to him.

    He was a good chap my horse but if something had frightened him he might have trodden on one of the youngsters. If he had trodden on a foot or had knocked a push chair over, then everyone would have blamed him - whereas they should have blamed me for tieing him up in a public place.

    As it was, nothing happened and my Boy got lots of strokes from youngsters and even a peppermint from one of the mothers. But we never went back to the village after that incident. The risks were too great.

    Big horses and little kids don't mix. Nowadays I will not ever put them together - even though I own a horse which I think actually likes children.
         
        10-16-2010, 03:13 PM
      #5
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NannonsWhiskey    
    My 15 year old horse does not like children and has tried to bite my 18 month old daughter when she was being held near him. I have talked to my trainer and she says she has never heard of a horse going after a particular group of people I.e. Children.

    Some background info. In case it would make a differance..... he was a stud for 13 years, been guilded a little over two years now. Never tried to bite an adult, but has penned his ears at adults he was unfamiliar with or that are really short. Always pens his ear as soon as children come within 10 feet of him. He has been corrected for the ear penning and still continues to do it, but not so much towards boys now? He was being held by a familiar adult when he tried to bite my daughter and corrected within 3 secs of the failed attempt. He is perfectly fine with the children (now that he is use to their helmets, never spooked oover the helmets, you could just tell he would get nervous) when they riding him.

    Anyone heard of a horse not liking children and where is a good place to start in getting him to stop? I want my whole family to enjoy him, but I want all involved to be safe! Could he be just scared of their size??

    Thanks!
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dharlynn    
    I found an article online with a similar problem.
    The link:Aggressive horse towards children

    And the Article:
    "Many horses, want and need to have appropriate leadership (a leader around) all the time. Some horses in the presence of a human (even a child) without a real positive energetic connection with that human will attempt to fend for themselves and that can become the behavior you saw. Not having a conscious connection with the humans around it (children or adults) can make some horses nervous and seemingly aggressive. If some horses are groomed unconsciously they get aggressive towards the groomer. Also, it is in a horse's nature to dominate where it can. This is part of their survival mechanism. Some horses will attack a 'vulnerable' (unconscious) individual, be it horse or human. Some horses do not like children because there is frequently no conscious connection, no leader present. Children actually make the horse fearful, fend for itself and behave as you saw.
    You can train this horse to be more accepting of children. However, you should not allow the children with the horse unsupervised. What you do is to put the horse to work if he begins to look threatening at the kids. Work being going around in circles, hind quarter yields, etc. Do you understand what I mean? I have had a couple of horses over the years that just did not like kids. This is rare but does happen. They were dangerous around children. I did manage to make them more safe. But I always needed to supervise children around these horses and make my leadership presence always felt by the horse. This is not unnatural behavior. It is common actually. However, it is a problem and maybe this horse is not the best for your family. You might consider a change, unless you feel competent you can train the horse out of the behavior. It is not about discipline or making the horse do anything. The horse is not being bad. It is just being a horse and exhibiting one of the myriad behaviors horses can have (mostly good but some not so good for humans). Do not blame the horse as being bad please. Do not punish him. Either re-train him or move him on to a more appropriate home."
    Thanks so much for the link. I have been searching everywhere for any info on the this topic. All I could find was info on if he was trying to bite me! He is a great boy and this is an issue I would like to try to work on for a while before I give up and rehome him. I will share this info with the family and my trainer, we all learn something new everyday. Children are not allowed to be alone with him now and we keep them back from him, we don't allow them to feed him treats or groom him, they do that with our other horse. I always try to remeber the horses nature when dealing with any problems when they arise. I did not blame the horse for his behavior, just wanted to know where to start in redirecting the behavior! Once again thanks so much
         
        10-16-2010, 03:16 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    Thank-you Barry for expressing so well what is often over looked or even ignored concerning small children and horses.

    I have a 22 month old granddaughter that I have been introducing to my horses for many months now. I make sure she is in my arms, never on the ground, when around my two horses. I allow her to pet them, at the shoulder, my back towards their hips, so she is protected should one kick for whatever reason (though they have never kicked, you can't be too careful with a small child).

    They are use to her voice, and even come to the fence when she calls them. That is something to see indeed!

    While my two are very calm and gentle, they are horses and God forbid something scare them and my granddaughter is in their path of escape.

    Precautions and common sense are paramount to me in dealing with horses and small children. Yes, I know I tend to be on the extreme side of caution , (more so with my grandchild than I was with my own) but it only takes a fraction of a second for something horrible to happen. Why take the chance.

    On a positive note, my granddaughter is not afraid of the horses, and they in turn have learned that she is someone to give space to because I have insisted on that whenever she and I "visit" the horses.

    The good manners that I have always insisted on and reinforced when working/dealing with the horses have made the transition with my granddaughter much easier. I allow them into my space when invited, and they know not to come into that space unless invited. This is extending to my granddaughter because she is in my arms. When she is older and I feel it is safe/appropriate she will be able to approach them on the ground. They will already be accustomed to her smell/ voice and I will be there to reinforce the compliance of good manners should one "forget".
         
        10-16-2010, 03:20 PM
      #7
    Foal
    **Barry** I know it is my "problem" =) I am not blaming my horse for his behavior, I hate it when people blame their horses! So if it came off as I was, that was not the intent. Very scary that the parents did not think before taking their kids and petting your horse! I am in the practice of having my children ask before petting or feeding anyones animal. Believe I know most parents don't make their children do this as one child came running up to my horse, thank god I was aware and able to grab the child and stop it before it came within biting range. Our other horse loves children, but they are being taught to watch him, his feet, head ect. To ensure that there is no accident. Plus our children are ALWAYS supervised when they are around any horse nice or mean. Believe me I would intervine and chance being bitten myself then have anything happen to a child. Thanks for input. =)
         
        10-16-2010, 03:32 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NannonsWhiskey    
    My 15 year old horse does not like children and has tried to bite my 18 month old daughter when she was being held near him. I have talked to my trainer and she says she has never heard of a horse going after a particular group of people I.e. Children.

    Some background info. In case it would make a differance..... he was a stud for 13 years, been guilded a little over two years now. Never tried to bite an adult, but has penned his ears at adults he was unfamiliar with or that are really short. Always pens his ear as soon as children come within 10 feet of him. He has been corrected for the ear penning and still continues to do it, but not so much towards boys now? He was being held by a familiar adult when he tried to bite my daughter and corrected within 3 secs of the failed attempt. He is perfectly fine with the children (now that he is use to their helmets, never spooked oover the helmets, you could just tell he would get nervous) when they riding him.

    Anyone heard of a horse not liking children and where is a good place to start in getting him to stop? I want my whole family to enjoy him, but I want all involved to be safe! Could he be just scared of their size??

    Thanks!
    I found that interesting as some horses are also frightened of ponies and miniature horses. Could be that those "mini" humans scare some horses.

    Whatever the reason, you are aware of how fast something can happen, so precautions will be taken. Eventually with more exposure and good manners being reinforced (sounds like a dominance issue), he will learn to respect the human, regardless of size.

    Glad to read that the children wear helmets around the horse. Good precaution. Also reminds the children to be safe.
         
        10-16-2010, 03:37 PM
      #9
    Green Broke
    I came to the conclusion that if the child is small enough, the horse might not even realize the child IS a human.

    I had a minor incident with my Mustang (who is the best horse I have EVER owned) were a neighbor came over with a grandchild, and I had just finished riding, so they asked if they could set the grandchild (a 2 yr old girl) in the saddle for a moment. The horse was tied at my tie rail and I said "sure."

    So the granddad set her up there, my horse turned his head around and got scared and sidestepped. Luckily granddad had a hold of the granddaughter or she would likely have fallen off.

    I think my horse didn't even realize she was there because she was so small, or otherwise didn't realize it was a human on his back. He was just kind of like "what the heck is THAT!"

    I don't have kids or small children in my family, and I thought about it and figured that my horse may never even have even seen a small child before. So now I am more aware that a horse may not automatically know a child is a small version of an adult.

    They may just lump them in with other animals, because you know how many horses will chase a dog when it gets into their territory? Maybe they lump small children in the same category as dogs and other animals that they defend themselves from.
         
        10-16-2010, 03:52 PM
      #10
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NannonsWhiskey    
    Thanks so much for the link. I have been searching everywhere for any info on the this topic. All I could find was info on if he was trying to bite me! He is a great boy and this is an issue I would like to try to work on for a while before I give up and rehome him.
    Its not a problem at all. My Horse Dhar once had a problem like yours. She absolutely hated children with reindeer antlers on. She tried to eat a little girls face at a Christmas parade. But we worked on it and she ended up being a therapeutic riding horse.
    It all depends on you and what you want out of your horse and if your willing to work for it. I know every horse has its 'horseality' but I do believe any horse can do anything, if the own/trainers set their mind to it.
         

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