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This is a discussion on Nipping/discipline within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    06-03-2008, 12:23 PM

How do you guys dicsipline a nipping horse?
Back in the day I would just give my old gal a swat in the nose... but she was pretty much an angel with no hangups...
Since my new mare is headshy and has past trauma, I don't want to swat her anywhere in the face... and I don't know if I like the idea anyways. How about getting a rope halter and giving her a good tug and a NO! When she does it? Or are there any techniques that you like?

P.s. I know this is a silly questions and makes me sound like a complete novice... I just want to be smart and make the right moves with this horse.
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    06-03-2008, 12:26 PM
Re: Nipping/discipline

Well yeah the rope halter would work but could also make her more headshy. If you guys are in the arena or round pen, everytime she attempts you could make her work. Sounds like she needs some ground manners but then again look at her past. Poor baby
    06-03-2008, 12:32 PM
Green Broke
I just point my finger at them and give them a really mean look....they understand 100%
    06-03-2008, 12:41 PM
Smacking a headshy horse is really bad idea, I certainly agree with you on that. You can either back her up every time she does it like a punishment or (I believe John Lyons suggested that) rub her muzzle with some energy (just kinda express your love too much :) ).
    06-03-2008, 01:22 PM
Hmm, how about a tap on the neck? ;) But then again, you don't wanna make her more afraid.
I think backing her up is a good idea.
    06-03-2008, 01:26 PM
I say give her a good smack on the chest/shoulder.
    06-03-2008, 01:35 PM
I know I keep drowning you with Dumas stories but..... Is she really head shy or does she not trust you yet? Dumas was supposed to be head shy and we have discovered that that is how he keeps his distance from people that he does not trust yet. He really has no problems with his ears being touched or his face for that matter. But when we first got him he wouldn't let us.

I say just work on your ground manners and allow her to get close to you but if she actually goes for the bite. Smack her neck or push her away then with your best I'm the boss voice tell her NO....Biting is one thing that I will not tolerate. I wouldn't think that a horse that is truely headshy would want to get their head close enough to you to bite. They are "usually" kickers. Spend some time with her and gain trust and treat her like any other horse you would normally work with untill you discover her personality traits.. Its all kind of trial and error until you get that bond which only time will bring. You could also concider carrying a stick. Not to whoop her with but something that she will "run into" if she invades your space. We did that with Twister. He eventually learned that he couldn't be in our bubble without being invited in. Now we don't have to use a stick.. Our arm works just fine.
    06-03-2008, 01:48 PM
My hubby has been dealing with Cherokee nipping him since he got him last year.
Well about a week ago we had a clinician come out and he taught Dave a few things to do. I swear to god that CHerokee hasnt nipped once or even tried to.

All he taught Dave to do was to get the horse to respect him as higher on the pecking order. To do that, he has Dave disengage the horses hindquarters and back him up 5 steps.

Dave and Cherokee have been doing that for about 15 minutes a day since then and its worked. He said if Cherokee tries to nip, disengage and back him up over and over to show him that you are the boss and that nipping means work.
    06-03-2008, 01:49 PM
Allowing her to bite you is not good, either. You need to punish a horse in 3 seconds, so I don't even think about it, just a quick smack to the mouth as soon as I see the teeth. If smacking a horse in the mouth does not create a head-shy horse( and I have never created a head shy horse) catching her in the act and correcting it is not the same as just Smacking her around.
    06-03-2008, 02:30 PM
Super Moderator
Originally Posted by kickshaw
i just point my finger at them and give them a really mean look....they understand 100%
I would laugh but I can do this really loud "AAAH" sound, and they stop in their tracks! LMAO

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