Nipping horse! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 07-20-2009, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Nipping horse!

Ok. So my 7 year old, is being naughty... He tends to bite a lot but not because of aggresion.. He doesn't bite hard though... And he never pins his ears.. I think its more of always wanting treats... When he bites I tap his nose.. But it isn't helping.. I need some help! Please, any advice would help..

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post #2 of 12 Old 07-20-2009, 08:32 PM
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If you are feeding him treats, I would not give him any unless he does something you like when you are working him. If you want to give him a treat just because, put it in a bucket.

Horses who nip (not out of aggression or fear, but out of dominance) tend to have a very active mind and NEED to be played with and given a job. So when you see him start to act nippy get him busy. Move his feet, send him over things, back him up, something to get his mind refocused on you. If he is up close you can block him with your elbow, flap your arms, do jumping jacks, something to that effect. Smacking him will not work, in this case it would probably just make him try harder to nip you and he would turn it into a game of 'nip the human than get out of the way before she smacks me.'
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-20-2009, 10:06 PM
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If he is biting, you need to stop feeding him treats from your hand; give them from a bucket for now.

When he does bite, immediately make him back out of your space, and make him STAY out of your space until you invite him back in. If you can catch him before he bites; meaning you need to develop 'eyes in the back of your head', take his muzzle in your hands and vigorously rub his muzzle until he gets tired of it and moves back on his own; this works, and does not make the horse afraid of your touch.

I agree with the above poster, too that he may just have an active mind, so you may need to just DO more with this guy; more ground exercises to keep his brain working and occupied, more ring work to keep him learning too, etc.

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-20-2009, 10:28 PM
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I agree with everything above and you can also try taking the reins off a bridle and have him wear it while you are around.
It give him something to chew on and play with.
Some horses are just more oral.

Kind of a pacifier.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-20-2009, 10:35 PM
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I agree with everyone above. Another thing I did with a welsh cob pony I leased was whenever he bit, or when I knew he would bite, I would come into contact with him first, not hitting, but if he were to bite me arm, I would raise it a bit and he would end up bumping his nose. After awhile, he thought he keppt running into me and therefore, he couldnt really bite me, so I made him think it's his fault, which it really is. Lol

No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-21-2009, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.. All of your advice is wonderful.. I will start right away! :)

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post #7 of 12 Old 07-21-2009, 07:46 PM
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Good luck with him! My new horse was pretty nippy when I got him, and I used a variety of techniques to get him to stop; I still have to occasionally bring my elbow up to keep him out of my space, but he's not nearly so sneaky as he was when I got him. Consistancy is key. Your boy will catch on

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-21-2009, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mom2pride View Post
If you can catch him before he bites; meaning you need to develop 'eyes in the back of your head', take his muzzle in your hands and vigorously rub his muzzle until he gets tired of it and moves back on his own; this works, and does not make the horse afraid of your touch.
I just wanted to second this method. I had a problem with a ridiculously mouthy horse and used this method. It took a while, but it was effective and didn't require any force.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-23-2009, 12:28 PM
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Hehe, my rhiszo is the same way, he likes staying busy, This might not be the thing that everyone would do or suggest, but he loves nipping things because he likes being busy, its not a dominance issue or an aggression issue, If I have a lead rope, I let him bite the end, he likes staying busy, he has not created other bad habits out of this and you can see that he gets content, he doesn't like standing around when I'm talking.

*~BEKI~*
you can start with nothing, and out of nothing or no way, a way will be provided.
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post #10 of 12 Old 07-24-2009, 04:56 PM
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Starship's nickname is Cheap Shot Charlie, he doesn't bite hard, he's not mean, he just doesn't realise my skin isn't as thick as his.
I let him chew the end of the lead rope too, anything to keep him busy. It is a game to him, if you're on him and paying attention he behaves like an angel, but the second your guard is down he'll get you.
Even his previous owner, a race horse trainer who had him for about 5 years was not able to get him to stop.
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