Pony biting and boisterousness - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-16-2011, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Pony biting and boisterousness

Hello, down my local riding stables theres a pony and I've grown very fond of him. However, when I'm around him he keeps trying to bite me, shove his head into me, and generally its not nice to be around. I ask, how do you can i stop him from biting me without being violent, and how do i teach him manners and generally get him to trust me? As hes very distrustful of humans.

Any replies would be much appreciated!!

Thanks :)
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-16-2011, 05:16 PM
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If he's a school pony, then it will be more difficult to keep his handling consistent, which is the most important thing for keeping expectations of him very clear and maximizing the effectiveness of any training.

Firstly, if he's not your horse (I'm assuming this is the situation, based on the OP), get permission from the owner before doing anything with him, period. Respect their response. If he's your lesson mount, ask your riding instructor if it's ok to do anything about the behavior, and/or for assistance in dealing with his behavior. From here on, I'll answer under the assumption that you are not the pony's owner, but do have permission to handle him.

Nipping and biting can be tricky to fix, and the best method to tackle the problem varies from horse to horse to some degree. In general, though, I would say refrain from feeding him anything by hand, and don't keep treats in your pockets to tempt him into testing boundaries. Alongside this restriction, keep yourself aware of what he's doing with his mouth - if he goes to bite, pop him on the shoulder and drive him out of your space quickly. You're trying to get his attention, so make the response to the attempted bite big. Let him know that biting means that you're going to make him work.

As far as him being pushy with his head, I see that as a different facet of the biting - he's just not respectful of you. I recommend doing the same as for the biting. If you're in the habit of allowing him to scratch his head on your shoulder, don't let him: people aren't scratching posts. If he gets pushy, reestablish your personal space and move his feet away from you. If he tries to barge past you, back him up. Don't accept little halfhearted responses - he needs to respond to your requests promptly and snap to it with a real "yes ma'am/sir" attitude.

All of this will help him to trust you, as he begins to see that your responses are sensible, reliable, and make sense from a horse's thought process. You're establishing yourself as a dominant horse in his herd, an alpha worthy of respect and trust.

Good luck!

A stubborn horse walks behind you, an impatient one in front of you, but a noble companion walks beside you ~ Unknown
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post #3 of 3 Old 01-17-2011, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank youu!! :)
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