Teething or training issue?
 
 

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Teething or training issue?

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  • Is is ok to ride your horse while he's teething
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    05-22-2013, 08:08 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Teething or training issue?

Hi guys. I have a coming 3 yr old and he's actually been doing really well under saddle. But he chews on anything he can get his mouth on......reins, lead ropes, leather, etc. Everything goes right in his mouth and he wants to get it back to his molars and chew it.

I *think* he is teething, because a while back he lost some of his incisor baby teeth and he quit chewing on things for about a week. It was wonderful! Now he is back to chewing again. I am even riding him in a hackamore (which he does wonderful in) because he was so distracted with the snaffle in his mouth he wasn't paying attention. I went from a horse that would hardly steer with a bit to a horse that is neck-reining with a hackamore. So I was thrilled with that.

However, I went to the feed store today and mentioned that my 3 yr old chewed up a saddle string and I had to replace it and he told me it was all a training issue and that it isn't natural for a horse to put things in it's mouth. I kind of joked if off like "it's normal for my horse" but it really got me down. Yes, he is terribly mouthy with everything, but he's been doing so well under saddle that I was hoping trying to chew everything in site was something he would outgrow.

This was a horse, who when he was little, I could barely lead, pony, etc. So I know he's not a perfect horse. But he's been doing so darn good under saddle, I was almost ready to post on here with photos. We've had 4 awesome trail rides this month. Now I am discouraged again because of what this guy said.

Will he ever outgrow putting things in his mouth or is he just a horrible horse? Yesterday I was so proud of him and now I am thinking he will never be a good horse.

I guess I am wondering, should I be popping him when he grabs anything, or is he actually teething? Is this a physical issue or a behavioral one?

Yesterday we rode for 3 1/2 hours and I packed out deer antlers. He can't be that horrible, right?
     
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    05-22-2013, 08:28 PM
  #2
Started
I've never noticed a teething issue in any of my horses, but I want to make one thing absolutely clear. Your horse is not a bad horse because he chews on things! I've met some world class show horses that would do that, but they were still world class. (And when I say world class, I mean they were being shown at the World Championship Appaloosa Show.)

I would have his teeth checked. He could have something going on, no matter what his age is. If everything is normal, I would get after him if he does it when he's supposed to be paying attention to you. If he grabbed the wrong thing, it could get dangerous. Also, make SURE he can't get to any electrical cords or wiring, at any time.
     
    05-22-2013, 09:01 PM
  #3
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
This was a horse, who when he was little, I could barely lead, pony, etc. So I know he's not a perfect horse. But he's been doing so darn good under saddle, I was almost ready to post on here with photos. We've had 4 awesome trail rides this month. Now I am discouraged again because of what this guy said.

Will he ever outgrow putting things in his mouth or is he just a horrible horse? Yesterday I was so proud of him and now I am thinking he will never be a good horse.
Ohhh no!! Don't let someone take your wind out of your sails! Man people have been known to do that if they are either a) jealous b) think they know it all c) out to make others feel like crapola!

You have come so far with this horse. It's just him being mouthy. Maybe you should take that eagerness and turn it into something via clicker training.

Or maybe he needs to be entertained all the time, and chomping is his way of accomplishing that.

He's not a bad horse! He's only 3!
     
    05-22-2013, 10:40 PM
  #4
Yearling
He's just being a mouthy baby. Ignore it unless he's putting his teeth on YOU. Then whip some bootay! Keep on going, sounds like you're doing well.
     
    05-22-2013, 10:49 PM
  #5
Trained
THR, my old gelding was mouthy as all get-out. When I'd tie him for any reason, he would pick up the end of the lead rope and chew on it. We couldn't leave his halter hanging on the front of his stall like we did with the other horses because he would pull it into his stall and chew on it. We also couldn't hang any of his neighbors' halters too close to his stall or he'd chew on them. He even chewed on his neighbor's winter blanket when Cisco stood too close to the fence. He was eight-years-old. He had great ground manners (by the time I was done with him lol), but he just got bored and chewed on stuff.

I think Zane is just being a baby. He could also be bored and chewing on things is a way to occupy himself.
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    05-22-2013, 11:27 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Thanks guys. I feel better now that a few hours have passed. I know he's not perfect, but I can't build Rome in a day. Or in 3 years apparently.

He's always been less than perfect on the ground but I sent him out for saddle training and he rides pretty well. And his ground manners in general are getting better. I'm hoping mileage will help conquer some of the baby issues. This summer I want to get some quality miles on him. Miles of him figuring out what is expected of him and learning to chill on the trail.

He just has this incredible urge to chew. Like if we are riding he is pretty well occupied, but say I stop for a minute to get a drink or snack out of my saddle bags, he grabs the reins. In the trailer I have to put hot sauce on my lead rope or he will chew it during the trailer ride. That's how he got to my friend's saddle. He was tied (I thought) fairly short, but not short enough because he chewed off one of her saddle strings. I was so thankful it wasn't the saddle!

Anyhow, I will keep on with our riding and try to keep important things out of his mouth until he hopefully gets some more age on him.

I haven't had his teeth checked, but I know it's something I need to do. I had a wonderful vet who passed away and now I need to try a new vet. I've sort of been putting it off.

I read somewhere that they do have molars erupting at this age. Maybe I will have to look it up again.

Here we are on our last ride, yesterday. We found 3 deer antlers on this ride and I think he did great packing them out because we trotted a little bit and they rattled. He's way more interested in his surroundings that what kind of stuff I strap to his back.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg zane kim deer antlers- small.jpg (99.1 KB, 26 views)
Skyseternalangel likes this.
     
    05-22-2013, 11:31 PM
  #7
Trained
TRH, we're going to have to ride together sometime!! I've got a few friends who trail ride as well, so we should all get together and have ourselves a fun ride!
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    05-22-2013, 11:32 PM
  #8
Showing
Yay Thank you for the awesome photo. I absolutely love your updates!
     
    05-22-2013, 11:40 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
He even chewed on his neighbor's winter blanket when Cisco stood too close to the fence.
Posted via Mobile Device
Zane already chewed up a blanket that my older gelding was wearing in the next pen . I'm like "John, why did you let that baby chew up your blanket?" Luckily I don't think he ate any because there was a handful of chewed up canvas wads laying on the ground. They looked a lot like used chewing gum.

The other horses can't wear fly masks either. He rips them off and I'm afraid he will swallow a piece so everyone has to go without fly masks. Luckily the barn is a metal 3 sided shelter and he has no access to electricity.....except in winter when I use a tank de-icer. Last year it worked out fine because I always kept the trough full so he couldn't reach the cord and ran all the electrical cord through conduit. But the de-icer does make me think twice.

And the boy owns 4 jolly balls and plays with all of them!
     
    05-22-2013, 11:41 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
TRH, we're going to have to ride together sometime!! I've got a few friends who trail ride as well, so we should all get together and have ourselves a fun ride!
Posted via Mobile Device
That would be cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel    
Yay Thank you for the awesome photo. I absolutely love your updates!
Thank you!
     

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