WANTED: Nippy foal tricks, tips, and ideas! - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation WANTED: Nippy foal tricks, tips, and ideas!

Anyone have any tips for those babies that just can’t stand to have an empty quite mouth?

I’ve got two and they just can’t seem to keep their little mouths from nibbling and sniffing myself or everything around them. I like it to a point, but their OCD about it!

I like the dish soap idea, but I’m getting tired of slimy soapy lead ropes and other tack! I don’t want them head shy, but this needs to stop!

Oh, and I don't hand feed.

"On the 6th day God created horses; and on the 7th day He painted the good ones"
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post #2 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 07:50 PM
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I don't have any ideas, but I am curious, what people will say. My boy just turned 3 and I feel like I need a horsey pacifier just to keep him mouth busy so he will pay attention to me!
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 08:23 PM
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I have never let young horses nibble and bite on me or the lead-rope or ??? If I am around them, I want their respect -- period.

My preferred way to handle mouthyness after they are a few weeks old is to let them run into something unpleasant and they instantly stop doing it. A horse is not going to grab a hot wire more than once. He will not run into a sharp object more than once either. Just simply hold a nail (it does not have to be a sharp one) in your hand and make sure you keep that hand between him and rest of you until he has had a chance to run into it.

It is not one tiny bit different than having a rose-bush there. No horse is going to bite it more than once. He does not have to run into a buzz-saw. Just let him 'school himself'. Any time a horse can teach himself a lesson, let him do it.

I have used this method for nearly 50 years. In all of that time I have not had one single problem arise from it and have had every single nibbler stop right then and there.

I use this same approach when I have to hold a 'busy' horse for the farrier. If I hold something like a nail in my hand, the horse will only reach toward me once. If he tries to chew the rope, I hold the nail further up the rope so he runs into it there. Horses just back off and stand there if you do not engage them in any games.

They do not make a game out of it and they do not get head-shy.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 08:24 PM
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whenever they invade your space, invade theirs. Push them out of the way or give them a little slap out of the way. As long as you only do it when they invade your space, they won't become headshy. If you do it unreasonably though they probably will become headshy.
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
I have never let young horses nibble and bite on me or the lead-rope or ??? If I am around them, I want their respect -- period.

My preferred way to handle mouthyness after they are a few weeks old is to let them run into something unpleasant and they instantly stop doing it. A horse is not going to grab a hot wire more than once. He will not run into a sharp object more than once either. Just simply hold a nail (it does not have to be a sharp one) in your hand and make sure you keep that hand between him and rest of you until he has had a chance to run into it.

It is not one tiny bit different than having a rose-bush there. No horse is going to bite it more than once. He does not have to run into a buzz-saw. Just let him 'school himself'. Any time a horse can teach himself a lesson, let him do it.

I have used this method for nearly 50 years. In all of that time I have not had one single problem arise from it and have had every single nibbler stop right then and there.

I use this same approach when I have to hold a 'busy' horse for the farrier. If I hold something like a nail in my hand, the horse will only reach toward me once. If he tries to chew the rope, I hold the nail further up the rope so he runs into it there. Horses just back off and stand there if you do not engage them in any games.

They do not make a game out of it and they do not get head-shy.
So if the kids reach for my hat or boot do I bring the nail to the object and create the poke by getting them to run into it?

Thanks!

"On the 6th day God created horses; and on the 7th day He painted the good ones"
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post #6 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 09:02 PM
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Set them up to run into the nail while they are on a lead and they are somewhat limited in what they can reach for.

I think you may want to work a little on just basic manners.

I want a wave of my hand and a smooch to tell a horse to 'back off' and/or to move its feet.

I want them to act like well mannered horses at all times.
I do not want them to act like dogs or other pets.
I do not want them in my space unless I invite them.
I do not want them rubbing on me.
I do not want them stepping on my toes.
I do not want them sniffing around for treats. (I don't hand feed mine or give them treats.)

I like respectful horses, so the only ones I have that even try top bite or nibble are horses brought to me for training or horses I buy. One 'run-in' with the nail stops them.
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post #7 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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^Thanks:)

"On the 6th day God created horses; and on the 7th day He painted the good ones"
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post #8 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 09:25 PM
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same can be achieved with a spur or simply letting themselves run into a stiffened finger. Just so long as they associate doing a certain action with a certain amount of resistance, it's just easier will a smaller object because they can't really push into a small surface area without wanting to escape it.
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post #9 of 9 Old 02-16-2011, 11:29 PM
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thumb tack..works wonders..its not big enough for them to see it so when it sticks them they think that they did it not you..I had a young horse that did it and would bite at my hands when I was leading him and it got to the point where pushing and poking did nothing so I held a tack inbetween my fingers and let him stick himself a few times and he figured out that "Hey..I do that and it hurts my nose.."

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