Originally Posted by Cherie
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?