What do you do when a horse bites you? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 10-09-2010, 11:44 PM Thread Starter
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What do you do when a horse bites you?

Because I just say "Ow."

I see a lot of horses get smacked in the face over nipping. Some do it to be naughty, but some do it just because they're mouthy... then I see the horses that are getting a nice scratch and they start to "groom" you back, but some people, as soon as they feel those teeth or the lips wiggling, they'll backhand that horse's muzzle without missing a beat. I was always taught to never strike a horse in the face. I'll pinch their lips slightly as a warning if they are play-nipping, and that seems to work.

Anyway, what do you guys do?

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #2 of 47 Old 10-09-2010, 11:58 PM
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At the barn I ride at the horse I ride is very nippy. If she just pins her ears and opens her mouth "her name is dixie" so I just say in a stern voice "Eh!" or "Dixie!" and that is usually enough, but the time she did make physical contact I was shocked and just didn't do anything (mistake) I asked my trainer and was told if a horse makes physical contact with you make physical contact back. I didn't the next time she bit me I yelled "Dixie!" and made a huge movement with my arms she didn't do it again so far me that was enough.
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post #3 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:00 AM Thread Starter
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But the ear-pinning-teeth-baring biters are the aggressive ones. And they are dangerous! I would definitely "bite her back". Yet I just can't smack a horse in the face... just how I was taught, and I can't bring myself to do it. I'll pinch, but not smack

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #4 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:02 AM
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bite em back! I did this one time with a former horse of mine and it completly confused the horse and he never did it again. Not real hard, just enough to say 'hey!,that's not ok.'
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post #5 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:07 AM
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I couldn't bring myself to hit my horse either so if the yelling and flailing arms doesn't work then would try (instead of face) when she turns to bite you put your elbow up so she hits your elbow that way you are not hitting her she is hitting you and it is her fault.
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post #6 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:08 AM
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With my mare, especially because she is so sensitive, I won't touch her face at all. If she is just getting a bit too mouthy, I too just kind of pinch her lips a bit, and on the couple of occasions that she's actually tried to bite me, both because I was messing with an injury, and she's still unsure about people, I will smack her on the chest or the shoulder, but never the neck head or nose. I also don't smack as hard as I can, a swift tap is enough for her.

My first horse used to bite for whatever reason, and his previous owner would wheel back and punch him in the soft part of his nose, so he started making a game of it, bit the human dodge the fist. He was definitely dangerous because he would take hunks of skin, because he was trying to get in and out quickly, which meant that he grabbed whatever he could. So obviously smacking him just made his biting worse, and made him head shy. It took me 3 years, but I basically just ignored him. He wanted attention, he learned that biting got him attention, so I took that attention away from him. He bit me, I just walked off back to the tack shed, grabbed another brush or whatever, walked back and continued grooming him, and wouldn't even acknowledge that he'd bitten me. At first I definitely wore THICK clothing, but as time when on, he got more gentle, and finally he just stopped one day. I still wouldn't trust him enough to knowingly and willingly turn my back on him and focus on someone else when I was in his reach, but he finally had learned that he wasn't getting any extra attention from biting me, so he may as well stop, and just act nice.
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post #7 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilyRosie View Post
I couldn't bring myself to hit my horse either so if the yelling and flailing arms doesn't work then would try (instead of face) when she turns to bite you put your elbow up so she hits your elbow that way you are not hitting her she is hitting you and it is her fault.
*Like*

I wish we had like buttons, like on FB.

I'm so busy, I don't know if I've found a rope... or lost my horse...
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post #8 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snookeys View Post
*Like*

I wish we had like buttons, like on FB.

haha thanks and i agree there should be a like button
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post #9 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 01:00 AM
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My horse got a slap in the face onc, it was more a reaction because it hurt like bugger, just straight across the muzzle, he walked away offended whilst i stopped my hand from bleeding and got butterfly stitches on the bites and he never bit me again. the last horse that bit me i cracked across the rump with a dressage whip, he was so stunned he didn't bite for month and then he went to try it again saw me lift the whip and changed his mind. neither of the horses were mentally scarred. We have to remember that even though we want to eb kind and all-natural all of the time, horses out weight us, out power us and can sometimes be downright nasty things. as my grandfather once said, **** the day horses work out they are stronger and bigger than us. we have to be proactive and assertive in our approach to them or they'll walk all over us, i've seen horses drag people across paddocks with their teeth because people never taught them not to or corrected them when they did, because it wasn't "that bad" now they either have scarring or muscular issues in that arm, i've seen this happen 4 times. I take horses misbehaving very seriously, biting is a massive no in my barn as is backing up to you, striking and walking all over you. We have to be cruel (to an acceptable extent) to be kind both to ourselves and to the horses, because one day you may have to sell it and no one wants a horse with habits like that

I can't change! I'm like a Chameleon...always a lizard!
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post #10 of 47 Old 10-10-2010, 01:12 AM
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never mind it turned up

I can't change! I'm like a Chameleon...always a lizard!
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