For a mouthy horse -- I will push their muzzle away with a firm "No." If they persist after that I will smack them.
For an aggressively biting horse, they get a hard smack on the nose immediately, end of story. This is an incredibly dangerous behaviour and I will not endanger myself nor others by doing anything else than making **** sure the horse thinks twice before it bites a human again.
It took me walloping Pickles ONCE on the nose after he bit my arm (leaving a welt which took almost a month to go down). He's never offered to do so again. Now, he is occasionally mouthy but all it takes is me firmly pushing his nose away.
He's nowhere near head-shy as a result. I'm sorry but biting is unacceptable in my book, and I will not hesitate to reprimand the horse with something equal to the infraction. Ever watch them in the pasture? What does a biter get when he bites the alpha? He gets his *** kicked, that's what. And I promise you, the "punishment" horses deal out to one another, even in play, is far more painful than a human hand bopping a nose.
Where I live there are a lot of kids and people who aren't so horse savvy and I will NOT tolerate a biter around them. It is a lack of respect and it is dangerous. I'm not going to play around with growling and posturing when a quick smack gets the message across much more effectively, and oftentimes permanently. I'm not saying I advocate hitting horses, but when it comes to biting? yeah, I do. Make it quick, and then go back to whatever you were doing as if nothing happened.
Last edited by Cheshire; 10-16-2010 at 04:41 PM.