What do you do when a horse bites you? - Page 4 - The Horse Forum
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post #31 of 47 Old 10-15-2010, 10:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Snookeys View Post
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?
Biting or nipping is one of the things that I simply DO NOT TOLERATE. It is a sign of disrespect and it is dangerous, plain and simple. I don't care if they are playing or if they meant to do it. I am the alpha leader in the herd and I will not be bitten.

If they hint as if they are going to bit, I usually head them off with a stern verbal warning. If a nip or bite actually comes out, they will immediately get one punch or slap on the horse. And hard. I don't fool around. But I do the punishment once and immediately, and then I go back to what I was doing as if it did not happen.

It is not abuse, it is discipline and I think it is just outright dangerous to allow a horse to bite or nip under any circumstances.

Needless to say, none of my horses bite. They know better because they know who the head of the herd is (ME).

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.

Last edited by beau159; 10-15-2010 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Edited to add that biting/nipping is the ONLY time I will hit a horse in the mouth.
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post #32 of 47 Old 10-15-2010, 11:55 PM
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John Lyons and the three second rule

John Lyons may say that what a chronic biter needs is to be loved on, but he also says that if your horse bites you, you have three seconds to punish him. If you wait longer, then you have missed the boat and do nothing. He describes the punishment as "make the horse think, just for a second, that it's going to die" then go back as if nothing happended.
I kid you not, that is what he said.
I am with the crowd that will not tolerate aggresive biting. One good smack on the kisser is better than a whole bunch of "no! No! " and taps.
If, however, I am grooming a horse who tries to mutually groom me, I would use a facial tap with two fingers and a discouraging vocal cue, and I would STOP the grooming until he put his face away from me.
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post #33 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 12:21 AM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
he also says that if your horse bites you, you have three seconds to punish him. If you wait longer, then you have missed the boat and do nothing. He describes the punishment as "make the horse think, just for a second, that it's going to die" then go back as if nothing happended.
Agree 110%

You need to reprimand the horse immediately for his actions, or he will not correlate the pushishment to biting/nipping. Spazz out on him for 3 seconds, and then go on with what you are doing like nothing happened.

He'll think twice the next time he thinks about biting.

∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.
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post #34 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 12:24 AM
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Well, I dont smack my horses on the top of their nose. If you do that, then they will flinch when you lift your hand. If its just an attempt, then I'll just snap the lead. If they actually give me a good nip, I'll either smack them on the but with a crop or tap them under the chin. That way, they dont see it comming and dont know that it was my hand! They dont develope a flinch if you do that..

If the horse is cinchy, I just tied their head up much closer. I dont give them enough room to turn around and bite me.
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post #35 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 04:53 AM
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My horse has never bitten me (tried to bite my daughter though) but he has penned his ears at me when I first got him. I would Make a loud noise, make myself "tall" and if all else fails a couple pops to the chest or side, basically make him think I was going to "eat" him if he didn't stop. He quite penning his ears pretty fast! My problem is getting him to stop doing it to the children, and what to do if he tries to bit one of them again. I was always told that the person who is getting "disrespected" needs to make the correction, not sure how to make my horse think my 18 month old daughter will eat him though, that she is the boss???
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post #36 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 06:24 AM
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If a horse bites/nips me it with get a smack accross the chops. They very rarely do it again and I've never made a horse head shy doing so.
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post #37 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 08:07 AM
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Within 3 seconds act like you're going to kill it by failing your arms, yelling, etc. If that doesn't work I use a piece of 5/8" black plastic water pipe and whack them upside the neck. It doesn't hurt but it sure makes a loud noise and usually after a couple of times (only on a persistant biter) the horse will get the idea.
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post #38 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 11:10 AM
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My horse bit me too!

"The greatest strength is gentleness."
- Iroquois Proverb
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post #39 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 12:30 PM
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Like Snookeys said, I have an aggressive horse that pins her ears and then tries to bite. She IS dangerous if she thinks she is in control. I tried "growling" at her and making her do ground work, rubbing her mouth and letting her slightly run into my elbow, but none of it worked. One day I got really fed up and as she was pinning her ears heading at me to give a Mean nip I made a fist and hit her with the underside(not my knuckles) on the side of her muzzle/ mouth area. I felt really mean and almost started crying when I saw that I had caused her to get a bloody lip, BUT she has never tried to nip or bite me since!

"Horses don’t have hard mouths, they have hard, stiff bodies. The softer you can get the horse through his body, the softer he will be in your hands." Clinton Anderson

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post #40 of 47 Old 10-16-2010, 03:37 PM
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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 03:41 PM.
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