Whats your opinion? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 23 Old 05-27-2007, 08:19 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 356
• Horses: 2
I'm going to upset a lot of people here but such is life.
My story -
My youngest is a rising 3 yr old, she has a very superior/arrogant/pigheaded attitude and can be quite aggressive she acts like an alpha mare though she is bottom of the pecking order. Most call it "Little dog syndrome"

Anyway she use to be quick off the mark with both ends, teeth and talons! If I growled at her or tried to push her away she would promptly turn her butt on me and line me up! If I was the size of a clydie I would have stood there and taken it and then given it back, unfortunately I'm not, so I introduced Polly into our stable.

Polly??!! I here some say, well Polly is a foot long piece of 2 inch poly pipe who acts as my substitute hoof! he doesn't hurt anymore than a hand (only ever used on fleshy parts of her body) but he makes a fabulous sound. This has solved my problem of getting lined up as Jnr would get a smack on the butt as soon as she would turn it on me.

I still have to contend with her teeth but I tend to carry poly under my arm so that Jnr can see him and I will growl at her if she even thinks about it, and she grudgingly allows me control.

I should mention that these problems have stemmed from being extremely protective of her feed and have escalated. It is not only directed at me but also the dogs, kangaroos and sheep. I've seen her pick up a full grown sheep in her teeth and throw it 3 metres because it tried to steal her food

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone with my methods, but I had a fairly bad case on my hands and personal safety was pretty high on my priorities

'There is no good or bad, just fun or boring'
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post #22 of 23 Old 05-27-2007, 09:11 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Swansea
Posts: 167
• Horses: 0
Do you really think that another horse in a herd situation will care if the other horse is "just bored"? I don't think so. An ADULT horse should know better than biting me if he is interested! He can snuffle, snort, nose around me, but teeth? Nope. And yes, I will "bop" a young horse for biting too. (not as hard, usually with 2 fingers) Yes, they are curious and learning, but if he tried to bite another horse for no reason, he would be disciplined by that horse. And I certainly have never heard of a horse wanting reassurance by biting someone/something. It's not like I go around beating, yelling, or going crazy on my horses all the time. I said for a MAJOR transgression they would get that treatment. (and IMO biting is a major transgression, just like trying to kick me would be.) I wish you could come out to our ranch and see how bonded to our horses we are. But it takes respect to truly bond. And if they don't respect me, and see me as leader, we can't have the bonds that we have.
Woops I've taken my time to reply to this - thought it was something else and ignored it! Sorry.

I agree that a horse would respond in the normal way whether or not a horse is bored etc. etc. However, I feel that if a horse is bored in your care then it is your responsibility to give the horse something to be interested in. You can't really blame a horse for wanting something interesting to happen if he has been standing around for hours with nothing to do for example. If on the otherhand he bites when he does have stimulational to hand then that is another story.
With an adult horse biting out of interest I agree largely although I MAY allow a horse to grab with the teeth if it is something new to them such as a baseball cap provided they don't touch me. I think it is good to allow them to explore with their teeth as long as they learn to be gentle and to not cross certain lines. I would say the same applies to younger horses although I may give a bit more leverage for curiosity - A good example cropped up the other week with a two-year old.
This pony (11' 2" and bonkers in a nice way) had presumably never seen green wellies before and was therefore interested in the pair I was wearing. This started with sniffing and then he tested it with his teeth. This I felt was perfectly ok. However, he then took a tighter grib and started to tug upwards as if he were trying to pick my foot and welly up (remember I said he was bonkers) which is where i decided to draw the line. I did this by applying pressure to the side of his mouth to indicate that he should let go now which he did (if he didn't I would have been more forceful) and then he returned to sniffing. About a minute later he tried gripping again and I then repeated the above only a bit more forcefully, he then got the message and eventually lost interest.
Just to clarify, when I mentioned the bond thing I did not mean for a second to imply that your bond is lacking! I can tell from this forum that you are very good around horses. However, I just felt I needed to clarify to other people who maybe reading this more precisely from my opinion what disciplining a horse should be - I wouldn't want anyone to go yelling and hitting a horse forcefully for something which was not actually nasty but simply curiosity!
Dave Singleton is offline  
post #23 of 23 Old 05-29-2007, 03:25 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 40
• Horses: 1
I have read through this thread and feel I need to make one statement....ppl keep referring to herd behavior and how we should replicate it with our horses...NOT TRUE.

In horses eyes we are a predator, yes you may have a wonderful, trusting relationship with your horse, but the bottom line is your horse does NOT see you as another horse.

By hitting the horse, especially on the face, you are going to scare it and cause a trust issue (SIMPLY MY OPINION). Horses do kick and bite each other, but please understand that you are not another horse in your horses eyes, the horse will not understand that you are trying to replicate herd behavior, it will feel threatened.

Don't get me wrong, if my horse bites me it is a MAJOR issue, whatever the cause, and it will be dealt with. Usually a loud and dominant NO or KNOCK IT OFF will deal with the problem, but if it doesn't then I think it is best to make the horse think it is causing itself discomfort by biting me...watch the horse carefully and when it tries to bite you swing your elbow out, not to hit him, but so the horse bumps into it himself...thus the horse doesn't think YOU did it, he thinks HE did it by trying to bite you. See what I mean?

We do need to be the dominant player in our relationships with our horses, but it is simply impossible to try to be a "part of the herd."
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