Join Date: May 2011
Location: Chino Valley, AZ
I got my gelding as a basically unhandled two-year-old stud colt. He had zero ground manners, didn't know how to lead, and was a biter. He also hadn't had his feet handled in at least six months, probably closer to a year. He was 15hh and a solid 1200lbs when I got him. The only correction that worked with him was a physical one.
I was leading him down the road one day and, completely out of nowhere, he latched onto my forearm with his teeth. I don't know about you, but my first reaction was a strong one. There was no "ah" and make him move away. He got my fist connected with his jaw. It was pure reaction. Tell you what, though. He has NEVER bitten me again. If he even acts like he's going to lip me, all I have to do is look at him and say "Really?" Just my tone of voice tells him he's going into forbidden territory and he stops.
He still isn't great about having his feet handled. He will fight me for a few seconds when I first pick them up before he realizes that he's not going to win and gives up. However, he is much more fussy about his back feet and will actually try to kick me. He is now a 16.1hh 1500lbs draft cross with A LOT of power in his hind end. If he kicks, it hurts (trust me...I've been clipped by him before trying to pick his feet). If he just tries to pull his foot away, he gets a slap on the flank and a "Stop being a d*ck!" If he actually tries to kick me, he gets a good solid punch to the flank and then he gets to move his feet until he's decided to cooperate (usually just end up yielding his hindquarters for a while). Like arrowsaway said: You have to match their intensity and bring it up a notch.
This doesn't mean that I'm constantly hitting my horse. He only gets corrected like that when he's committing one of the cardinal sins (biting, kicking, or trying to run me over). Usually just a "Quit it!" and moving his feet works.
Do not tell me I can't...because I will show
you that I can.