Curing Biting/Nipping with Natural Horsemanship - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-30-2010, 09:26 PM
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The rule of thumb is to be as gentle as possible, yet as firm as necessary. John Lyons does the 3-second rule for any horse who's tried to bite: hit on his neck like you're going to kill him for 3 seconds. That scares the daylights out of the horse, & so is a great deterrent for some horses, but I think that one must understand the individual "horsenalities" to know how to deal with the horse that you have: if you did the 3-second rule on a right-brain-introvert, you'd probably set yourself way back in that relationship. (Pat Parelli has the 4 main horsenality types)
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-30-2010, 09:28 PM
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I had a horse that out of no where started nipping. The nieghbors visiting relatives had asked me if they could feed them apples and I told them no but suspected that was causing the nipping. I again told them no when the horse kept nipping. They said they hadn't been feeding them. I happened to walk over the hill and caught them feeding the horses. As soon as they left town the horse quit biting. I never give my horses treats and have never had any biting problems.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-30-2010, 10:17 PM
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The key is to figure out WHY the horse is biting....fear, dominance, pain, or he just plain doesn't like you. Aside from pain (sometimes) it's the person's fault he/she is getting bit. When a horse bites, kicks, etc. it's a direct result of how the horse views the person and how poor the relationship might be. To punish him by smacking, which is a predatory response from the human, is to tell the horse you don't care about how he feels about things and how he views things. The horse can not truly respect/trust you if you do that.

Punishment really doesn't work for horses because they are a prey animal and we are a predator....we think nothing alike. Dogs respond to punishment b/c they are also a predatory species. A lot of the time, what we think we should do, we should actually do the opposite with horses.

When I work with horses who are labeled as biters I first read the situation and assess WHY he is biting, then take the necessary steps to fix it. Set the horse up for success so he never feels the need to bite. If the person does get bitten it's his/her fault for not reading the situation correctly....so if they do get bitten backing cures biting because when you move the horse's feet you are establishing yourself as alpha, and you back him until the look on his face changes. However you are not yelling, you are not aggressive (you are assertive) and you aren't feeling mean or mad...."the attitude of justice is effective."
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spirithorse View Post
The key is to figure out WHY the horse is biting....
Ah... I am seeing this is definitely the key... what I began to suspect as I thought on this issue further. It sounds like 95%, if not more, of the instances of biting/nipping can be fixed by finding the underlying reason of the biting and acting as necessary.

Funny. Sounds like common sense plays an important role too!

Thank you all for your responses. I am learning a ton from reading these and look forward to being around the horse that's nipped me in the past so I can address the issue as necessary. She's not my horse, which makes it slightly more difficult (I volunteer at a local therapeutic riding center and groom and often lead the horses during lessons). The mare is probably what you'd consider a right brain extrovert most of the time. But I can see that several of the nips have been my own fault because I wasn't paying attention like I should have been and could easily have blocked her.

Another thing I'm learning is that no one method is going to work 100% of the time on every horse. Which is why I'm glad I'm attempting to learn from as many NH trainers as possible.

BTW... is John Lyons considered a NH trainer? I was told he was traditional, but I see him online as NH.
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 11:49 AM
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After you feed them and hand or arm they realize that humans don't taste that good.....Ha!


"The greatest strength is gentleness."
- Iroquois Proverb
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 03:04 PM
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 07:51 PM
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What a picture!! LOL!
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-31-2010, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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LOL!!!
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post #19 of 19 Old 06-01-2010, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Marecare View Post
After you feed them and hand or arm they realize that humans don't taste that good.....Ha!

Bwahahahahaha!!!! That about killed me! Thanks for the laugh today!!! *goes to pick self off the floor*

"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
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