how do i stop my colt from biting?
   

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how do i stop my colt from biting?

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  • Stop a biting colt
  • Cure biting colt

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    09-22-2013, 04:52 PM
  #1
Foal
how do i stop my colt from biting?

I have had Steele for a full week now he is about 6 months. We are able to do much more with him after one week than I ever dreamed. However he started biting. Yesterday he bit my husband and today he bit me twice. Not a habit I want him to really start so how do I break this behavior now? He was taken from his mom at auction a week ago and was really very stressed we have calmed him down quite a bit but not sure what is causing him to bite at this point. Any ideas and/or help is appreciated greatly.
     
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    09-22-2013, 05:01 PM
  #2
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmfoster68    
I have had Steele for a full week now he is about 6 months. We are able to do much more with him after one week than I ever dreamed. However he started biting. Yesterday he bit my husband and today he bit me twice. Not a habit I want him to really start so how do I break this behavior now? He was taken from his mom at auction a week ago and was really very stressed we have calmed him down quite a bit but not sure what is causing him to bite at this point. Any ideas and/or help is appreciated greatly.
When my baby tries to nibble, he gets me "nibbling" his lips - when he pesters me I pinch them, or grab a hold of his lips and move them about, horses generally do not like this. Today he actually hit my finger with teeth when I was just about to pet his neck, and got a slap on his mouth and a very loud "No". Mind you, this is a large 3yr old who is trying his boundries again.

Some say put a steak in their mouth when they are biting -they will taste meat and never bite again.
Also work on groundwork, respect, keeping the horse out of your space and safe for both of you.

I am sure others will add more things..
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    09-22-2013, 05:13 PM
  #3
Weanling
Keep him out of your space so he is not able to bite you. When your grooming him leading, or working with him keep an eye on him if he goes to bite you be ready and make him uncomfortable for trying. Chase him out of your space quickly, then invite him back in and go on like nothing happened. You have three seconds to correct the behavior so he connects the consequence with the behavior. If he gets lippy rub his muzzle vigorously between your hands and make him uncomfortable for putting his mouth on you. Treat him like his mother or another alpha mare would if he bit one of them they would chase him out of their space and teach him if he wants to be near them he has to be respectful. Start from the get go teaching him to be respectful of your space. Colts are a lot of fun but also a lot of work, do not accept any behavior from him you would not accept from a grown horse.
     
    09-22-2013, 05:26 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Push his head away, smack him on the neck/shoulder/whatever and yell no/quit/etc, or chase him away and let him back to you. This is instinctive behavior for colts since nibbling is part of stallion romance and you need to be very consistant or it will be a big(ger) problem as he grows. At 6 months, he's still easy to push around.
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    09-23-2013, 03:37 AM
  #5
Green Broke
His biting has nothing to do with his being stressed. It is a dominance issue and is normal with all horses to try this, if the human isn't running show.

I would not handle his muzzle at all as that is just a game to them. That is not a way to correct biting.

Instead take a lash whip and pop that rear end and make him move off of you. Do not let him come back up until his attitude has changed, which you can see from eye and ear and body, or should be able to if you are going to work with horses. Any attitude at all needs to be corrected also by sending horse off.

And if you are babying him, or feeding treats or feed out of your hand, quit it now. That is only encouraging him.

Be alert too, if your corrections are half hearted for him to wheel and kick at you with both hind feet because that is coming if you don't get the upper hand here.

If you don't get this stopped, you stand to lose part of your anatomy, including your face.
     
    09-23-2013, 10:12 AM
  #6
Green Broke
So I'll be the "mean one" for posting this, but why do you have a freshly weaned 6-month-old colt when you don't even know how to deal with biting and nipping?

Horses don't have "emotions" like humans. So don't try to rationalize it that way. He's not biting because he stressed out he lost his mommy. He's biting because you have now allowed him to get away with it 3 times and he's being flat out disrespectful. He's a 6-month-old.

Would you allow a 5-year-old child to hit you in the face because the child is going through growing pains? H$ll no.

So it always baffles when when people try to come up with "reasons" for a horse "acting out".

Your his owner; you need to teach him respect.

Are you working with a trainer?
     
    09-23-2013, 10:42 AM
  #7
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherrij    

Some say put a steak in their mouth when they are biting -they will taste meat and never bite again...
What! That is dumbest thing I have ever heard. Stallions bite one another all the time when battling for mares. Not just nips - they draw blood and often, rip off ears, etc. The taste of "meat" is not going to curb disrespectful behavior.

Baby horses are like toddlers. They have to test everything to see what is allowed and what is not. You have to be the leader now and show him that biting is not allowed. Be it a loud No!! Or a good smack to move him away from you and make him reconsider this option. You must be 100% consistent that mouth on humans is not ever allowed! Neither is bumping you, leaning on you or pushing you around.
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    09-23-2013, 10:49 AM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryst    
What! That is dumbest thing I have ever heard. Stallions bite one another all the time when battling for mares. Not just nips - they draw blood and often, rip off ears, etc. The taste of "meat" is not going to curb disrespectful behavior.

Baby horses are like toddlers. They have to test everything to see what is allowed and what is not. You have to be the leader now and show him that biting is not allowed. Be it a loud No!! Or a good smack to move him away from you and make him reconsider this option. You must be 100% consistent that mouth on humans is not ever allowed! Neither is bumping you, leaning on you or pushing you around.
Where as I agree with you that it is a rather.. Unusual and bizarre thought... Try to remember this is a forum where people want to learn?!

OP, as has been mentioned, get a trainer pronto. You need to have someone help you read behavior of the horse.

In a natural environment, colts test. If they test another adult, or alpha mare they will very likely be chased away. If they don't heed that warning, they will be given a sharp bite.

My advice would be react and send him away with your body, and then act as nothing happened.

If he tries it again, and you don't feel happy with giving him a quick smack on the chops, grab skin on his neck and twist. As soon as you have done this, carry on as normal.

Is he in a field with other colts, or horses? If his behavior worsens it may be worth thinking about putting him in a field with a gelding (until he is gelded) that will teach him a few manners.
     
    09-23-2013, 11:03 AM
  #9
Yearling
I am sorry I did not mean any disrespect, just that is a rather strange and, well IMO, ridiculous training suggestion. Sorry if I worded it in a manner that was rude.
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    09-23-2013, 01:01 PM
  #10
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tryst    
I am sorry I did not mean any disrespect, just that is a rather strange and, well IMO, ridiculous training suggestion. Sorry if I worded it in a manner that was rude.
As I said "Some say.." I have heard this suggestion being given as advice from so called experienced horse people and even trainers...
I have always gotten all my youngsters I have dealt with to stop trying to bite by showing their face away and telling them NO in a very clear manner - voice and body.
Doesn't matter if it's a baby, a 4yr old stud, an 11 yr old mare - they all get me showing them away, and if they bite they get a smack on the neck and are forced to move far away from me.... they all learn quickly
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