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Macman 07-08-2012 07:48 PM

Aggressive horse?
So I have a horse who's aggressive with people he doesn't respect... He's the sweetest horse in pasture, will not harm or even threaten to harm another horse. He'll just walk away. I kinda wish he wouldn't be so nice since he has bite marks all over his butt from a 13 hand But, hes known to bite or charge people he doesn't know or just doesn't respect. I've had him for 4 months now and he's never offered to bite or charge ME. The worst he does with me is put his ears back. He'll even stand there and lick you all over with his ears pinned. lol But, he's around my friends or family sometimes I don't want him to scare them... So, bottom line is, I'm asking if anyone knows anything that'll help with the bad attitude. lol.

Palomine 07-08-2012 10:00 PM

This horse is a danger, and you are not getting his respect as horses that have been taught to respect people in general will not do these types of things.

And letting a horse LICK YOU, especially with his ears pinned is a major no-no. That is asking to get bit, and seriously too. Why are you doing this with a horse anyway. One of the first things that horsemen and women understand is that you don't let a horse put its mouth on you. EVER. Stop that right now.

Matter of fact, you remind me of someone from another forum who had exactly the same type threads, and the name is similar too.

And this horse is fast becoming a liability too, as it won't be long before someone is badly hurt, and you or your family is sued.

And a great part of the problem is what you said about he won't harm another horse, just walk away. He is low man on the totem pole, and is treating other humans like he would another horse coming into the herd.

And that is going to get someone killed perhaps, but at least seriously injured.

Horses should respect all people IF they have been taught right by their handler. At the very least they should not be doing as this horse is.

Whether you get some sort of thrill out of having a mean horse, or want one that is only "nice to me" type thing, I don't know, but one thing I do know, is this is an accident waiting to happen.

If a small child wanders into this pasture? I shudder to think about what will happen.

If you can't control, discipline or correct this horse and teach him to behave, get rid of him.

rascalboy 07-09-2012 08:12 PM

Palomine: Um... did I miss something. The horse bites (extremely common problem for many, many horses), and occassionally charges (less common, but still not unheard of or even abnormal). I'm not sure how that makes him a "danger" (I'd always thought anything that consisted of 1200lbs of unpredictable prey animal was a "danger" regardless of their good/bad behavior or personality). Yeah, if the thing was biting off people's fingers or trampling them, you'd have a point. But the OP didn't give enough info for that so...?

Anywho, I think we need more information. Is he a gelding? How old is he? Is he ridden a lot? Does his tack fit? Does he behave under saddle? Is he stalled a lot of the day? Does he have any history of ulcers? Is he "girthy"?

How often does he bite? Does he just grab, or does he leave marks, or is there blood, or missing apendages?

How often does he charge? Does he run over to people, or just follow them? What does he do when he catches them?

Lol, hey, if he's really that "dangerous", might want to try a horsey shock collar. :D I've heard good reviews on them. :) (Oh shush people, it's like an electric fence only... in collar form).

LetAGrlShowU 07-09-2012 08:45 PM

I fall somewhere between the 2 posters above me. Yes, very dangerous, no maybe the first posted could have been savvier with words. 2nd poster- not all of the questions are relevant. What is relevant is that this horse is disrespecting people.

I havent had experience with a disrespectful horse, but I would not tolerate it for a second. What would I do? Invite a horse savvy person to join you in the pasture, in the round pen, leading the horse (whatever makes the horse lunge, and be agreesive) and then you BOTH teach that prick a lesson. Both should have lunge whips available, and should work well together. If you cant find a groove (since it could prove dangerous for both of you to be near a horse reprimanding it), let that person take over and teach him to respect people. Make him move, make him disengage his shoulder and hind quarters. Make him move where you are telling him to move. The SAME way a horse does to him in the pasture.

OP, this should not be tolerated. If you can't find a way to actually show your horse that he has to respect people, then either finda trainer to help or sell the horse. He is going to be a liability.

rascalboy 07-10-2012 04:25 PM

LetA: Lol, actually all the questions were relevant. "Do you like roasted meatballs?" would not have been relevant. Asking how often the horse is ridden is relevent. See the difference? :D
You admit that you do not have experience with a disrespectful horse, so I won't go on. :) The OP stated that the horse does not bother her. He sometimes bothers other people. You need to find the root of the problem.

Macman 07-14-2012 02:16 PM

Thanks everyone for the replies! I've only had him for 2 months now, but I've known him for about 5 months. He used to lick me all the time but I gave him a salt block so he doesn't do it that often anymore. I let him play with his lips on me and hes never offered to bite me. If he does bite me, my fault. I've seen him charge 2 times now, and each time he stops when he realizes the person isn't moving. From what I've heard, hes never broken skin with a bite and he's never trampled anyone. He bit the previous owners son on the arm and he had a red mark for a day. Usually he'll just grab to see your reaction. He is a 10 year old gelding, not girthy, never stalled, a dream under saddle. Although I've heard, but never seen or experienced him bolting or running through the bit on trails. I've had my 13 yo sister on him for a trail and he was perfect.
For the two months I've owned him, he's charged once and bitten maybe 3 times. He charged the gate when I had a friend feed him for 2 days. She was taking a long time with the food and he got annoyed I guess. I wasn't there though. The bites were all pretty harmless. He got my boyfriend twice and they were when jason tried to reach over the fence to pet him. The other time was when my friend tried haltering him. (She claims he bit her, but he always helps me and anyone else put his halter on so I'm not sure on that one.)

To palomine, I honestly don't think he'd charge a small child going into pasture. He has pasture mates that are boarded and he doesn't care in the slightest if the pasture mates owners go and grab their horse. But I appreciate the reply!

To rascalboy, I think I answered most the questions, but a shock collar for a horse, I've never even heard of it! lol! But if he gets worse I'll be considering that big time! :P

to LetAGrlShowU, I liked this advice a lot, I know my plans for the week now! lol! But definitely trying this. If nothing else works, I'll try to find a trainer experienced in this kind of thing. I just think he's to good of a horse to just give up on.

Since I posted the original question, he has not shown any sign of aggression. Only thing that's not improving is his attitude when your not riding. If your doing anything on the ground with him he has his ears back, not really pinned but not happy or relaxed either. But I've noticed if you itch his belly or butt cheeks before you do anything with him, just love on him some, he seems to be more relaxed. But the second you get on and take him somewhere hes ready and happy to go. He loveeessss trails. I try to take him on trails as often as I can, which is about 3-5 days a week. Thanks again to all the replies! I appreciate it! :D

Beling 07-14-2012 02:49 PM

It sounds to me more a question of trust: that is, he's not sure of you. Yet. He probably has a history of different training techniques, which confused him. As my trainer says, "Horses like things in black and white. No gray." Which is why I see so many different methods, some I heartily dislike, nevertheless work well: the trainers are consistent, and the horse can feel safe that he knows the rules.

You can certainly work on getting his respect, but unless you gain his trust as well, what you end up with is a fearful horse. (That's the way I see it, I know there are those who will disagree.)

Good idea to attend to his itches! It's my favorite way of "greeting" a new and/or fearful horse.

smrobs 07-14-2012 04:30 PM

I'm on the same side of the fence as palomine. This horse is dangerous, it's just out of sheer luck that neither you nor someone else has been seriously hurt yet. Not to sound rude or snarky, but everything you are doing with this horse is telling him that he is above you in the pecking order. It is only a matter of time until he decides that you aren't responding to his actions quickly enough or properly and a lick will turn into a nasty bite or a charge won't stop short.

You need to correct these issues now before they get worse (and if you just keep treating them like they're no big deal, then they will get worse). Make him realize, by any means necessary, that you are the alpha of your partnership and that he will do what you say, not the other way around.

If you are unsure how to handle and correct these issues, then you really need to get the help of a professional who can. Dangerous horses like that are not something to be trifled with.

As for this VV, I honestly don't even know what to say. I'm struggling to write this response and still remain in the bounds of the Etiquette policy here but I am thinking that I will probably not be able to.


Originally Posted by rascalboy (Post 1589280)
Palomine: Um... did I miss something. The horse bites (extremely common problem for many, many horses), and occassionally charges (less common, but still not unheard of or even abnormal)

If those are common problems in horses that surround you, then I strongly suspect that either you have no idea what you are doing or you are learning from someone with zero sense. I've been around horses my entire life, seen thousands come through our barn and handled hundreds on my own, but I can count only a few that came with issues like the OP describes and I can count on one hand how many have maintained their aggressive biting/charging ways after proper training. Those usually ended up euthed because they were completely unsafe to handle...for anyone. If biting and charging are issues that you consider "common" then you really need to widen your education because you clearly are not around very many halfway decent horses.

I'm not sure how that makes him a "danger" (I'd always thought anything that consisted of 1200lbs of unpredictable prey animal was a "danger" regardless of their good/bad behavior or personality).

That has got to be just about the most ignorant thing I've ever heard. Yes, horses are big and unpredictable, but just accepting serious and dangerous vices as "normal" or "common" under the reasoning that "horses are dangerous regardless of whether they are calm and obedient or whether they are vicious charging heathens" is a horse's(or human's) death sentence waiting to happen. You cannot possibly compare the level of risk between handling a quiet, respectful horse to handling a horse that has already proven he is willing to bite and to charge. That's about like comparing the risk that a newborn puppy poses as compared to a trained attack dog with no call-off. Not only are they not on the same page, they aren't even in the same library or on the same planet.

Yeah, if the thing was biting off people's fingers or trampling them, you'd have a point.

All it takes is once for someone to be seriously injured or killed. Just because nobody has been seriously hurt yet doesn't mean that letting the behaviors continue is an acceptable solution

Reno Bay 07-14-2012 04:43 PM

Hon, even if he's annoyed that his food is late, that doesn't excuse him for being an ass. Quite frankly, when I was feeding my BO's stallions and they got pissy because I was taking longer than usual (say, if I was sick or it was really cold or I overslept) I wouldn't take any bull from them. They weren't even my horses and when one of them bit me in the shin for feeding him later than usual I gave him a GREAT BIG WHACK on the nose to basically tell him "NO. You don't do that to me. I'm in charge here god-d*** it!"

If he does bite you, yes it is your fault for encouraging his testing behavior. Mouthing a person is a horse's way of testing what they can and can't get away with. I'll let my horse sniff me, but get lippy and he gets a little nose bop and a strong "No". He's tried nibbling a few times, harder bop still. That stopped him right quick. My horse knows what he can't get away with because I reinforce my authority. After I reprimand him he does that whole chewy, lip-smack thing which is basically saying "I'm sorry".

Macman 07-14-2012 05:00 PM

Beling, I totally agree about with what you said thinking about it now. I'll just keep giving it time and let him get to know me better.

Smrobs, I was rereading everything and I noticed I was kind of playing it off as no big deal. I don't ignore anything he does, I always move his feet and ask anyone else around him to also correct him. He's never shown any sign of aggression towards me, as I said. It's people he doesn't know. I trust this horse a lot not to harm me, like I said, never shown any threats toward me. He doesn't really do any damage, he just threatens really. Since my first post he hasn't done anything wrong! He just never looks really happy unless I hangout with him some. I see this horse everyday, I'm in pasture with him everyday, I play with his food or pet on him when he eats, I ride him maybe 3-5 times a week if not more. I trust this horse around me. It's around people he doesn't know that he'll scare. I'm just asking for advice from someone that's had experience with this kind of horse.

Everything I've tried seems to be working, if anyone else has any tips to just make him happier?

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