Biting and nipping problems. Please feel free to give detailed advice!
Hey everyone.. i hope that you guys can help me out with a problem ive noticed happening...
My mare Squaw has always been pretty girthy and when you tighten the girth she almost always attempts nipping and she just plain out fusses. She's okay when you get her out in the arena and work her away from your body, but when you try to back her, she tries to bite me, when you try to flex her, she bites me. Even when we desensitize her, she bites. It's been getting very annoying. I've tried using my fist and hitting her in the muzzle, but that's starting to make her headshy. Again. We already had to overcome being headshy when i first got her.
At this point, i feel like im creating more problems than solving them. Please help. im seriously so lost.
Even if you dont practice DownUnder Horsemanship (Clinton Anderson's method) please feel free to give me advice. I'm looking for long, detailed answers. If not, a statement is fine. I'm desperate at this point.
Thanks in advance!
I would recommend that you make it so that when you are girthing her-if she wings around-she meets with the point of your elbow-HARD. If she tries to bite your foot when you flex her-she meets with the toe of your boot. When this happens, I make a loud noise-usually it is "QUIT!" Try that-and NO HAND FEEDING! All treats go in her food bowl. That has helped my guy a lot.
Please also make sure that you are girthing her slowly, in about 3 stages......not all at once.
ummm...you need to have her seen by a vet. she could be in pain somewhere. ulcers come to mind first. back problems. muscle soreness. improper fitting tack, teeth problems.
dont abuse her and or get after her until you know for sure its an attitude problem.
shes trying to tell you something...its your job to listen.
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franknbeans- What exactly are the 3 stages?
CLaPorte- Im scheduling a vet appt soon for vaccinations. So, I'll just start taking it easy until i find out for sure whats going on.
Thanks to both of you and i'll keep you updated. :)
First just do it loosely....then finish tacking up, putting on your helmet, bridle, etc...and tighten it more....then I walk to where I will ride and do a final tighten.
Abuse Claporte? WHat are you referring to?
Yes, get her checked, but my guess is she is spoiled. You may want a chiro to see her. I find them more helpful sometimes when it comes to possible discomfort tan the vet, at least with my chiro.
Well I heard somewhere that you only hit a mare with the flat of your hand on either her neck or shoulder. But when she bites you, do as another horse would and get after her HARD. I would keep a whip nearby and if she shows any signs of being a jerk, tell hir firmly, quit and if she ignores you, immediately follow you threat with action. When backing on the ground you can take the end of the reins or lead rope and whack her on the chest and shoulders with it untill she respects you and backs. Its very important that you stop her agression now before she starts
lunging at you and attacking.
And you also want to make sure that you arent tightening the girth too much and too quickly, that is one of the main reasons why horses become girthy. I generally leave the girth loose after saddling and then I go get a snack or adjust my stirrups and then I tighten it a few holes and then tighten it fully before mounting.
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if its an attitude problem, then lay down the wrath of god on her with a good come to jesus meeting. :wink:
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I echo CLaPorte, sounds to me like ulcers and back soreness.
you would want to know if it was pain related.
A horse is not allowed to bite you, even if in pain. But, she may BE trying to say that something hurts, so please do check that out.
my friend's horse was and is girthy. he had worn an illfitting saddle for years prior to her buying him, and that expectation of pain made him defensive the instant that saddle was put on his back. And, it turned out he had ulcers, so the girth put pressure right where it already hurt.
once treated for the ulcers, he was a bit better, but still has an attitude. what they have done is set the limit RIGHT AWAY. that means, when you walk in, if he give you or the halter or the saddle a pissy look, you verbally scold him and you make him move his head away from you, and it that doesn't do it, you make him move his feet. To that end, she did not tie him for saddling for a long time, but kept the leadrope draped over her arm, and while girthing (yes, slowly in small increments), if he even showed the thought of bringing his head toward her, she'd use the line to move him around, keeping her hand up to block his head. Then, he got a bit less like this, and she did not have to move him, but she still keeps one hand ready to block him.
He is allowed to clack his teeth (an old habit) and lower his head, but never to bring it around. it must stay facing forward. The sooner that is corrected (while the head is just barely moving off of the position is should be in) the better.
Now, this is what she did. He is STILL pissy in attitude. But, he keeps his head to himself.
of course, I forgot to say that a well fitting saddle was promptly purchased, too.
She's got your number. Slapping or punching her will make it a game, she'll just get faster and get her head out of the way before you can react. I like to periodically flap an elbow. If she connects with it, too bad, it was her doing. Flap it as you saddle her, lead her, grooming her. Once she's hit your elbow, she won't want to do it again and will be mindful. Just keep up the reminders.
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