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SorrelHorse 09-12-2010 10:29 PM

Biting while mounting....Help?
Rebel bites when I even think about getting on his back. If I reach up to take a hold on his mane he throws his head around and bites. I've been giving him a quick swat on the nose when he does it but it just irritates him more. I've tried putting my foot in the stirrup until he relaxes and taking it out as a reward for relaxing, but that's not working either. I've been doing this since I rescued him last spring and its not working. I had my trainer tell me one thing about smacking him: "It's either gonna make him stop, or he's just gonna do it faster."

She promised to help me with it, but I'd like to hear from you guys too. :)

Thanks ^^

Sunny 09-12-2010 10:47 PM

Have you checked for pain? This sounds like a case of an ill-fitting saddle, as he does it when you are getting on.
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franknbeans 09-12-2010 10:58 PM

Perhpas he needs to run into your boot as it goes in the stirrup? Sort of like an elbow, and, after all, he runs into it, not it into him....
I actually had an acquaitance tell me she has stopped any biting in her horses first time biting them! That was a new one by me for sure, but she swears it works. She bites them right on the nose, much like another horse would do. Hard to do when you are mounting tho.......

SorrelHorse 09-12-2010 11:04 PM

No pain. He isn't sore on his back and the saddle is custom fit to him (His back is hard to fit, so we just spent the money to get one custom.)

I probably will end up trying to bite him though. I'm not finicky, and I'm game for any ideas :D

mom2pride 09-12-2010 11:05 PM

When you are going to get on, take your right rein and take some of the slack out of it, so he can't reach his nose around at you.

You could put a cavesson on him temporarily too, so he can't actually get you...sometimes they will stop if they can't physically manage to do it. But, that is just a temporary fix, and won't stop the behavior in and of itself, usually.

I will have to try and dig out some of my books, as I've never had to deal with a horse that kept up the behavior beyond one or two half hearted attempts. Usually a knee, elbow, or crop to the muzzle as they are attempting stops it cold. Use the crop as a 'barrier'...and he won't be able to evade it like your hand...he goes to bite, he meets the crop. If he doesn't know to keep his head out of your space at other times, you may need to teach him that, as essentially when he is doing it when you mount, it means he's not regarding your space in a respectful manner.

A knack for horses 09-13-2010 12:16 AM

Have you tried putting enough tightness (can't think of the other word for it) in the right rein so he can't reach around and bite you?

Also, try having someone hold him for you while you practice mounting him. I used to do this with my chinchy lesson horse, and when she would try to bite, she would get a quick swat on the nose and wouldn't even bother the person tightening her cinch. Maybe it could work for mounting?

MacabreMikolaj 09-13-2010 12:24 AM

Shay-las mom owns a Quarab mare like that - she's just a witch no matter what you do. She'd rather be eating, and she's ridden infrequently enough that she thinks she can get away with murder. It doesn't matter if it's bareback or a saddle, if you don't watch her, she'll whip around and take a chunk out of you.

Quite simply, I resolved this by letting her get the full force of my boot to the nose as she swung her big head around. It only took once or twice for her to figure out it's more comfortable to just let me ride for half an hour.

In this instance, snugging up the rein didn't work, as she is not ridden in a bit, and anytime she'd whip her head around, she'd crank the hackamore down and then freak out and start backing up.

If he'll do it as soon as you grab mane, it could work to your advantage to work the ever loving snot out of him. Get a lunge line, rig him up, and as soon as he goes for you, send him off with a lot of noise and whip popping and make him WORK. Keep sending him off every time he goes for you until he's ready to stand still and behave.

franknbeans 09-13-2010 06:48 AM

^^MM-that is exactly what we do to make them stand still.....and really does work. It is once again-making the right thing easy, and the wrong thing(moving) difficult. Works every time. But will depend upon when that head swings around.

kevinshorses 09-13-2010 10:17 AM

I'd whack him harder and several times if I had to. What you're doing isn't enough to make him stop so give him harder consequences. Don't be afraid of making him head shy because the biting problem is far worse and more dangerous to you. Pull your foot out of the stirrup and use the palm of your hand on his face and nose and drive him backward a few steps. Be fast and merciless with it and soon he will realize that biting you isn't worth it.

eventerdrew 09-13-2010 05:58 PM

does he do it to a particular side? Put some tension on the opposite rein. That prevents him from reaching around and getting you.

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