I have a 16 month old colt that has started nipping a little. He seems to be teething and is worse with the nipping some days than others. he has things to chew on to help his teeth but i would like to dicipline him when he decides to bite me instead. I dont really wat to go down the road of hitting a horse to stop them but i use a pressure halter on him and use this to dicipline him. I do not want him to become head shy, does anyone have any suggestions please? or advice?
Is he pinning his ears back when he does this? They go thru a stage of testing you and see if you will react. I know you don't want to hit him but think of it this way, if he tried that with another horse he would definetly get a response with a kick or a bite back. My filly started this and I get after her with a good pop on the chest or butt with a crop. She is learning not to do this anymore.
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thanks for your advice.
He doesnt have his ears back usually. He sometimes is quite sneaky though.He will think about nipping then have a quick go and quickly retreat knowing he shouldne do it. Sometimes i will only have to look straight in his eye then he thinks better of it. As i say, some days he is really nippy,every few minutes, and other days he hardly does it if atall. At this age they will start challenging am i right?
Yep! Don't give in once. It will escalate! My filly got a lesson yesturday from my MIL. She was handing out treats and my filly gets pushy and she tried to push the filly away and my filly pinned her ears back and tried to bite. I didn't let that go. Got more treats gave them to my mother in law and a crop. She gave treats and the filly tried it again except this time mom popped her good on the chest. The filly thought twice after that. Just something they go thru and not something to let slide, no matter how small the bite or even thought is.
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Sounds like he's challenging, maybe even trying to play (not fun for you though). My 2yr old has these days where he is always trying to lip me. I tell him 'no' (like he understands..lol).
Anyway what I do is tap or bop under his chin. I don't hit hard just enough to get his attention. This shouldn't cause him to be headshy because usually they can't see you doing this, he hopefully just associates (sp) his nipping with the consequence of the bop. If my gelding actually bites I'll give him a good wack on the shoulder and make him work his @$$ off turning circles around me (I hold the lead and spin the end towards his but, sort of like lunging but more aggressive). When the discipline is over I go back to whatever I was doing - moment over.
If he's just being playful about it, not aggressive, I've found that a "nice" way of detouring nippy horses is if you have a bar of soap (ivory, glycerine, etc) to let them take a chunk out of that a couple times and they'll find nipping not so fun. Obviously if he continues to be a brat or is doing it out of lack of respect/aggression you need to escalate to physically telling "no", whether it be a pop in the nose or smacking them on the broad side of the neck (the sound scares them more than hurts) before it becomes a bigger problem.
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