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usandpets 04-25-2011 02:03 PM

Aggressive mare? (wants to bite)
 
Our almost 5 year old mare gets irritated enough that she wants to bite if you hold your hand on her chest between her front legs. She has been this way from the beginning of desensitizing her when she was a weanling. I can touch her there with a cue stick and even brush her there. However, if I was to just hold my hand there she pins her ears and has tried many times to bite. She knows better than to bite me, but will bite anything else she can. I have only removed my hand the few times that she actually had tried to bite me in the beginning. Otherwise, I hold it there until she calms down and stands still. I know it's not a pain issue because I'm not putting pressure on her and I can put pressure there using a cue stick or brushing her. My wife thinks it's a game for our mare. I think she just doesn't like being touched there with a hand. I've used gloves and still same response. What baffles me is that I can touch her there with anything besides my hand and she is fine. Any opinions?

mls 04-25-2011 02:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usandpets (Post 1011084)
Our almost 5 year old mare gets irritated enough that she wants to bite if you hold your hand on her chest between her front legs. She has been this way from the beginning of desensitizing her when she was a weanling. I can touch her there with a cue stick and even brush her there. However, if I was to just hold my hand there she pins her ears and has tried many times to bite. She knows better than to bite me, but will bite anything else she can. I have only removed my hand the few times that she actually had tried to bite me in the beginning. Otherwise, I hold it there until she calms down and stands still. I know it's not a pain issue because I'm not putting pressure on her and I can put pressure there using a cue stick or brushing her. My wife thinks it's a game for our mare. I think she just doesn't like being touched there with a hand. I've used gloves and still same response. What baffles me is that I can touch her there with anything besides my hand and she is fine. Any opinions?

Personal space. In order to hold your hand between her chest (and why you need to hold it there?), you are very much on top of her. Some horses are like people and have a personal space bubble. Sounds you are invading hers - and annoying the crap out of her.

I'd say it's more of a game for you to see if you can get her to try and bite.

usandpets 04-25-2011 02:47 PM

The reason I found this "Oh no, you didn't just touch me there spot!" is that I want to be able to touch my horse anywhere. If I get a reaction, I desensitize them to being touched there. Just like on a young colt, you need to feel if they have dropped before gelding. They don't like being touched back there either, so you need to desensitize them. What if she had an injury there, I need to be able to touch her there without getting a reaction. However, it's not working on her. She was this same way with touching her udder/teets area. After working with her she is fine being touched there, just not between her front legs.

If it's her personal space, what about cleaning her hooves? I'm in the same place. What about being able to brush her there? She's fine with that.

mls 04-25-2011 03:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by usandpets (Post 1011131)

If it's her personal space, what about cleaning her hooves? I'm in the same place. What about being able to brush her there? She's fine with that.

You are to the side of her when you clean her hooves. You cannot ONLY touch her with your hand in between her front legs unless you have very long arms and a very narrow chested horse. You would be to her side and your shoulder and entire arm would be making contact with her.

You also said she tries to bite when you HOLD your hand there. Much different than simply touching her.

Northern 04-25-2011 03:04 PM

I don't know how anyone can tell you what the problem is from a distance. You can brush her there, you've already had success with her udder area; you know the horse & we don't.

I'll give a couple of thoughts: one, she's young, & often youngun's'll have excess play drive; when you don't make a big deal about nippiness, it'll often cease to exist as they get more interesting stuff to do.

Another thought (that goes against some people's rules) is to woo her, for an interruption of her train of thought: you could have a treat at her chest. Don't always have it there, but keep her guessing.


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