This was UNACCEPTABLE! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Angry This was UNACCEPTABLE!

Every time I punish Luca for nipping (he always wants to be the boss of everything, but I'm teaching him that I am actually the "boss"...well..I'm trying.) I give him a sharp little slap on the nose. But every time I do this, he does something unacceptable.

He fights back

Yes...he fights back. He bares his teeth, lunges at me and tries to bite again. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!! But what can a 13 year old, small for her age girl do about this? He doesn't do it to anything else because he knows everyone else doesn't want him to do anything, while I am his trainer and rider, the one who looks small, but wants him to do stuff. He is unsure about that, that's why he keeps trying to scare me to see what I'm really made of and if I can really stay in the BOSS position.

Who knows of a different type of punishment for nipping and putting his ears back in a threatening manner? Should I give a sharp loud yell of "NO!" instead? Think it would work? Or should I do something else. He knows that he has a stronger body than me, but I have to show him that I have more wits than him for me to be respected by him. I'm just so appalled that he fights back. He obviously knows that he can do more damage than me. Help!!! I must show him somehow that I AM AND THAT I WILL ALWAYS BE the BOSS! I am So frustrated.............he doesn't ALWAYS nip and pin his ears back...only when his paddock mate is near. Sensible suggestions needed. that I think of it...crazy suggestions can go, too, anything that can help What can I do to show Luca that I am the ultimate boss...without him attacking me?
Thank you,

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
Dreamcatcher5 is offline  
post #2 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: On the golden coast of Michigan
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Instead of slapping him in the nose try backing up him. Hard.

He sounds like he needs a lot more respect from you. Do you know of any trainers in your area?

For the wretched of the earth there is a flame that never dies.
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.
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post #3 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 07:56 PM
Join Date: May 2011
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Make him move his feet. You control the feet, you control the brain. What would a boss mare do if he were to do to her what he's doing to you? You can bet your britches she'd make him think the world was about to making him MOVE! The second he goes to bite you, instead of a slap, make him back up...or yield his hindquarters...or his forequarters...or lunge around you. Anything to make him move. If he doesn't want to move, take a dressage whip or crop or carrot stick (I prefer the dressage whip or carrot stick, personally) and MAKE him move.
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post #4 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 07:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern Illinois
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A horse that knows it's power/strength is definitely scary! I would recommend not hitting him on the nose though. That can often lead to a headshy horse. I would try making him move his feet or back up. Best of luck to you!

.*. Let a horse whisper in your ear and breathe on your heart. You will never regret it. .*.
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post #5 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: New Mexico
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As was said already, move his feet. But do it AS IF YOU WILL EAT HIM ALIVE RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT, HAIR SKIN AND HOOVES. Not half heartedly. Make yourself big and wide as a house and make him move. Don't wait....the slightest thread from him has to trigger your reaction. You have three seconds!
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post #6 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:09 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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Size and age are only a limitation when it's an extreme. Our daughter, now 8, broke her first pony from unhandled to riding mostly by her self when she was 6. She also tought her new pony ground manners, which were horrible to say the least and the pony is stubborn as all heck. Consistance, and meaning full handling is key. Your lead rope can be a very effective training tool. My first and foremost suggestion would be to stop with the nose smacking. It's just annoying to him and isn't followed by anymore correction. If a horse bites, it gets full on slugged around here, givin your small stature and probly not a mike Tyson punch, your other option is the always handy lead rope. Turn to face him (still in the leading position) and lace him with the lead across the chest. And mean it! You're not going to physically hurt him. And drive him back hard and fast. As far as you can really. Make him know you're done playing. And never let him get away with anything. Another helpfull tool, no more treats from your hand, no more hugs n kisses, a scratch on the neck or side but keep YOUR space yours. That's my Internet suggestion and worth what it cost.
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post #7 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Arizona
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What I do with my horses or any horse that I work with (permission permitting), I tell them "No!" or "Uh-uh!" really loud, but not yelling, if they bite or try to do something bad. I call it my "mom voice." Then if they try it again, I say "No!" & give a slap. I'd rather have a slightly headshy horse than missing fingers... & if they test you again, you say no, turn at them and back until they know what they did wrong.

Horses are very big, strong animals. When they realize that, things can get dangerous really quick. If you find that he isn't reacting well to your slaps, I'm not sure if they're hard or not, but maybe carry around a crop & smack his chest or something to see if that makes a different.

We don't want them to fear us, but they need to know that we can play rough too.
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post #8 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:14 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: British Columbia
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It sounds like you're not really 'correcting' you're 'annoying'. You're a fly to your big, strong animal, you need to do more than a slap on the nose. Make him move, back him up and discipline him, but make sure you're prompt about it. Another option is a good, sharp jab to the nose if you're not comfortable working / getting in his face about it. Avoid the issue of a horse becoming headshy by making it appear as if your horse ran himself into your elbow / fist, horses don't register 'wow, my mean owner hit me' and if it's not repetitive / abusive it wont become a headshy habit. But you need to really reinforce it, not 'nag'. A slap wont do the trick, but your horse running hard into your elbow might make them think twice, if that makes sense. Like you said, you're not very big, hence not very strong. A slap will do nothing.
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post #9 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:20 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Michigan
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I just read some excellent suggestions above, and totally agree! Size doesn't matter - (I'm only 5ft tall), and absolutely love my horses, but my QH, who's an alpha, will challenge me at times. I've learned how to "Out Alpha" her, and it definately works! Respect first, then all the fun, love, nuzzles, etc always follow! Best of luck :) *I have to add to the suggestion of no nose slapping - be firm otherwise, and work his feet. Give a "NO NONSENSE HERE!" demeanor.
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Last edited by Northernstar; 03-11-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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post #10 of 73 Old 03-11-2013, 08:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
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No hugs and kisses???? That's impossible I could never live without hugging my poneh...but I don't give him any treats anymore and this seems to improve his behaviour. ah, I forgot to say, he only does this when he's not haltered, only when I approach him on the paddock with nothing with me. Oh...and anything physical I do to punish him makes him furious and he attacks back. But I will try yelling loud at the same time so that it's like a double blow, so that he forgets to attack again. I will try....I'll keep you updated on him!

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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