Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Williams, Arizona
• Horses: 0
Adding this to the mix:
Monty Roberts on hand feeding treats.....
"First let me say that when I deal with biting horses more than 90% of them have been fed treats from the human hand. When we associate food with the human body we are training horses to bite, science has found that the same is true for sharks and other ocean predators. Often times the owner will say they have never fed from the hand only to find out that the damage was done by a previous owner long before the current one was on the scene."
"During the course of my work, I communicated with the owner and was told that the horse had been trained with the use of the technique called ‘clicker training.’ She went on to say that treats were used as a reward for the behavior desired . This horse would actually stalk me and charge with ears back and mouth open. He was a four-year-old gelding far too dangerous for anyone except a professional accustomed to dealing with this problem.
"While working with him, I said the following words, “This is an example of why I tell my students that I am not a fan of clicker training, especially when it involves rewards in the form of food offered from the human body. I explained that when food is associated with the human body it produces horses that bite. I believe this and hold that opinion to this day. I was able to improve the horse’s attitude in a thirty-minute session, but one could never say that I produced a certain cure.
I advised the owner to stop feeding from the hand . I told my audience that the clicker part of clicker training is no problem for me. An audible marker signal, in my opinion, can be useful as a part of any training system. The clicker is the audible marker signal. The food acts as the reward for the desired behavior. I realize that some people use clicker training more effectively than others and some are downright inept with this science."
The OP does not necessarily agree with Monty on this but then the OP is a beginner beginner. Just adding to the mix.
The Answer: Usually, a horse is biting for one of three reasons:
The horse is afraid.
The horse is trying to dominate you.
Sometimes a horse will nip you to indicate he wants to play; this isn’t really biting
OP likes this better....
What would Xenophon say?