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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I go to put the halter on my horse, sometimes she will bite at me a little and lately I have popped her on the nose for doing it. Just curious if that was the right thing to do or if there was a better way to go about breaking her biting habit.. ?
 

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When I go to put the halter on my horse, sometimes she will bite at me a little and lately I have popped her on the nose for doing it. Just curious if that was the right thing to do or if there was a better way to go about breaking her biting habit.. ?

In a sense yes.. I myself will kinda take my middle funger knuckle and poke her on the side of her mouth and then go about doing what I intended to do without making a big fuss over it... If you pop her in the nose it may cause her to start throwing her head up to avoid you. Try first getting her to drop her head and then put the halter on.

Good Luck....
 

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Is she actually biting at you? Aggressive or playful? How old is she?

I've known people to have success with grabbing the horses muzzle and rubbing it briskly. Apparently it irritates them and they learn not to nibble. Just be careful with "popping" her on the nose, you don't want to end up with a head shy horse. But I don't think you have to worry about it too much IF your reaction is well timed and an appropriate punishment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
She is a 2 y/o. It is not a very aggressive bite, more of an 'I'm irritated that you want to put that thing on my face' kind of bite. I only pop her right after she bites and continue working with her. After the pop though, she certainly seems to not want to work with me because I was rude. I will stop popping and try your suggestions. thanks
 

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Yes...the trick is to be well-timed. I have tried the vigorous facial/muzzle rubbing with my mouthy gelding, but oddly enough he liked it. perhaps I wasn't rubbing vigorously enough? lol With him, the biting is more of a game, as he flips his head up immedietly after so I can't pop him. But the last time or so he tried this I swung the leadrope at his face and smacked his nose with it, and he hasn't bitten me again...nor has he turned head shy.

His first and last real bite, he landed a good chomp on my arm and I now have a rather large and deep bruise. I'm not going to tolerate it. I think that particular bite was an issue of respect, so he is not allowed to be mouthy, playful or not. It took me bopping him in the nose and I wouldn't think twice about doing it again.

You are doing the right thing in letting her know this is not acceptable behaviour with humans, thin-skinned delicate weaklings we are, as it has a chance of escalating as she gets older.

Let us kow how it goes.
 

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I have had Chopper for three years now. He was a stud up until age three, and the first time he tried to bite me was the last. He got a sharp crack across the muzzle and we went about our business. That was when he was a year old and he hasn't tried it since.

I think all it takes for most horses is one good crack, and they learn. Little pops here and there tend to be just a nuisance, and so does muzzle rubbing(which Chopper loves). The more you pick pick pick at a horse the less likely he is to respond and the more likely he is to get desensitized to it.
 

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She is a 2 y/o. It is not a very aggressive bite, more of an 'I'm irritated that you want to put that thing on my face' kind of bite. I only pop her right after she bites and continue working with her. After the pop though, she certainly seems to not want to work with me because I was rude. I will stop popping and try your suggestions. thanks
Horses do not think in those terms. They are flight animals, and think in terms of action and reaction. A 2 year old that nips will become a 10 year old that bites if it is allowed to continue. A child that was just repremanded for something may sulk for a moment or two but the discipline was appropriate.

If a horse of any age goes to nip, you have 1 or 2 seconds to correct it and a bop on the nose with the hand that he just went to bite is totally appropriate. Going at him yelling and making him think that he is going to die is also appropriate. You can not harm a horse the way they kick and bite each other but it must be immediate, once, and over. Continuing to hit the horse is what causes problems.
 

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No pop - SMACK her. It has to have meaning behind it.

Watch how horses play. Nip, nip, nip until one gets tired of the game. The tired horse will be aggressive in the return and the game ends.
 

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You don't see horses nibbling on the alpha mare in the pasture. They know better. When I have a youngster nipping at me, I make them believe their lives are at risk. But I do it within a 5 second span, and when its over, ITS OVER.
 

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You will see much written about how horses interact with each other.The fact is , at times they play rough, they will kick or bite each other to claim space. The part they don't do is take it personal. They are being horses. When you can correct a horse with energy ,leaving out the anger things will work better. Even when a horse comes bearing teeth at another, when it's done it's done! They will not spend the next 10 minutes needed to unwind from their emotions. When we allow frustration,guilt,anger to dictate our actions the result is never good. There have been a few times where I have done jumping jacks around a horse to establish space. I do realize this sounds silly ,it is . The benefit is a shift in your thinking. Don't put your nose where I am exercising. Now I have refined this to the point where I just center myself. Use your brain before the action. Leave out the wait till I get my hands on you part. I am not a saint and have lost my patience when working with a horse,you will need to catch yourself ALOT! Try this: when the horse is coming around to bite you ,swing your arm from the ground up. The thinking here is to draw the line for your space. You own as much space as you need to be comfortable around your horse. Too often I see people poking at their horse ,invading their space!,attempting to point out they are fussy about their own space. Again your space is important to establish,the horse also needs a space. This would be the difference between a dictatorship and a partnership.
 

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My gelding has bit me twice...once on the side from the ground once on my foot from the saddle. On the ground I imediatly turned around and just slugged him a good one. (im to weak to really hurt him so I wasnt afraid to just punch him) I didnt catch him square in the nose...now that I think about it I caught him in the cheek...but he hasnt bitten me since.

In the saddle he was just being a turd and turned around and bit my foot cause he didnt wanna do something. He went to do it again and I kicked him in the nose...solved that problem...and im sure he had a slightly sore snoz...

After both incidents I just went back to doing what I had been doing before...no problems...

He hasnt bitten me since and isnt head shy at all...
 

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Interesting responses. I have two yearlings, both nearly two. One is a rescue and is head shy and one i raised. The one i raised is no longer mouthy. The rescue however...

What do you do when a horse is head shy and been beaten already? One "pop" on the nose and my colt would flip out and hate me for weeks.

Not to hijack the thread...
 

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I use a hoofpick on my guy. I place it so that when he moves his head to bite it pokes his nose. He's the one who hits it, not me hitting him, so it works slightly differently. When cleaning his hooves I use it a little more actively, kind of hold it behind me and wiggle it so if he swings his head it'll "pick" him, I'm pretty sure I've stuck it up his nostril a time or two doing that, but he's never bitten me while I was doing his feet, so it works I guess.
 

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Masatisan: That sounds like something I would do lol. Although I don't have to anymore. My girl was extremely touchy in the girth/breast collar area and even when I'd run my hand down her neck and to that spot she would stick her head out and bit at the air, or when I went to pick up her feet to pick them, she'd think I was going towards that "bad area" and turn around and attempt to bite me. What I did was punch her in the side, or just knee her there. I'd do it fast and all the while still continue to do what I was doing as if I did nothing and she made it happen. Today, she tried to bite once and I punched her in the side around where the girth comes around, and that was it. Now I don't punch as hard as I can, just really firm and with some meaning behind it. Same with my knee.
 

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You don't see horses nibbling on the alpha mare in the pasture. They know better. When I have a youngster nipping at me, I make them believe their lives are at risk. But I do it within a 5 second span, and when its over, ITS OVER.
Ha ha this made me giggle. I agree, no horse, young or old will ever question the authority of the dominant mare (or person for that matter.) I have been know to growl obsceneties, stamp my feet, push a horse a few steps backwards and give a decent open handed slap to an open area such as the shoulder. I agree, retribution is short and sharp (5-10 seconds) before you let them relax and think about things then continue whatever it was you were doing in the first place.

The only time I think I ever made a horse believe that his life was at risk was when I was training a two year old (who had never seen people in his life) tried to bite me. Well I didn't even get to slap him because as soon as I started growling and pushing him backwards, he was so scared the poor darl fell over. Needless to say he never bit me or any other human again. He also ended up being an incredibly friendly horse that would follow me around where ever I went, so no long term damage done I promise!
 

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Here is the way i look at it in terms of horses..Say there is a lesser horse eating and the alpha mare wants to eat what the lesser horse is eating, you don't see the alpha horse ask the lesser horse to move...the alpha horse pins their ears and throws a kick or a bite....so if you horse bites you what are you going to do laugh and gently say no? or give them a "physical" punishment that makes them think twice about doing it again?
 

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What i do with my headshy colt, which isn't something i can do all of the time... But if i'm brushing him, and he's starting to get mouthy, i let him nip the shedding brush or a stiff brush. I'm sure that doesn't feel pretty but he doesn't seem to care and will still grab a mouthful of your jacket or... hair... when you walk by. He has yet to get ahold of my skin.
 

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I'm actually having some trouble with my Paint filly. She's extremely mouthy, and while she hasn't really nipped me persay, she's always wanting to grab my clothing which is unacceptable. Last week, Ashley was checking her leg and she ducked down and grabbed her hood in her teeth. I was standing right there and she immediately got the shedding blade I was holding to the side of her nose.

The problem? She doesn't learn. No concern with being headshy, she's so insensitive she just doesn't care. I don't "pop", I wallop when my horses are being ignorant with dangerous vices and she jumps and then behaves for the rest of the day, and next day she's right back at it.

I haven't tried just walloping - I've tried creating a scene by getting in her face and hollering and making her back up, and just generally making her very aware at how displeased I am with her. I've tried holding a hoof pick or my elbow up so she smacks herself into me, to no avail.

I know she needs to be floated, she's got some ridges and her wolf teeth have come in now, so I'm hoping maybe that has something to do with it because I've never experienced a horse that didn't learn after the first slug to the mouth!
 
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