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Biting and more biting

When a horse is biting because they are testing the waters, what do you do?

My neighbors just received a 9 yr. old qtr/Morgan, nice horse. Now that the old owner is out of the picture, Gracie wants to bite, buck, rear, etc. I suggested, go back to square one with her. So she know that Jesse is the new "boss." Jesse is timid, so will it help if I step in and lunge her, work her. She tried to bit me, as I was walking passed her. She actually got Jesse in the hip, as Jesse was talking and brushing her.

Also, my 2yr old stud, he bites and runs, is he playing? I was told to rub his nose every time he approaches me, then he will turn from me and go away, not, he comes back for more, it seams that he is playing.

Thank you, Leah

Hi Leah,

Thanks for your question. Biting is obviously not a good thing. It is a dangerous vice and should not be tolerated. I do several things with biting horses. I like to put a horse to work a bit really quickly, right away when I get with him. I bend them around me very quickly, both directions and back them a few steps, so I can have some 'right and appropriate action' immediately that sets me up as the respected leader fast and efficiently. I never get bitten anymore because I immediately begin to dance with a horse when I get next to it. I begin some action that gets the horses attention on me quickly. There is no time for them to 'test the waters' or anything else, they are moving with me right a way. You can ask the biggest horse, the most nervous horse or the most fearful horse to bend with mild pressure bringing the head to the side and continuing the tight turn motion.Then I say 'Whoa!' and give the horse a peaceful place (standing quietly by my side). If he does anything I do not want, he bends around me again, both directions 3-4 rotations.

If a horse actually manages to put his teeth on me I will pop him right on the upper lip, infront of his front teeth. This must be done within 2 seconds of the bite or the horse does not know why he is being popped. I may use my elbow or closed hand and the 'pop' must be right on target and right on time. Anything else is abuse. Notice I said 'pop'. This means a sharp, precise, well timed, minor blow to the described spot. Not enough force to send the horse fleeing in fear, but just enough to make the point. I do not touch a horse's nose or face. I think it is disrespectful. I want a horse's respect not his fear. So I show respect and only touch them appropriately, thoughtfully and when invited to by the horse's demeanor. If you touch a horse's mouth it either encourages biting or drives them away from you. Neither is what I want. I want to guide the horse to feelings of trust and safety and lead him to confidence that he is safe with me and doing as I say.

Some horses will go for what is vulnerable. It could be a timid horse or a timid person. That is their nature. Some horses are so confident within themselves they will care take humans of any age. Some horses still have fear and cannot tolerate a timid person as it makes them uncertain and fearful. Then they start to fend for themselves by biting and being aggressive. They think they need to do that to be safe. As for your 2-year old stud colt, he is just being a young stud. I would definately be working with this horse in a round pen and put him under saddle a few rides and then let him hang a while and do plenty of ground play. If he is left unhandled a lot, he will become harder and harder to deal with. To mellow him, he has to be handled as much as possible.

There you have it. Let me know how it goes. I am most interested. If

you have questions, let me know.....

Sincerely, Franklin

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