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Biting gelding problems


My daughter has a 15 year old welsh mountain cob gelding.We have had him about 3 months and he use to try and have a nip but not often, but now he seems to do it more frequent. He gets a firm NO and sometimes a smack but just wondering what the best thing to do. He never tries it while riding apart from being bouncy to ride he is great for my 10year old. We have also been told to pull down on his halter while holding him if he tries it. Apart from this he does what is asked of him especially when being ridden.

Hoping you can help
Thank you
Kel :)

Hi Kel,

There are a few things to try to discourage his nipping that I would suggest. A well placed and very well timed 'pop' to the end of the snout (right on the upper lip in front of the upper teeth) might be in order. You have only 2-3 seconds to do this after the nip otherwise the horse does not associate the 'pop' with the nip and it becomes abuse. I will use my elbow or a closed hand. But be careful to have this very precise, well timed and well placed. You can hurt your hand as well. A smack anyplace else isn't going to do much and becomes abuse unless it has real precision and intention.

Another think I like is to make what I don't want hard for a horse to do. So if there is behavior I do not want I will immediately back the horse somewhat vigorously for 25 yards or so, or up a grade. Another thing I will do if a horse looks he will nip, and usually they signal before they do anything (you have to be paying attention to see it), is to have the horse do vigorous hind end yields, 3-4 rotations in both directions. Then I'll put a stop on the horse with a WHOA! That will usally stop whatever the horse was doing quickly and put his total attention on the human. It is a good idea to practice having the horse yield the hind quarters in a paddock so you both get used to the technique so when you need to use it it is familiar to both horse and human.

Thanks for your question and please let me know how it all goes.

Sincrerely, Franklin

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