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Horse biting another horse

Hello Franklin:

I have recently purchased two geldings. One is 11 yrs. old and the other is only a colt of 2 yrs. old. The problem is that the older horse bites the younger one. He has made some really bad scars on the back and rump of the young horse. I separate them when they are being fed, but the biting continues. They are in a pasture of about 3 acres, so they should have plenty of space. Can you offer any advice about how to stop the biting. I have no way to separate them, as this is the only pasture I have for them.


Hi Wayne,

Actually three acres is not that much land especially if one of the horses is somewhat aggessive. Obviously the colt can't get away. You could try to train the older horse out of it by setting up the situation so that you can correct the older horse when he gets aggressive with the colt. Horses do this sometimes simply because there is a horse around the can bully. They do it because they can. Correcting the older horse could be done by putting him to work doing hind quarter yields or small circles lunging on the lead rope the instant he even looks at the colt. Ride the older horse near the colt and if he looks cross-eyed at the colt make him do small circles in both directions vigorously. But, as you can't be there all the time, it is not an easy prospect. Once the colt gets older he may step up to the plate and defend himself. But he may not. Are you keeping him a stallion? The older horse may have been low man on the totum pole and now that he is not, he is making up for it. Just like with humans, bullies usually have low self esteem and over conpensate all over the place. Not an easy problem with an easy solution. Good luck an dplease keep me polsted.

Sincerely, Franklin

I have one more question that I hope you can help me with. I have a horse that is quite spirited. When you put your foot in the stirrup he starts walking (even though you are holding the reins tight) and by the time you get your leg across the saddle, he is already trotting. How do you teach a horse to stand still while you are mounting?

Wayne Rabalais

Hi Wayne,

Do not try to restrain the horse. He is too big to restrain anyway and it will make matters worse. But rather direct his energy. If he starts to move, keep him moving (in a small circle). Keep encouraging him to move for 3-5 minutes until you say WHOA!. He will not want to move eventually. When you put your foot in the stirrup and he moves, keep him moving around you a lot. He'll be happy to stop after ten rotations around you, I promise. Do not let him move in a straight line. Always in a tight circle. He will not want to circle in a tight circle for long. Always shorten up your inside rein so he turns to the left if he starts to move, never straight ahead. That should handle the problem. Please let me know how it all goes. This is a very common problem and is not hard to remedy.

Sincerely, Franklin

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