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Miniature Stallion Bites

My miniature stallion is two years old. He hasnt been bred. he was only 7 months old when i bought him so he wasnt trained. I train my 2 Quarter Horses so i guess i know a good bit about training horses. I've been around horses practically my whole life. Well i'm planning on buying a mare to breed him with, but i dont know when i will. Yes, I always feed him treats from my hand. But even when i go to give him treats he tries to bite. Well I always used to walk him before he started biting, but once he started biting, he started rearing up so i quit walking him, and i just keep him out in an open field. Well I hope this information is good enough.


Hi Lacy,

OK, ... First off your horse has reached sexual maturity (generally at two years old). The hormones released within him now are going to make him act more like a stallion. Unless you are able to work with him a lot right now, not be intimidated by his behavior and understand how to use the round pen (do you have a round pen?) to modify his behavior in a non-abusive way, your situation will only get worse. Always feeding him treats from your hand has contributed to your problem. This makes all horses 'mouthy', does not establish anything other than an aggressive biting horse. Treats should only be given randomly and generally from a bucket. Praise and love (verbal praise) are the great carrot. Those things and active, appropriate leadership are what builds respect, trust and the bond you want to have with your horse. Stallions, even minis, are extremely different than working with gelded horses or mares. Once the horse has intimidated you, that will be his pattern until you develop boundaries with him. Stallions get very physical with each other. You need to expect this and be prepared. Your abilities to 'check' him when he challenges you is important. Some things to remember; do not stand right in front of him so he could strike at you with his front feet. If he rears in front of you, yank down on the rope but to the side. You have more leverage than yanking straight down. Be prepared to actually pop him right on the upper lip in front of his upper teeth when he tries to bite. I do not advocate wailing on him as some folks do with stallions. And this is the only time I suggest a physical pop to the horse. Biting is very dangerous and left unchecked will create substantial problems and risk for you. But you need to be able to pop him right on the snout (and loudly say NO) when he bits and do it within 3 seconds of the bite. Always wear gloves when working with him. He may rear when you 'pop' him so you must remember to stay on his side and not right in front. You need to get this horse lunging around you easily and willingly (training). This will be a non-abusive tool to modify his behavior (you can put the horse to work should he act up). Training gelding quarter horses has given you some experience. But stallions are a whole other ballgame. They require a high level of confidence, skill and a lot of time initially. It sound like there was not much real training as a yearling or before this situation came up. This would have helped tremendously. If he has basically been a pet up until now, this has really worked against you and created the situation you have. Learning boundaries is something horses should be taught very young. Hand feeding treats creates disrespect for boundaries. I would stop this immediately. Any trainer will say to you the same thing. What has happened is the horse has a relationship with the treat and not you.

Anyway, I hope I have not set you off by coming on too strong. But you have a dangerous and actually rather serious situation. Even a mini can do extensive damage to someone. You have legal liability by keeping a dangerous stallion around should someone get hurt. Also, you are saying you will keep him on his own. You will have to do this all the time. Is that how you want your horse to be kept? Keeping stallions should really be done with careful thought and a real plan. Your saying that someday you will try to buy a mare to breed him to is quite vague. There is no time frame mentioned, no real plan in place. The little guy will prove very challenging all the time. He is now at the stage that extensive, very competent retraining needs to happen. It is not just 'starting' a young horse. It is serious and potentially dangerous work even if you were very experienced with stallions.

I offer coaching in training if you are interested. I can talk you through a system of training him that will work. Please let me know if you are interested. Keep me posted please and know I am not here to criticize you, but rather to really help your situation. I am just unsure if you totally understand the ramifications of maintaining a stallion, even a mini. Good luck......

Sincerely, Franklin

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