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My horse is a ring-side masochist!

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  • #21
    Originally posted by fair judy View Post
    the only cure i ever found for biting was to bake a potato to burning hot and shove it at the beast. it worked since the pain was self inflicted and he never tried it again. ( i guess i should put on my flame suit about now).
    I remember reading about the hot potato method to cure a biter in The Black Stallion's Filly when I was a kid. I always wondered if it would really work.
    I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

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    • #22
      One of my horses did the same kind of ANNOYING biting. I solved the problem by tucking a big rub rag into his noseband. The towel would hang down beneath his mouth and he stopped chewing on me, reins, fences, etc.

      GOOD LUCK
      http://STA551.com
      845-363-1875

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      • #23
        I'm curious.. what kind of horse is he? Sorry if you already answered this, I didn't get to read all of the posts.
        My "dumb blood" and many others I've dealt with have been the exact same way.. mouthy, and pretty much immune to being disciplined.
        My guy gets to chew on a lead rope when he gets bored. I'd rather have him doing that than biting people because he doesn't have something to chew on.
        IMO mouthy horses are a lot like people who bite their fingernails. Is it a bad habit? Yes. But if it's not hurting anyone, what's the harm? They could be doing much worse.
        "It's hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it's even harder to give up when you know it's everything you want."
        Blog | YouTube

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        • #24
          With mine, I just pester him right back, like LTJ teaches. He goes to be nippy/mouthy, I just rub and grab and annoy him so badly he thinks twice about doing it again.

          I don't really understand fair judy, he took garbage out of the can? Who cleaned it up?lol

          The day my horse bit a child hard enough to require surgery is the day the horse would be gone!

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          • #25
            I can't help on the fixing it front, but I used to groom and then show a horse who was like this - he was a great competitor, and in his teens, so we just dealt with it. Every time he was at ringside, we'd loop the reins through his throatlatch, and along with his number and grooming box we always carried one of those fleece pommel pads - he would just suck and chew at it happily the whole time he waited.

            I agree that it does seem to be particularly WB trait!

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Dewey View Post
              I remember reading about the hot potato method to cure a biter in The Black Stallion's Filly when I was a kid. I always wondered if it would really work.
              i read it as a kid, too. it stuck with me and one day i was talking to a wise old codger and he laughed and said it wasn't put in the book because it didn't work.

              couldn't ride the horse for a while but he never did it again. i think you would have to have that was easy to "set up" and this one was SO predictable.

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              • #27
                This is an easy fix, really.

                You must never ever allow the mouth to start the nip .

                You keep a crop with a metal ball on the end or metal stop, like a dressage whip, in your fist, and the instant he turns to mouth, BOB! Bop him under the chin. Whap! He won't see it fcoming and don't say a word, it isn'ta discussion. Just Bop! Keep it with you when you are hanging around, grooming, whatever. Whap! and keep on doing what you are doing. You will see after only three times he will stand there dumbfounded but not mouthing. He'll try it again, whap! right under the chin, a real sharp bop. He'll cut it out.

                You may have to carry this with you indefinitely, but do it. You will be doing yourself and him a favor.

                Don't make a bigger deal over it than that, but don't let people reach out to him, either, until he is polite. He's jsut getting away with it is all.

                Ask me how I know. It works and its better than your hand coming at him. If you do it right he won't evven associate it with you, and he certainly won't associate it with a hand slap, which is key.
                My warmbloods have actually drunk mulled wine in the past. Not today though. A drunk warmblood is a surly warmblood. - WildandWickedWarmbloods

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                • #28
                  kate i agree that most horses will respond to this, but stimulus/response has to be nearly simultaneous with incorrigible mouthy horses. even then i've see some that would simply up the ante' to striking or rearing.

                  if a horse is really exceptional i will do what i have to do to make things work. of course these are not horses which should be handled by the less vigilant, and for sure are not for someone who wants one to "love".

                  i do not give nor did i ever allow treats to be fed by hand. second to this is allowing horses to rub their head on me.

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                  • #29
                    Two thoughts. With a biter I carry a crop and crack the front cannons hard till the horse folds a leg back to get away from me. If youve ever watch horses rough house you have seen one horse go for the leg with its mouth to back the other horse off. Once your horse understands that biting gets his legs taken out from under him he will think twice. Horses are prey and don't like to lose control over their ability to flee. When you take crop to leg the horse will drop its head low as it yanks the front leg up and away from the strike. Once that happens you can reward the horse by rubbing the face. And once the horse knows you will go low if they bite swinging the lead rope at their legs reminds them to watch their mouth. Plus it's discrete for public codds film and avoids the danger of making a mouthy horse head shy.


                    Oooooorrrrrrrrr if you want coping method instead of training better behavior try very very sticky treats like fruit roll ups on the bit or Gumbits. Something that gets stuck in the teeth keeping them working on what's in their mouth.
                    ...don't sh** where you eat...

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Ambitious Kate View Post
                      You keep a crop with a metal ball on the end or metal stop, like a dressage whip, in your fist, and the instant he turns to mouth, BOB! Bop him under the chin. Whap! He won't see it fcoming and don't say a word, it isn'ta discussion. Just Bop! Keep it with you when you are hanging around, grooming, whatever. Whap! and keep on doing what you are doing. You will see after only three times he will stand there dumbfounded but not mouthing. He'll try it again, whap! right under the chin, a real sharp bop. He'll cut it out.
                      Originally posted by fair judy
                      kate i agree that most horses will respond to this, but stimulus/response has to be nearly simultaneous with incorrigible mouthy horses. even then i've see some that would simply up the ante' to striking or rearing.
                      I have found that snapping a chain shank under the chin of a horse like this helps. For a rapid-fire nipper like mine, I can get to him pretty instantaneously and of all the things I have tired, it seems to help him connect with the idea that nipping or trying to get things in his mouth is unacceptable. If he doesn't stop or tries to take it to the next level, he gets backed until he realizes he needs to mind his manners. When I work with him on his manners, he needs to understand that I am allowed to enter his space, but he may not enter mine without my permission.

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                      • #31
                        My daughter's pony would ''grab" for something in the mouth. He learned not to do it with me, but teaching her timing for correction was key here. He would grab a lead rope, reins, and if he couldn't get those - her sleeve. I had to do something. His was the attention getting - get reaction chewing.

                        I walked behind them, and when I would see him open his mouth and move his nose just a tad towards her, I called "now".

                        She would throw her pointy elbow up, or her arm totally out. The elbow would catch him in the soft part of the nose, correcting him, but he could see that she was not "looking" it was just a "spasm" Occasionally I would cue her and she would throw her elbow up even when he was leading correctly and giving her space - well of course he would not get bumped. After about a week of taking the playing out of it, the "chicken wing spasm" was no longer needed.

                        He has never had an issue since with anyone.

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                        • #32
                          Two nippers/overly mouthly horses in our barn. One is an appendix gelding and one is a DWB/TB cross. The DWB crosses previous ower encouraged the playful behavior for almost 5 years. Well that came to an abrupt halt once on our hands. I do NOT want to handle a mouthy horse ringside-ever.

                          Two things:

                          EVERY day for a few weeks before you ride work with him on the ground with a nice chain.... walking...halting... walking....halting... when they go in for a bite or a nip immediately back them up and vocally get angry... this worked miracles and they learn to respect your space.

                          Spray something that tastes terrible in their direction. When they go in for a a bite spray quickly and they realize that nipping tastes awful. Soapy solution, vinegar or lemony liquid works great!

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