ugly biting

View previous topic View next topic Go down

ugly biting

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:36 am

Hi everyone,



I really appreciate your expert help. I have TWH 9 year old gelding. He is smart and assertive. I am an experienced with horses, worked with youngsters, and believe in firm, kind handling with clear routines and expectations. This horse is fine to ride - no issues. Is calm and smart on the trail, figures stuff out, spooks momentarily if there's real cause, but no melt- downs. He has good ground manners, no problem with feet, grooming, tacking-up. No tail swishing ever, but as I work around him in cross-ties, lots of ear pinning and sudden lunging bites that are not playful. He can really do damage. Whatever reprimand - sharp smack on the body, making myself big and yelling - nothing works, and he only gets angrier. I do not believe in smacking a horse on the face, though that's been recommended. In the stall, sometimes he is fine for me to put a lead shank on, other times he lunges and bites. I never know what to expect. I feel that when I get into it with him, it's going to escalate, and I'm not not going to come out on top.

My compromise has been to doing everything very predictably and quietly, and to ignore the ear pinning and stay out of range of a possible bite. It feels like I'm giving in, but that seems better than creating a pissed off, angry horse. Most of the time, he is fine and calm. He whinnies when he sees me coming, even though I do not feed him treats. I have managed to get him to pick up his feet on command, and he used to be just horrible with that. He is now also really easy to bridle, and he used to be very difficult, so I have been able to make progress in some areas, but not with the biting.



My gut feeling is that at some point in his early years, someone got into a big battle with him and he learned to be aggressive right back and to win.



Any suggestions gratefully received.



Appreciatively,



Della
avatar
Admin
Admin

Posts : 108
Join date : 2010-02-15
Location : Buckhead, Georgia

View user profile http://goinggaited.com

Back to top Go down

Re: ugly biting

Post by Paul Williamson on Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:08 pm

PAUL-



Hi Della,



Congratulations in getting such good results in training your horse! For your last obstacle, however, I would like to suggest a different approach.



When you hit a dead end with a horse, and you find yourself in a potentially dangerous situation where the horse might get the upper hand, you remove that option from him by avoiding the situation altogether until you have come up with a safe and certain solution. Since you have been successful at teaching him to pick his feet up, you should be able to teach him a few other things from the ground. Start with teaching him to stand completely still, and do this away from the cross-ties to start with! Make sure you teach him vocal cues for the "freeze" as well as the "free again". And start with asking him to stand still for just a few seconds, then gradually increase the time. When you're happy with your progress, have him lower his head as well. In the end, you should have him standing completely still for you with his head quietly lowered waiting for his reward, which can be anything, you'll have to be the judge of that as you know the horse. Clicker-training would probably work a charm if you're up for it. When the exercise works for you when training, you can put him back in the cross-ties and repeat the exercise there. Start with leaving him un-tied just standing there and repeat the exercise till he does it easy, then tie him up. Don't start grooming him or move around him till he's a pro at "the freeze" and you trust him to stand while you move around.



I would avoid the dangerous situations entirely with him until you have taught him the above. And I would also like to recommend that you use appropriate safety gear around your horse - helmet, vest, steel toes, etc.



Best of luck and stay safe!

Paul
avatar
Paul Williamson

Posts : 22
Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Singapore

View user profile http://www.hybridhorsemanship.com

Back to top Go down

Re: ugly biting

Post by Jeff Sanders on Tue Mar 02, 2010 7:33 am

Hey Della,
This kind of behavior can build into a VERY serious problem. I had a client a couple years ago with a similar problem. She did not take my advice or that of her Vet and a couple other people. She ended up being Lifeflighted and spent almost a week in the hospital. I only tell you this to illustrate the seriousness of what you are dealing with.
Ignoring the behaviors and “sneaking” around him will only last for a little while before the behaviors escalate.
I understand your reluctance to smack him in the face. I do not believe in smacking a horse in the face ether with a very few exceptions…. And this sounds like one of them. The problem here is that his face is the point of origin for the problem. You have tried to get after him in other ways and it has not worked. It may have even agitated him more. You may have to decide what you are more comfortable with, him biting you or you smacking him when he tries.
Something you could try it putting a stud chain over his nose (NOT under his chin) and getting after him with it when he starts to pin his ears. With the stud chain you can use it before he tries to bite and hopefully stop the action before it fully develops. You have to be very careful with this method though. If you don’t have much experience using a stud chain please find some one who does and I would not use it with him tied.
Having said that though you may have to resort to some actions that you may not be entirely comfortable with. Unfortunately when a horse’s behavior becomes dangerous (and this is DANGEROUS) you have to make your safety the number 1 priority. Also keep in mind how horses deal with this kind of behavior in a herd environment. The other horse would only tolerate it for a very short time before the receiving horse would unleash and let the offending horse know that the biting should stop. I promise you that smacking the horse will be nowhere near as forceful as what another horse would do.
I hope this helps and please be safe,
Jeff
avatar
Jeff Sanders

Posts : 10
Join date : 2010-02-19
Location : Fallon, NV

View user profile http://www.modernvaquero.com

Back to top Go down

Re: ugly biting

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum