Biting Horse - Not Sure What to Do?

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Horse_Girl9804, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Horse_Girl9804

    Horse_Girl9804 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    77
    I'll try to make this brief.

    4 y/o gelding. I've had him for 2 years, he hadn't been handled much previous to me getting him. He's a very nice horse and very well behaved 90% of the time (undersaddle, on the ground, etc)

    Recently (August/Sept) he was sent to "boot camp" for 60 days reining training.
    I also had a horribly fitting saddle that was pinching him really bad, we've got that fixed now, although I'm not sure he knows that yet. I've only ridden him 4 times with the new saddle.

    When he bites:
    Mainly around his breakfast grain. If you touch him or get near him he pins his ears and acts aggressive. If you go up to him and touch him sometime's he'll try to bite/nip sometimes not. He seems especially grouchy if I touch his withers (saddle?).
    He's pretty bad somedays around his hay (eating 24/7 on a roundbale).

    It's mostly food-oriented, seems like. If he's tied up, or not eating he's pretty chill with everything..

    He wasn't like this this summer, it really seems like the cold makes him grouchier...

    He acts like he's going to kick somtimes too, but he hasn't actually kicked out in over a year. He'll lift his foot and swish his tail.
    If he's tied up while eating I can handle his feet/legs with very little trouble.

    I'm really not sure what his problem is.. I smack him with whatever I can (my fist, elbow or throwing a bucket at him) whenver he bites or comes at me....

    I don't understand. I've tried to "just pet him when he's trying to bite" thinking that might work and of course it DID NOT.

    He's just ill around food. He has 24/7 access to a round bale, he never goes hungry.

    Any ideas would be great... He bit me for the 2nd or 3rd time EVER today. Bit me hard enough it bled a little, and I had on a t-shirt, thick hoody AND a carharrt jacket!

    I'm 17, fairly knowledgable/skilled with horses but this has me stumped.

    He's had ALL the groundwork done that I know of, the trainer went over everything with him.. :confused::confused:
     
  2. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    18,006
    Likes Received:
    22,206
    i would never tolerate biting. I would bring a dressage length whip in with you and test him. ask him to back away from his feed. if he tries to bite or kick you, smack him and take his grain AWAY.

    he'll gradually figure out that if he doesn't respect you, he doesn't GET his grain.
     
  3. ParkedOut

    ParkedOut Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    3,991
    Likes Received:
    7,297
    I 100% agree. It sounds like he's moving you off the food pan, and in the case of the lifted leg and ear pinning WARNING you off.:mad: Take your long whip in with you and walk him off that pan- react if he does.
     
  4. Horse_Girl9804

    Horse_Girl9804 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    77
    That's what I was going to do - or carry a little needle and let him jab himself with it next time he tried.

    I was hoping there was something else I hadn't thought of.
    Hopefully that will work.
     
  5. Horse_Girl9804

    Horse_Girl9804 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    77
    I gotta feeling he won't be getting any grain for a few days..

    Any ideas on the cold weather thing? He isn't this bad in warmer weather.. He's also turned out on 5 acres of pasture too, instead of 2 acres of a drylot with hay...
     
  6. Lopinslow

    Lopinslow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2008
    Messages:
    18,006
    Likes Received:
    22,206
    then he doesn't get any grain for a few days..... it won't hurt him!! he needs to learn some respect..... there is NO way i would tolerate that type of behavior. i feed 5 of them together (each as a bucket) and if any of them get even the slightest bit PUSHY with me, they get smacked with my hand, a bucket, or anything else.

    no idea on the cold.. it may have nothing to do with the cold. i'm guessing you've let some small disrespectful things go, and it's just escalated to this because he's gotten away with it.
     
  7. mftowner06

    mftowner06 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Messages:
    3,082
    Likes Received:
    949
    Do you carry the grain into his area and pour into a bucket. If you do I would even start from you walking into his area which is actually your area, he's just living there free of rent so to speak. If he comes up to you with his ears pinned, chase him away, and have the whip with you. And he does not get his grain until he gives you a happy face... or better yet. Put him on halter and lead rope, but the grain in the bucket and if he comes toward the bucket all pinning eared, back him up aggressively. Give him another chance to come up and eat if he's pi**y about it back him up. He does not get to come into your space and eat without a happy look on his face.
     
  8. Horse_Girl9804

    Horse_Girl9804 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    77
    I don't care if he skips a few meals, I didn't mean it like "poor baby", more like Haha, serves him right he won't get any! :flaming:

    It happened last year too - just in the winter... It DOES intimidate me when he tries to kick/bite... He kicked my knee real bad a year ago and I still don't have any feeling there...

    I don't really feel like I let him "get away" with anything though.. He bites, he gets smacked. He behaves, he gets a rub and I leave him alone..

    I'll just start carrying my dressage whip with me everytime I go out there, I think one good come to Jesus meeting and maybe he'll behave for good.

    He's fed about 15 feet away from the mare (who is The Boss) I wonder if it would help/hurt if I fed them way far away? They've always eaten fairly close together, although she is always kept seperated because she gets done before he does.

    I have a feeling there is more to this than just him being disrespectful...
    It's all got to do with Food, I know that....

    I wish I could get into his brain!
     
  9. Horse_Girl9804

    Horse_Girl9804 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,817
    Likes Received:
    77
    I think this idea will work quite well. His punishment undersaddle and on the ground is always backing up like a bat outta h*!!.
    I do walk into the area, pour the grain into his tub, then he comes and gets it. I'm loving this idea!
     
  10. Ambrose

    Ambrose Senior Member+

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,355
    Likes Received:
    2,742
    Frankly, I wouldn't use a pin or needle...just a whip. I would want that horse to know that I was the one who gave him the "ouch." I was the one who is forcing him to back up. I wouldn't want it to seem like an accident. I would have a dressage whip (not a crop; they aren't long enough) in my hand and I would be threatening him.

    Biting is one of the few times that I'll hit a horse. He wouldn't hesitate to hurt you, so I will not hesitate to give the same to him. He's challenging your authority in the "herd."

    If you have a round pen or other controlled area, I would plant him in it, put down a bucket of the most succulent grain you have, and just wait for him to try and come after you. When he does, drive him away. It is YOUR grain; you are in charge and YOU eat first. I've actually pretended to "eat" the food before the dominant horse when doing this. I make a very obvious show that I am in charge of the food and, as the alpha horse, I eat first and control if HE eats at all.
     

Share This Page