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DbarH Equine Training. Natural Horsemanship.
Medicine Lodge Valley, Dillon, Montana

Biting

Classifications 

1) Boredom and Baby mouthing

2) Use the lips in a gentle grabbing with teeth to be used as a humans hands/arms.

3) Fight behavior/revolting

All biting can not be classified into one category.  The horses intensions are each addressed and handled in different ways.  No such thing as one size fits all.  Since horses do not speak in words they communicate through the body.  It is up to the handler to become a true horseman and speak the horses language.

 Boredom and Baby mouthing

A horse that likes to have things in there mouth to chew will chew as long as they want and then quit. For this behavior smacking does no good as the horse does not understand why he got hit. 

The next time they look like they are ready to chew for the heck of it take a whip rubber handle up (opposite of how it is gripped) and when he goes for you give him the whip. Not just to where he can chew on the rubber grip with his front teeth but stick it back into the back of his mouth. He wonít like this. The thing he wants to chew is to far up there for his liking so he tries to spit it out. But donít let him. If you let him it just enforces that he was done chewing and when he feels like it again will go for another nibble. Instead keep it in there let him try to spit it out for awhile (30 seconds) and then take it out. When you take it out he will look at you and think "man that was the pits what was that? I donít want that again", or if thirty seconds is not enough to discourage him when he does it again lengthen the time period from the 30 seconds.

Mouth as a hand

Some horses posses qualities that they can use there mouth like a caressing human hand. I have a horse like this. If she wants to show us something or a signal that she has an itchy spot and shows us where ,she will ever so gently take here mouth and grab our lower arm near the wrist and take us where she was asking us to go.

Fight behavior/revolting

This horse means business to get rid of you. This is a dominance issue that is very dangerous. Do not do with the horse what you did in behavior 1 or it will get you hurt. Stand your ground and show the horse that you are not a low man on the totem pole and that the horse can not run you out of the country. Pushing the horse will not do anything. To him that is an annoying itch and asking to get chased out of the country. If he wants to kill you, you have to kill back. The horse is playing fight to win. And if you move the direction he wants he wins and has control over you. So the next time he confronts you when he is not tied let him run it to your fighting back technique. 

You know the horse is going to bite so be prepared be swinging back and forth vertical wise in front of your body with a crop. When the horse goes to do the biting he runs into the crop and smacks themselves. You did not smack him the horse did it themselves. 

If the horse is a little more serious fighter that runs to attack you, the crop that is vertical would be replaced with a lunge whip that is horizontal. The horse would still be running into the whip. And the horse will be hitting themselves as you swish the whip back and forth. Not to be done like daydreaming but faster moving. But the length is enough that you can get out of the way if need be. Safety first. Always think of all the possibilities that could happen. And be on your toes.

A key to all this is that the human is the good guy and all bad comes from the horses negative behavior which he punishes himself. It is like playing basketball if player 1 runs in to player 2, player 2 gets fouled, because he did running into all by himself and punishes himself. If player 1 ran into player 2 but player 2 got punished he would think "I did not do anything" thus becoming cautious of doing anything good even. Just remember do not punish a horse for something he has not actually done yet.

 

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