Dealing with Horses that Bite

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A biting horse is extremely dangerous, no matter what the cause of his bad behavior.? If your horse has a tendency towards nipping or outright biting, it is important that you understand why he is exhibiting this behavior, and what to do about it.? In mild cases, it is annoying to constantly watch your horse to ensure he?s not nipping at you, and at the other extreme, people have been killed and seriously injured by horse bites. ?It is not a behavior to take lightly, and if you are unable to deal with the problem on your own, enlist the help of a good trainer.? Remember, if your horse bites he is putting all those he comes in contact with at risk, not just yourself.

Horses will sometimes bite out of pain or fear.? It is important to rule out these factors when assessing your horse?s behavior.? This could be the case if your horse always tries to bite at particular times, such as when you are cinching up the saddle, or if he suddenly shows this behavior when you are touching a certain area.

Most horses who bite are simply showing dominant behavior.? In a herd, horses nip and bite at one another when playing their hierarchy games.? The best thing to do with a horse like this is calmly send the horse out of your space when he makes his biting attempt.? This mimics herd behavior of the more dominant horses refusing to engage in this play.

In rare cases, the horse may be actually aggressive towards humans.? If you suspect that this is what is going on with your horse, it is vital that you work with an experienced trainer to help the horse to learn that he must respect humans.

Overreacting to your horse?s behavior, even in the case of an aggressive horse, will not teach your horse manners.? Hitting or yelling at your horse will be counterproductive and also will not solve the problem.

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2 Responses

  1. Rebekah Thompson says:

    my horse is a yearling that my grandma rscued from the auction. she tries to bite like she thinks she is dominant. i have never had a horse before and i have always loved horses. But i don’t want my horse raising experience ruined because of a young agresive horse could somone please help because i have only had her since January 12 2011 and today when i put this on here is January 14 2011.i love her and i don’t want to have to get rid of her. please help

  2. Laura says:

    @ Rebekah Thompson …….. I know what you mean about the biting. Our experience with horses has always been with adult horses. In fact the mother of our “biter” is so gentle and loving. She only ever bit me once, and I know it was by total accident since I was holding carrots. I turned to brush her son away since he was trying to bite me and she went to get a carrot and accidentally got my finger instead. She let go when she realized she had my finger tho. Her colt is a whole nother story. He is so loveable, but the orneriest cuss you ever did see. I wouldn’t let this ruin you on horses or even this particular horse, and I wouldn’t get rid of her, but if possible I would try to get help in training her. We are going to have to get help with ours. We have tried every trick in the book. Absolutely nothing has worked on him. I do believe his is definitely a dominance thing. He also as soon as he got taller than me, I am only 5’3″, got more aggressive towards me. So we need the help of a good trainer too. We just can’t afford it right now.

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