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Halter off... Got bit... Bites hard!!

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OhHorsePee

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Ok, so I am a whiner! But it hurt me.

Took Promises halter off in an area about a quarter of an acre. As I removed it she bit my arm. I sat and just watched her with apple bits on my lap and a few tossed a head of me. She finally took the ones a head of me and I held one out for her. She finally took it. I got to touch her nose.... She took off. Repaeated this several times. I got to touch her face. I got up and just kept walking away and she followed me. She bit me again. I just put her up for the night (which was not easy). What do you guys do about biting? I wont give up on her!!! I have heard several things from friends saying I should have bought a different one but she needed TLC and I was drawn to her. I do not force myself on her. I keep waiting for her to approach me. Is that wrong??????? HELP!!!

Thank you in advance

Fran
 

hhpminis

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Do you have a round pen?

I would try to get her in a smaller area with no corners if possible. Try to get her to "join up" with you.

It is kinda hard to explain here and if you have cable I would suggest watching one of the natural horsemanship shows on Horse TV or getting a book on it, but if you dont I will try to explain.

Put a pan of food out in the middle of the pen, let her have a couple bites.

Then with a rope or whip in hand, (you dont have to touch her with either) drive her away from the food and guard it with your body. Keep driving her around the pen staring at her head until she submits. This will come in stages, you will see her ear twitch as if she is listening and paying attention to what you say and do, keep driving her, she will eventually drop her head and chew.

At this point drop your eyes back to her shoulder and let her slow her pace, eventually drop your gaze and tell her to whoa. You may have to take a step in front of her a bit but get her to whoa, she will most likely stop and face you, drop your gaze from her face and walk in a half circle around her at a slight distance slowly getting closer. Reach out an let her smell your hand and walk away, she may follow you, if she does lead her to the feed pan and allow her to have a bite. Try to pet her neck while she eats, if she will not let you drive her away again and continue this routine until she will follow you all around the pen to the feed and away from the feed.

This takes time and patience, it is not something that you can do in 15 minutes and be prepared to spend some time especially the first time doing this.

Oh and quit hand feeding her if she has biting issues. At least for a time.
 

CountryHaven

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Well, first off I would say you don't need to be giving a horse like that so much room for freedom where she could decide to play the 'you can't catch me' game, and learn to be evasive. The round pen method described above is your best bet for teaching a horse to behave in an acceptable way when dealing with humans.

HOWEVER... there are two things in life that are totally unacceptable in horse/human interactions: biting, and kicking. For those two things there is no quarter given in my company. The John Lyon's addage that 'when a horse bites (or kicks) you have 3 seconds to make him(her) believe he's going to die' is definately one I ascribe to. It may sound mean, but as you've experienced first hand, a bite is no laughing matter, and that horse MEANT to be mean to you. Kicking and/or biting is an act of aggression, and should be met with equal aggression. The only thing off limits in my opinion is hitting in the head area, but that mare would have gotten my full attention for sure on a bite, and for several seconds she would have been sure she was going to die. After those few seconds of retribution, you must go back to your routine, and be calm, and continue what you were doing (although always strong in your attitude, confidant, horses can feel that). If a repeat attempt is made, once again it is retaliated. This mare has learned she can do this, and it is dangerous.

It's pretty obvious that a loose horse is going to be harder to impress with the above... I don't think you should work with her loose just yet. If she bites, and has no halter/lead rope on, she will dodge you, and learn the fun of side-swiping and running.

I think the biggest problem you have is you jumped the gun a bit. You already know this horse has had a problem past, and requires a different adjustment period than, say an average new horse. Take it SLOW. Work in small spaces, and not loose until you are confident that she respects you, and your space.
 

hhpminis

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Although I was not sure you were ready to hear the "make them think they are gonna die" remark, I do agree with Tami. I have no tolerance for a horse that bites or kicks at me with the intent to harm, and it sounds as if she is doing it with that intention.

Watch horses in a herd. If one gets "crabby" the others will turn quickly and kick the snot out of her. Then they go back to life as normal and all is good again. They dont give the horse a second chance to come and do it again before they respond. This is the communication that horses understand and if you can duplicate it to the best we as humans can they will get the message sooner.

Sorry, but you probably have some rough lessons ahead of you but it can be done, so dont give up.
 

SuziB

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fran_myers said:
Ok, so I am a whiner! But it hurt me. Took Promises halter off in an area about a quarter of an acre. As I removed it she bit my arm. I sat and just watched her with apple bits on my lap and a few tossed a head of me. She finally took the ones a head of me and I held one out for her. She finally took it. I got to touch her nose.... She took off. Repaeated this several times. I got to touch her face. I got up and just kept walking away and she followed me. She bit me again. I just put her up for the night (which was not easy). What do you guys do about biting? I wont give up on her!!! I have heard several things from friends saying I should have bought a different one but she needed TLC and I was drawn to her. I do not force myself on her. I keep waiting for her to approach me. Is that wrong??????? HELP!!!

Thank you in advance

Fran

435604[/snapback]

Not going to add much, except that if you live in a rural area and have Dish-Net TV, check out Channel 9409 (RFD-TV). If you have Direct-TV, then look up Channel 379.

SuziB
 

Marty

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I guess you got initiated........

I really think you need to have that horse in a really small area such as a round pen or a stall.

I hand treat my horses all the time but believe me, if someone wanted to take a chunk outta me I'd make them think that their entire world was going to be turned inside out.

If it were me, I would put Miss Horsezilla in a dad gum stall, put a dad gum halter and lead rope on her, get your butt on a stool and sit in there and handle her a whole lot. Then off the stool and tie her up short in the dad gum stall and proceed to brush her and pick up her feet and do whatever you wanted with her. And keep your fingers out of her dad gum teeth.
I would take my two hands on her sides and shove her over to one side and work on that side. While you are doing that, I would teach her a cue. I click to mine and say "over" and they know to move. Then, I would then take two hands and shove her over to the other side, with a cue, and work on that side. For being nice I would praise her a whole lot.

Then I would untie Miss Horsezilla and tie her up on the other side of the stall and repeat.

Tieing her up teaches her submission. By the shoving her teaches her that you are bigger than her, again making her submissive, but also showing her that she cannot dominate you, and of course tieing her up also makes her know that she can't getcha and run.........

Then take the halter and lead rope off and leave.

I would practice this three or four or five times a day at 15 minute intervals each session.
 

hhpminis

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ROFL
Marty you do have a way of putting things!


Poor Fran, she has only posted 9 times and I wonder if there will be a 10th.

Come back Fran we will play nice now.

We really are giving you some good advice, the only reason we know these things is because we have been there and dont that.

It is only amusement to the horse and neighbors when we are flailing at the air trying to hit a horse that has learned the dodge and run routine. I have some episodes that I wish I could have taped to send to Funniest Home Videos!
 

Marty

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Oh yea Fran, hope I didn't run you off with my multiple dad gums. I'm really harmless
.....been a bit cranky here lately on mare stare. They keep telling me i'm unfit to live with........going shopping for toothpics now........
 

ClickMini

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Hi, Fran:

I am glad that you have decided to forge a relationship with your little mare. I can completely understand your hurt...physical and emotional...from her biting you.

You will probably get a lot of advice about ways to "manhandle" your mare into submission, and that will work too. However, I learned something several years ago called clicker training, and it has helped me a LOT with some really tough horses, and I mean big, 1450 lb, 16.3 hands tall Thoroughbreds. And it jives alot better with my peaceful soul.

I am heading out of town for the weekend, so I won't be able to walk you through this right away. But if you are interested in getting through to your mare in a kind, gentle way, while keeping yourself safe in the bargain, let me give you some links to investigate.

http://www.theclickercenter.com

http://www.clickryder.com

http://www.equineclickertraining.com

http://www.canadianclickercentre.com

http://www.clickin-on-ranch.com

http://www.amylacy.com/newFM/clickertraining.htm

The last is an article that I wrote. If this resonates at all with you, I highly suggest that you get your hands on Alexandra Kurland's first book, Clicker Training for your Horse. And her first video, if not all of them. They are just jam-packed with information. Alex worked with a mare named Fig, who was downright nasty and dangerous. She describes in detail, and also shows on her first video (not the intro one), how she trained Fig out of it.

Read my article and also pay attention to the pictures in it. The way to keep yourself safe while starting this type of training, is to stay on the other side of a barrier from your horse. Drop her treats into a bucket on her side to start with. I have trained all of my horses now to hold off on taking treats, I can hold a big shiny orange carrot right under their noses, and the will NOT take it or budge a muscle until they hear me click. That didn't happen overnight, though! All's I can say is take some video of how she is in the beginning, because when you are showing off that beautifully mannered, happy and beautiful horse, NO ONE will believe what she used to be like.


Good luck to you, hang in there, and if you want help, I am here to provide it. Just pm me.
 

OhHorsePee

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LOL I'm back for number 10 post! LOL I don't get discouraged easy. I may be a whiner but I'm a stubborn whiner! I have a bruise but I a couple of bruises but I am still in the game.

She is different with a halter on in a small pasture. I can intise her with cookies, carrots or apple bites and can catch her by the halter and lead her by it. Absolutely could not lead her with a rope when I first got her but now I can! She would go baserk! I kept her in a stall for a week and worked with her especially on the trust issue. I think this poor thing has just been shuffled so much and just been ignored and I knew she would take longer, but I am in it for the long haul. She stays but she has to learn some rules of the house of Fran.

The other two if I touch there side and tell them "side" they will move over. You touch Promises side and she jumps side ways. The other two if you barely touch their chest they will back up. Promise will attempt to be a carnivore if you are lucky enough to get that close.

I don't have a round pen YET! But I will. That is on my honey do list! I could put a couple of gates at the corners to make it round. Does that count?

So where do you advise I thump her at? If I use her rump will she associate it with her biting me? I know I sound ignorant but I spend several hours a day working with the three of them and she is just a tough cookie.

I went with my sister to see Pat Parelli and was in amazement! I didn't have Promise yet or I would have had several questions for the man.

Thank you

Fran
 

equine_luver

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When I got my first mini mare, she wanted nothing to do with me. When we picked he up, the little boy that lived there actually warned us about the crazy horse. I just spent time with her, she didnt really have a biting problem, every now and then she'd try to nip, but I'd push her head away. I just sat in the round pen with her ALOT. also, once she was comfortable with me i would scratch her chest, its her favorite spot.
 

WhyMinis

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I just wanted to second Amy's post on clicker training. I have used click training (cluck training with horses) on dogs, goats, abused horses, kids (Yup, kids!) and IT WORKS!! Not only does it work but it is FUN!!

I went a little nuts when I first got started and taught my dogs all kinds of things. Then I was explaining it to my eldest daughter. We were sitting on the front porch watching my 3 yr old son playing in the yard. I had the clicker and a bag of m&ms so demonstrated it to her. I told her that I was going to teach Linton to stand on one foot without telling him what to do.

Linton would come over every few minutes and as soon as he lifted his left foot off the ground, I would click and give him a m&m. He would run off to play and be back in a few minutes. Again, as soon as he lifted his foot, I would click and treat. Within 10 minutes, he was running up to us and lifting his left foot about waist high. Stacy and I were dying laughing and the neighbors thought it really strange that Linton kept running up and lifting his leg.

Other fun things that I taught:

Dog to sit on one small carpet square

Mini to push ball around yard

Dog to wait in the car with doors all open

Child to pick up laundry (this one took awhile and some creativity)

Horse to fetch

Cat to fetch

Cat to beg

Goat to balance on beach ball

I started using a cluck instead of a clicker with my horses when working with an abused horse. She was terrified of the sound of the clicker. Clucking works just as well and is easier to carry.
 

OhHorsePee

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Every time I have to take a heat break today I keep coming back to this post and reading more from the articles about clicker training. It sounds very "doable" even for me. The vet is waiting for me to get her (Promise) a little more trained so he can check her without her going bonkers to find out how far along she is. And she needs a session with a farrier. Right before I just came back in from tomato pickin' (Oh what fun) she let me rub her cheeks and her neck (no halter). She keeps going back and forths like this. This is what happens when people buy pets and just ignore them. Ginger, the other mare was shy when I got her but I can do alot with her now. And she will kiss me and search for goodies. It probably would have been beneficial to have bought the mares one at a time but the woman made me a great deal, or did she. LOL

Now my sister called and had found an add for a reg. 8 y.o. paint with colt at side for $850. I had to tell her no until I get Promise toned down. I think that is my best bet. I know better than to even go look at them. You know how that would go? I would have to have them.

Please keep the advise coming. I could use every little tid bit.

Fran
 

Marty

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Good morning Fran I'm glad to see you have returned unscavethed today.

I have a mare here that was never handled and a nervous wreck. This is one mare that I would never think of "manhandeling" as Clicky calls it. I use that "manhandling" submissive stuff for horses that are just getting way too territorial and nasty. This one gal here had trust issues and was just plain never trained to even get groomed so in a situation like that, I tread very softly and slowly. It took me a long time to get this gal to be my pocket pet.

Find her true personality and see if you think she is just being honest with you and being scared or just trying to be a butt face and then you can work a program accordingly that fits when you figure out where she is coming from.
 

OhHorsePee

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Thank you Marty! I am one that believes keeping animals so she has no other choice than to get use to me. When I bred labs I had a woman bring a pup back that her hubby beat til he cracked her skull. She ended up blind and a plate in her head. She died this past Easter and would have been 18. I don't know if I will out live the minis though. I'll have to change my will and have them included going to my sis. I'm not glad you have had this experience with your mini, but I am glad you shared.

thank you

Fran
 

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