How do I stop my mini from biting??

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by Eowyn, May 29, 2019.

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  1. May 29, 2019 #1

    Eowyn

    Eowyn

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    Hi everyone!!
    I just got my first mini home on Monday, she is two years old but she has some issues. Her biggest issue at the moment is biting. It’s not like hard biting, I think she is just playing but it’s getting kinda out of hand. How do I tell her that this behavior is not okay??
    Thanks
     
  2. May 29, 2019 #2

    Marsha Cassada

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    I think mares are easier to cure of this than stallions/geldings. You have 3 seconds to react. After that, they do not know what your are disciplining them for.
    First thing I would try is turning on her with a very LOUD EEEHHHH!!! NO!!!
    If that does not work, get in front of her and back her back up while yelling.
    One thing not to do it strike her head. This is not how a herd boss would deal with her and it might make her head shy. Herd bosses make a horse MOVE out of his space.
    She is NOT playing, she is bossing you around and nothing will get better if you don't nip this in the bud (no pun intended).
    If you are working with her feet or grooming and she reaches around to nip you, do the loud NO and make your fingers into "teeth" and poke her hard in the neck or side.
    Do not worry that she will not like you anymore if you discipline her. That is not how horses work.
    Others may have tips that have worked for them. I have a gelding I got as an unhandled stallion nearly 20 years ago. I tried every tip that anyone suggested over the years and he is still a nipper. I have resigned myself. But all the other horses I've had were cured quickly.
    Good luck!
     
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  3. May 29, 2019 #3

    Eowyn

    Eowyn

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    Thank you so much for your help Marsha!! I will definitely give that a go! I hope it works
     
  4. May 29, 2019 #4

    chandab

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    I agree with Marsha, except for using the word "NO", as it sounds too much like whoa; so I use "quit" or an "uh-uh" sound in a growly voice.
     
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  5. May 29, 2019 #5

    Minimor

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    What I do--and I am not a fan of yelling for something like biting, yelling is for when I am halfway across the pasture and someone is rubbing their butt on the fence--i wait for the horse to try to bite and be ready for it. Instead of biting me, the horse's muzzle connects with my knuckle. To all appearances, as far as the horse can tell, I did absolutely nothing. The horse did it all on her own. She bit and it didnt feel too good to her. Chances are very good that she will not even bother trying it again. It is very effective--my horses do not bite and it takes almost no effort on my part to teach them that.
     
  6. May 29, 2019 #6

    Patty's Pony Place

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    My favourite subject! A biting horse was the very first thing I saw Linda Tellington-Jones work on. The Tellington-Jones Equine Awareness Method mouth work has proven successful for me for over 35 years. I have videos on FB showing how to do it - and of course, you can google search, and search on Youtube. There are indeed alternative ways to deal with biting - but any that include aggression, hitting, yelling, smacking...all based in the idea that the horse is setting out to dominate you - leaves you with a relationship of dominance. Not a path that ever interested me - and even less so with the minis. Anybody can beat up a mini, due to their size. I have found across the board over the years, that people are not so quick to get into dominance battles with full size horses as they will be with a mini. The physical aspect of hitting horses in the mouth is that it leaves them with a very tight mouth, and an immediate tightening response to quick movement with one's hand. Horses of any size have a difficult time differentiating between random movement, and the "smack that might be coming".
     
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  7. May 29, 2019 #7

    Cayuse

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    I have a biter. I wish I could say HAD a biter, but he is always going to have the tendency to be mouthy because of his history. What worked for me and improved him a lot is moving him away when he bit. Far away. I would use a long line to lead him with and if he bit, I would "get big" flap my arms and make him MOVE AWAY. Usually the momentum of moving away turned into a few lunging laps. Eventually he learned that biting equals work. I still get the occasional nip, but they are few and far between.
    This was not done loudly or with anger, just firmness. You Bite, You MOVE AWAY and go to work.


    Warwick Schiller has a newer you tube video on horses that bite. He is working with a palomino quarter horse. If you can find it it may interesting to watch. Puts a new perspective on mouthy horses. Unfortunately I forget the title of the video.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  8. May 29, 2019 #8

    Cayuse

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    "A suggestion for horses that are mouthy and nip". That is the Warwick Shiller YouTube video. I would link it but I don't know how.
     
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  9. May 30, 2019 #9

    Marsha Cassada

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    I like the reminder about yelling, but I think it is still an effective tool. Some people have a natural leadership presence that commands respect, like some herd bosses that appear to do nothing but yet every horse in the herd knows its place.
    But some people who do not have this presence need "tools". I am the kind of herd boss who has to put her ears back and do some squealing. And there are some horses in a herd who never give up challenging. Which keeps this boss mare on her toes.
     
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  10. May 30, 2019 #10

    Patty's Pony Place

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    Wow!!! Well, I would sure challenge you to meet Linda Tellington-Jones face to face, and tell me she does not have leadership presence! IAgain - this comes down to the path one wants to go down, and indeed, what "tools" one may feel good about using - as yelling and threatening are indeed tools. The obvious difference between that, and the Ttouch is in the viewpoint taken on the horse. If you want to go down the "I'm the boss" - and never learn anything about what is going on with the horse - all good - dominance, fear, threat, and yelling work. If you want to really engage with them, and not have to be on your toes every moment - then there is the Ttouch.
     
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  11. May 30, 2019 #11

    Marsha Cassada

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    In her TTouch book there were even a couple of horses she failed with. And I would definitely consider her a leader with presence. I find her book and methods wonderfully instructive and helpful, and reread it frequently. (I'm sure she is the herd boss--okay, "leader"-- who never has to squeal or put her ears back.) It was interesting to draw the silhouette of my horses' heads and try analyzing their conformation clues. And I'm always looking at whorls now!

    But I still say there are horse owners who have to work with what they are. And sometimes we do things as we are learning that might not be most effective. Every horse teaches us something new.
     
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  12. May 30, 2019 #12

    Minimor

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    To be honest, my mom would have smacked me upside the head--and rightfully so!--if I ever had tried to discipline a horse by squealing and kicking like a crabby old mare. The day I have to resort to that is the day I will give up horses completely. Yes it works for horses but they work with what they have. We are not horses and should not have to act like a bitchy old mare to keep a horse in line.

    I chuckle when you mention Linda Tellington Jones, just because a friend of mine rode with a lady who followed Linda religiously. They would be trying to get to a trail rise and there was the other gal with her 2 "wands" trying to "stroke" her horse I to the trailer. It never worked. Horse just stood there. My friend would wait until the other gal had to go use the bathroom...and then she would load the horses the normal way. 2 minutes and done, all ready to go.
     
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  13. May 31, 2019 #13

    MindySchroder

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    I made a video showing how I deal with biting. This method has worked for me on minis and big horses alike for many many years.


    No screaming or hitting required ;) I also use the idea if the horse isn't near me it can't bite me. I see so many people constantly holding their horses on a short lead line, basically pulling the horse onto themselves and then struggling when they fidget and nibble and paw. So just back your horse up and give her some room. If the horse isn't close to you she can't bite you. Of course this is only for horses on a lead rope.
     
  14. May 31, 2019 #14

    Eowyn

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    Thank you so much for all the help!!!
    Belle has already stopped trying to bite as much, she no longer does it when I am grooming her.
    She still trys when I’m working on her feet or leading her, but I’m happy with how fast she is catching on in such a short amount of time!!
     
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  15. May 31, 2019 #15

    Patty's Pony Place

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    Oh, do tell, which horses she failed with in her book????? Which book???
     
  16. May 31, 2019 #16

    Patty's Pony Place

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    Fun read here too. Since the early 80's - she has worked with thousands of horses all over the world - is world renown, sought after by trainers and horseman everywhere...literally thousands of people with stories of success with every aspect of the work??? I have seen Linda load several horses that were impossible to load - so I find your story a bit "rare" to say the least.
     
  17. May 31, 2019 #17

    Patty's Pony Place

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    And this is how you "irritate" a horse into keeping it's distance from you. I would keep my distance if I was dealt with in such a disrespectful manner as well. Best I can give you is that you are not hitting him.
     
  18. Jun 2, 2019 #18

    Bluebell2

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    So glad you are seeing some progress. That is a nasty habit.
     
  19. Jun 2, 2019 #19

    Ryan Johnson

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    Really glad you are seeing some results. :)

    Theres not many babies i have dealt with over the years that did not have this habit at some stage.

    Corrected early and it shouldn't be an issue for too long .
     

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