new colt too mouthy

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Active Member
Feb 17, 2008
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Taylor, Tx
Hello, I have a colt born about a week ago that loves to bite/nibble me. He is usually doing it when I am scratching him. I realize he is probably just trying to groom me back (I hope). The problem is, that with all my other colts they usually get the hint if I just keep moving their head away. He doesn't, he actually starts getting frustrated. Is there a better way to get him not to bite/nibble me? Right now it is not a big deal, but I don't want him to turn into a biter. He is going to a house with kids after he is weanned and I don't want any issues. Thanks for any help, Vicki
Don't know the answer to this, but I will be anxious to hear what others say!

Don't know the answer either or if there is one

But I do know when you are scratching an itchy horse, you are driving them to ecstasy and it's just like a reflex response.

I don't think it's always a prelude to a biter. Some horses are just more mouthy than others. Many times I think that is a faze that just runs its course when they are babies.
This may or may not be an answer for your particular situation but here goes;

My experience with biters was really limited until my husband bought a stallion that had been raised like a pet dog and NEVER had any kind of discipline. He came to us mostly because hubby couldn't stand to see him in a little 10x10 pen that was on a slope and full of ice. he'd slipped once already and injured his shoulder and they couldn't understand why it wouldn't heal. Anyway when we got him he would bite any part of you he could reach and he bit HARD. He was just playing but he was still hurting us and was unsafe. I don't like slapping a horse in the head for anything altho with an older horse that knows whats right and wrong I'll chuck them under the chin on occasion, what I did tho with this stallion has worked on every youngster I've dealt with so far (watch now I'll get one it doesn't work on lol) Every time he got mouthy for any reason I would start to handle his lips and tongue, I was not rough or hurtful but pretty firm and I would keep going past the point where he was liking it. After a while he just stopped feeling the need to be so oral about In the case of a baby tho I would just keep pushing him away and I'd stop grooming him, he will eventually make the association that when he tries to groom back you reject him and stop I think. Hope some of this made a little bit of sense to you
I seem to have rambled all over the place.
I don't know the right answer but I know the situation.

Our "Ducky" was born on 3/30 so about your colt's age and he is biting and like yours, it started when I'd pet / groom him and I think he's doing it to instigate grooming not to be mean but it's turning into a problem and he has teeth now.

What I started doing yesterday is to say "aaarrrggghhhh aaarrrggghhhh aaarrrggghhhh" (kind of like a machine gun sound a kid might make playing army) when he does it and reach and pinch him on the neck or shoulder like a bite from another horse. He seems to be getting the idea, but he also gets frustrated by not being able to bite-groom me. He reared up at me when I was sitting yesterday and I slapped his neck with my hand (not sure that was good but it was an automatic reaction).

Ducky's soooooo people friendly and I know how to deal with biting in an older horse, but he's "just a baby" and so adores people. This seems to be working, but like I said, not sure if it's the right answer. I've never really had this issue this bad before. My 2003 colt did some biting but not to this degree if I remember right. Because before yesterday, Ducky'd gotten to the point that his greeting to you is biting your legs and I figure this has got to stop before my parents and my sister and nephews come and visit!!! (Not horse people, and I think they'd think he's vicious!!!)
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I am careful not to be too scratchy or cuddly with "some colts".. They some how transfer it to wanting to bite, and I think it has to do with their hormones and genetic make-up. (although not all colts are this way)

With this type of colt,- I usually handle them in a more professional way, and use the oppurtunity to start some early training - as to avoid developing a biting/nipping pattern with them..
My colt was a mouthy boy all I did when he would try to taste me is redirect his mouth. I just didn't sit there and let him keep tasting and nibbling on me. I never hit him for it. I just moved and got him to focus on something else. Babies just need redirection. JMO
Bailey was the king of nipping up until a little while ago.

I was always very aware of his teeth and he loved to nip away at shoes.

One day, he just stopped. Simple as that. He has not nipped for a long time now.

I just think it's something they will grow out of.

Good luck.

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