Nippy Problem.

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Spotted Fantasy

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Our little guy has a very bad nipping problem. We got him Easter week end and he has come a long long way. When he first arrived he would NOT allow us to go up to him in the pasture, took lots of patience coaxing him with grain, so we would pasture him during the day and bring him into his stall at night, if he ran we would just leave him there until he would come to us, after a few times of doing this and he figured he wasn't coming in for his grain, that stopped and now he comes running no matter where he is and we no longer have to use anything bribes.

Anyway to make a long story short he nips, your butt, your arm anything handy. It has gotten much better, but now he sneaks to do it when you aren't really watching him. Was cleaning his pasture today and he kept coming up behind me and trying to bite me. If you catch him before he actually does it and tell him "no" or "don't even" he will stop.. A couple of horse people we spoke to said a couple of good smacks would smarten him up. My concern is, he is very very head shy, he is just now letting us touch his ears without freaking out and we don't want to do anything to set that back. Plus we are not hitters with any of our guys. We have 8 horses (4 big & 4 Mini's) and he is the only one that bites. I know it's going to take time and always watch him, but sure could use some advise..

He also needs to get more exercise a vent for some of his energy and maintain his weight. How young can you start to lounge them? Letting them do jumps? He loves our 9 year old Daughter and they play tag for hours, he also LOVES to jump~he jumps everything on his own.

Sorry to be soooo long we just love the little guy and would love to when he's old enough to drive/show him, but we have got to work on this attitude.

 

capall beag

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He looks very handsome!

I am no expert but I have found pinching their nose works, I don't have to pinch hard just let's them know I don't want to be bitten! I have also tried rubbing their nose in a circular motion, they find this annoying and move away!

I had a problem with my mares when I first got them because they were half starved and then they arrived here and I would give them treats! They were thrilled but quickly started to nibble me and my clothing everytime I went out to them.

I stopped bringing the treats in my pocket and now give them treats only occasionally and they don't do the nibble thing anymore!

Hope this helps, nipping is no fun for you! He probably thinks it is great fun!!

Good Luck!!
 

Horsefeathers

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I had read somewhere on hear about pulling a chin hair too... kinda taking them by surprise instead of them associating it with you directly... our little stallion had got nippy but was head shy... I tried the chin hair thing, and it has worked well...

Chris B.

OH... beautiful boy by the way!
 
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Sanny

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We got a gelding last October that was the same. He was an "only horse" at his first home and was lavished with attention by a young owner and was very spoiled. His barn manners were just horrible. He has really straightened up since then and for the most part has gradually stopped the nipping. We had to make sure everyone was totally aware of him and ready for him to do it. Without making a big deal of it or reaching out and smacking him with an open hand, we would be much more subtle about it and be lightening fast. Say if I was working on the fence and he came up behind me I was always ready with a foot or an elbow to jab him if he reached out for a piece of me. I wouldn't even look at him or say anything. I think he was used to doing it as kind of playing around and for attention and it just wasn't fun anymore because he didn't get any attention and he usually got popped with a sharp elbow or a foot. The whole family though has had to endure lots of black and blue marks from him all over their bodies.

Also....he had never been turned out with other minis before and my other boys didn't appreciate the nipping either and he would nip one and they would turn right around and bite him back twice as hard. The first time I saw a mini his size get mad and go after him was hilarious. He was scared to death and not only got nipped back several times, the other mini turned around and popped him one with his hind feet. I think that also helped him decide it wasn't very fun, especially once he was getting bit back just as hard. He still has other bad manners that annoy me but he is improving. I'd like to get him in with a trainer for driving training this fall and am hoping the trainer will find room and time. We both think he needs a "job" and the discipline.
 

Margaret

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If you are feeding him with your hands then you might want to stop as that will make them want to be this way.Can you lead him around on the lead rope? If so and he is nippy off the lead rope, he will most likely feel nippy on the lead rope, and this is where you can start to work on it. Just have a handy old fashion plastic comb with the blunt end tail on it that you can carry in your lead rope hand. And when he decides to go for your hand then you can aim the pointy end towards his mouth, and he will jab himself. He will get the idea that it is not rewarding to nip at or on people after a while . If he is a stallion it could take more than a few lessons. I have found that most stallions tend to be less nippy if you dont "over fuss" with them, in the petting department. But do let him know you still like him, by telling him so with your praising voice, as well as a pat or two, once he gets the idea. Allways scold with the same voice when you use the comb, and he will connect the same scolding voice, when he is in the pasture and thinking of nipping.. Soon hopefully he will stop the nipping but continue enjoy your company. He looks old enough to start some gentle lunging.. how old is he?
 

Spotted Fantasy

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Wow!! All very great ideas! Yes, he does bite on his lead rope while you are leading him. We don't hand feed him at all. He has gotten to the point if you catch him in time and you speak to him, he will not do it. All My Daughter has to do is say "No Nippy" and he stops, he actually minds her best, they have become buddies. He just turned a year old in March...
 

rabbitsfizz

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He is a baby, and he is playing with you as if you were a baby horse. Is he gelded?? If not, that's the first step. Does he have company?? If not, that is why he is nipping you, simple as that. Does he have access to pasture?? If so he does not need exercise, I don't exercise my show yearling, just what she wants to do and good feeding. Has he been RIGOROUSLY wormed?? Good worming, good feeding, good grass are the way to put weight on a youngster. To stop the nipping, get up and walk away and leave him alone. Go out of sight, count to ten (average horses memory of a single incident) and go back. Just repeat until he gets the message that this is NOT a game to you!! If he looks as if he is going to start nipping stand up tall, take a step towards him and stamp your foot. He will move back. Then you start again. It is very very hard to have a yearling actually learn the boundaries. You have invited him in, told him to be boss, and now he is reacting like a horse. The fact that all you did was done in friendship and love and care for him is lost on him because he does not yet speak any human, now you have to teach him. The nipping on the lead?? Do up the noseband on the halter as tight as you can without actually pinching him. When he tries to take hold or nip, just flick the rope hard. Do not look at him whilst doing this, it is not you doing it, it is the rope doing it all on it's own, that way he will respect the rope. If he then tries to nip you do the standing tall and stamping your foot thing and add, No or Bad Horse in a strong but not loud voice. Shouting is not appropriate with a young already scared colt.
 

ChrystalPaths

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First, he's so CUTE! You've gotten some great advice. I'm pretty small but I also make myself BIG when I have a nipper. My stallion Glow is a nipper at times. He was awful when he was younger. We use the big "NO BITE", stomp in close and push if necessary. I lead with my thumb nail towards his mouth so if he swings quickly for abite he gets bitten by my nail. He rarely does it anymore. A popcicle stick held in your hand with just the end out will do nicely also. It pushes their mouth skin into their teeth OUCH! they learn quickly. Just remember YOU and YOURS are the BOSS, treat them as such.
 

wcr

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Also....he had never been turned out with other minis before and my other boys didn't appreciate the nipping either and he would nip one and they would turn right around and bite him back twice as hard. The first time I saw a mini his size get mad and go after him was hilarious. He was scared to death and not only got nipped back several times, the other mini turned around and popped him one with his hind feet. I think that also helped him decide it wasn't very fun, especially once he was getting bit back just as hard. He still has other bad manners that annoy me but he is improving. I'd like to get him in with a trainer for driving training this fall and am hoping the trainer will find room and time. We both think he needs a "job" and the discipline.

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This was a wonderful observation. The minis told him, in a language he could understand, that that behavior was unacceptable and he stopped. This is exactly what I talk about on the forum when I say I am the alpha mare and discipline my horses in a language they can understand. You don't have to beat your horses but you make an impression the first time and they remember it.
 

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