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Issues From The Ground: Biting In Showmanship Class

…a Showmanship class. Often horses that are trained excessively with a chain develop the habit of biting. The horse may also learn that he can only get away with the biting when he is in the show ring where he learns that you will not correct him for it.

July 2022 Horse Report

…and have an affinity for creature comforts. We only have pasture grass for a short time in the summer, so the horses can hardly wait until they are finally turned out on it. After about 6 weeks at their all-you-can-eat salad bar⁠—between the heat, biting bugs, wet ground, and wet…

Reward, Reinforcement and Punishment

…can easily progress to dangerous and deadly behavior in the horse. The horse bites (an offense) and I harshly admonish him in punishment. If I used good timing (the punishment came within a second of the offense) and adequate pressure in the punishment, the horse immediately associates his action (biting)…

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No Biting Allowed

…puts his lips on you and nuzzles) leads to nipping (a small quick pinch with the teeth) leads to biting. These are all progressive signs of dominance leading to aggression. If the lipping behavior goes unchecked, the horse begins to nip and if the nipping goes unchecked, he begins to…

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May 2021 Horse Report

…a broodmare.

In six weeks of training, this gorgeous 18-year-old off-the-track Thoroughbred (OTTB) has gone from burying her head in the far corner of her pen whenever anyone approached, to meeting us eagerly at the gate. She has progressed from kicking and biting defensively any time you touched her…

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Does My Horse Like Me?

…stimuli. This horse may look dull, sad, and lethargic, acting as if he doesn’t know you are there, turning his buttocks toward you, or sometimes taking more extreme defensive actions, like kicking, biting, or fleeing. These behaviors may result from hard performance training, frightening experiences, or even abusive handling. A…

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Issues From The Saddle: Horse Bites When Saddled, Wrong Canter Leads

…definitely have that checked by a professional. Biting is the most dominant behavior of horses , and if your horse is just beginning this behavior, it is a sign that you have done things to make your horse believe he is dominant over you — biting is a late-stage sign….

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Cantering Help: Horse Bites When Saddled, Wrong Canter Leads

…should definitely have that checked by a professional. Biting is the most dominant behavior of horses and if your young horse is just beginning this behavior, it is a sign that you have done things to make your horse believe he is dominant over you—biting is a late-stage sign. This…

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Burned Out

…horse than a therapeutic client. As you can imagine, burnout is an occupational hazard in these horses.

Every therapeutic riding program I’ve worked with has problems with horses biting, horses that learn bad habits or avoidance techniques (particularly around the mounting block), horses that develop bad manners, and worst…

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Horse Behavior: Nipping Colt

…(a small quick pinch with the teeth) leads to biting. These are all progressive signs of dominance leading to aggression.

If the lipping behavior goes unchecked, the horse begins to nip and if the nipping goes unchecked, he begins to bite. As the horse goes through this progressive behavior,…

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Self Inflicted Pain

Dear Julie, My 11-year-old horse recently started biting at his sides—digging deep and mutilating his skin and hair coat. Before I bought him last year, he was gelded and was away from other horses during his healing time. That’s when this strange behavior started. When I purchased him, the

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Teaching Babies Not To Bite

…and nuzzles) leads to nipping (a small quick pinch with the teeth) and eventually leads to biting. These are all progressive signs of dominance leading to aggression. If the lipping behavior goes unchecked, the young horse begins to nip and if the nipping goes unchecked, he begins to bite. As…

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Burn Out In Therapy Horses

…can imagine, burnout is an occupational hazard in these horses.

Every TRP I’ve worked with has problems with horses biting, horses that learn bad habits or avoidance techniques (particularly around the mounting block), horses that develop bad manners, and worst of all, the horses that learn that they can…

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Building A Better Relationship: Does My Horse Respect Me?

…of horses and biting is the end result in a series of progressive behaviors. The first in the series is lipping behavior, then comes nipping then comes biting. All of these are progressive tests of dominance and so far you are failing this test. I would not allow any horse…

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Off To A Good Start

…you want your horse to act later in life. All that training starts now. Your expectations must be clear and you must set about systematically to teach the horse what you think of as “good” behavior. In his young world, good behavior includes kicking, biting and running hell-bent for leather…

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Jealous Colt

…or the lead rope itself in his mouth. That pacifies him but I can’t let him do it forever.

So, any suggestions? I use my elbow, the stick, and have always pinched him when he disobeys, but what of this mouth/biting/putting stuff in it? Unfortunately his mother does not…

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Raise Your Foal Right

…the ground than he was up and about, looking for trouble. He was afraid of nothing and very full of himself. By the time he was a couple months old, he was sparring with any person or horse that he could get close to– rearing, striking, kicking and biting his…

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Issues From The Ground: Ground Manners For The Veterinary Visit

biting, moving away or just not cooperating. While you might blame your horse’s “sudden” behavioral problems on sickness or pain, chances are, your ill-mannered patient hasn’t learned how to look to you for leadership and guidance. If he learns to follow your every command when he’s well, he’ll respect your…

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Help For Stomping

Stop horses from stomping Flies can be a constant source of irritation to your horse in the summer. If your horse is spending most of his time biting, stomping and kicking at flies, he could be causing unnecessary wear and tear on his joints and it could present

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Showing Affection To Horses

…best to avoid kissing your horse on the lips. Being lip to lip is the same as biting for horses. It has a stimulating effect. You’ll see horses lip to lip when they’re fighting or aggressively playing. Foals especially love to mutual groom and they love to be rubbed

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Horse Behavior: Proper Handling Of A Foal

…head at people and emphatically biting the air, as well as keeping herself between us and him, but we’ve found that she’s bluffing–if I go right in, tell her “no” or “whoa” in a stern voice and grab her halter, she settles right down and behaves. She doesn’t try to…

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Horse Behavior: Self Mutilation

…with other horses.

To quote from Dr. Houpt’s book on animal behavior: “Self-mutilation is a very common behavior problem. Although it occurs in both sexes, it is much more common in stallions. The behavior consists of biting at or actually biting the flanks or, more rarely, the chest. The…

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Veterinary Visits “The Best Patient”

If your horse is well-trained, well-behaved and easy to work with, you’ll make your veterinarian’s job much easier and more effective. Even the best veterinarian must struggle to examine a horse that’s stomping, biting, moving away or just not cooperating.

While you might blame your horse’s “sudden” behavioral

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Building A Better Relationship: My horse Takes Advantage Of Me

…like people. I always cringe when I hear people say things like, “Oh, I could NEVER hit my horse.” Then they want to know why their horse is biting them and pushing them around and how they can fix the dysfunctional relationship that they have created.

Horses are obedient…

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Jealous Little Girl

…your mare’s nip. You followed your instincts and acted much like a dominant horse would in the same situation. Think about what would happen in the natural herd setting if a subordinate horse bit a dominant one. The dominant horse immediately restates his or her position by biting, kicking and…

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Horse Behavior: Raising A Well-Mannered Stallion

…one. As your colt matures into a stallion, he will naturally become more dominant and possibly aggressive (if this is tolerated).

It is important to maintain strict discipline and make sure that the person handling him is dominant. Behaviors such as biting are very common in breeding stallions, but…

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Horse Behavior: Aggressive Kicking In The Pasture

…concern and aren’t sure how to best handle it. We board a friend’s gelding. Generally they get along fine. However, sometimes she just lays into him kicking, biting, running at him and charging him. Sometimes we are in the pasture with them when this behavior is going on. Needless to…

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Q&A: Dominant Trail Horse

…the arch and whirl is the threat to kick; horses make biting gestures with their head and mouth making snaking or herding gestures. Clearly your horse thinks he’s dominant and does not think of you as the herd leader, or he would never act this way. There’s no quick fix…

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Raising A Breeding Stallion

…matures into a stallion, he will naturally become more dominant and possibly aggressive (if this is tolerated).

It is important to maintain strict discipline and make sure that the person handling him is dominant. Behaviors such as biting are very common in breeding stallions, but this vice will…

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Does The Lead Horse Participate In Mutual Grooming?

…and groom each other using their teeth and lips, mostly in the wither area and down the back.

Yes, lead horses mutual groom with other subordinate horses, BUT the lead horse always begins and ends the grooming session. And she ends it by biting the subordinate horse as a…

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Horse Behavior: Video Of Fatal Kick

…their inclination toward these behaviors, we can never totally eliminate this risk.

Fortunately, for most horses, kicking and biting and striking are rare and they are easy to train not to act that way toward people. Nonetheless, you should always conduct yourself in a safe manner around horses with…

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Horse Behavior: Xenophon: The Art Of Horsemanship

Question Category: Horse Behavior Question: Read this historical text that has much in common with today’s natural horsemanship training… Answer: Author: Xenophon Translator: H. G. Dakyns Release Date: August 21, 2008 Produced by John Bickers, and David Widger

ON HORSEMANSHIP By Xenophon Translation by H. G. Dakyns

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Building A Better Relationship: Ground Manners For Showmanship

…of leadership, the horse will always step in and take control.

Spatial issues are constantly at play in the horse herd. The dominant horse will always push around subordinates. At first, this pushing may be somewhat violent, with lots of biting and kicking, like when you turn a new…

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Horse Behavior: Sexy Gelding

…him, and then stood back & held their breath. Ignoring the other geldings, the paint immediately herded the mares into a corner of the pasture. After some initial kicking, biting & posturing, the mares presented to him. He mounted each, one after another, achieving full penetration. Although they didn’t observe…

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Issues From The Saddle: Must Be In Front On Trail

…combative: bite, strike, and kick. Your horse is displaying threatening gestures with all three weapons. The rear is the threat to strike and the whirl is the threat to kick; horses make biting gestures with their head and mouth making snaking or herding gestures. There is lots of information on…

Begging for Acceptance

…existing herd wants nothing to do with the new horse, so they start biting, kicking and chasing him away.

The herd leaders will be quite aggressive to the new horse, driving him away, herding him in one direction then the other, to establish control of the new horse. He…

Have You Ever Been Kicked?

…of the Sport?

Although horses generally choose flight in response to a threat, they are perfectly well-equipped to fight. Kicking is one of three defensive or offensive “weapons” of the horse, and it is the least deadly. Biting and striking (lashing out with the front feet) are much more…

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Desensitizing

…correct a bad behavior, like, let’s say, biting. And you correct your horse again and again for his bad behavior but he keeps nipping at you. Clearly what you are doing is not working and in this case, it is because you are not applying enough pressure to the horse…

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Horses Living Alone

…get great comfort and security from the herd and they are very tactile animals—rubbing and massaging each other, nipping and biting, providing shade and tail swishing to each other.

Their herd behaviors are very distinctive and the structure of the herd is quite complex—rankings within the herd, cooperative behavior,…

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Relationship Fix Series

…Horses want a leader and respect and want to bond with a leader. If the behavior is allowed to go on, the horse may escalate from turning away to more aggressively dragging away or turning and biting. Make sure to pay attention to your moves and think about who “owns”…

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Stallion-Like Behavior

…& held their breath. Ignoring the other geldings, the paint immediately herded the mares into a corner of the pasture. After some initial kicking, biting & posturing, the mares presented to him. He mounted each, one after another, achieving full penetration. Although they didn’t observe any ejaculate, the posturing &…

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Settling In

…the correction with your presence. This device is also very handy for barn or trailer kickers, aggressive biting, etc. Generally, in one or two sessions the horse is cured.

Good luck with your new horse. I hope they all settle soon!

Until next time,

Julie Goodnight www.juliegoodnight.com

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Opinion Of Myler Bits

…in the round pen with an elbow- pull biting rig (see the Training Library on my website) and see if the horse can learn to give longitudinally to the bit and be soft in the mouth and jaw. Then we would do some lateral flexes until the horse gives to…

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The Different Types Of Bits

…pressure when they cooperated.

Many horses who have learned to ignore bit pressure—or who never learned how to respond in the first place—can learn quickly in the Goodnight Bitting System. The piece of tack, commonly called an elbow-pull biting rig teaches the horse to give longitudinally to the bit…

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Wrong Therapy Horse

…afford a professional trainer at this time due to my disability. Am I biting off more than I can chew? I don’t want to give someone else his problems. Thank you for your time, SGT Barbara

Dear SGT Barbara, First, let me join all my readers in thanking…

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It’s Summertime!

…And the living is easy.

Hello friends,

What a relaxing few days it has been! Just to update you on the new horse, we had a nailing biting couple days waiting for the results of the vet check. Diggs showed a positive reaction to the flex

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First Clinic’s Of The Year!

…never learned the rules about riding in a group—absolutely no herd behaviors or gestures allowed. No kicking, no biting, no pinning ears or threatening other horses in anyway. This is a fundamental rule that all horses should learn at the youngest age. I’ve written about this in my blog before…