Biting when rugging

Discussion in 'Horse Management' started by Lauren, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Bess has gotten really, really bitey when rugging.
    I don't blame her, she's been rugged day in day out since April when she was clipped. She goes nakid as often as she can, and when she's rugged always has a bib on. The rugs are well fitting, no rub marks everywhere so I don't think they're uncomfortable.

    Tonight she took a pretty decent chunk out of Mums side.
    I only feed/rug her a few times a week, and I normally just stand to her side, with my elbow out. I try and make sure she's respectful. I make her stand and wait to be rugged before eating, she'll happily yield to pressure (if I touch her chest she backs up etc).

    So my question.. how do I stop it?
    She does get a whack on the neck when she bites.. she is NOT scared by this at all, and in all honesty I think it hurts my hands more then it hurts me :p
    she's the type of horse that you whack, and she gives you a face like.. how dare YOU touch me!!!

    I half feel like just stripping her of rugs, upping her food and letting her go nakid... #( But I don't know if she'd cope.. and that sounds so cruel!
  2. myyky

    myyky Well-known Member

    Pffft, she'll survive naked.. She's not that much of a princess :p
    She probably is just over it. Do you rug before you feed, or after? (eta: just read and it says you do it before..)

    Maybe she's getting antsy about having her food sitting there waiting, and you're telling her 'no, you have to be rugged first'. She knows when you've finished rugging she gets food, so wants to get it over with quickly?
  3. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member


    Yup, I make her wait for her dinner.. I back her away from her feed bin, rug her, then after invite her to go eat.. She threatens to bite me ocassionally but never bites.. I think she was pushing the boundaries and seeing how much she could get away with with Mum.
  4. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I generally feed then rug (while they're eating)...unless I go out and do all the rugs at once (no ffod or buckets in sight). It's a dominance thing. I had a 4yo mare here for bootcamp. She had started with biting at feed time, and escalated to trying to double-barrel her Owner for any reason when she came into the paddock.

    I have two mares here atm that have picked up their attitude (and weight), by removing synthetic rugs. They're in cottons in the day and one has a woollen and the other a canvas at night. Those rugs breathe a bit better and the horses are happier **)
  5. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Im mean.

    I would commence like normal.......with lunge whip in hand.

    Do up the bit she bites when you do up first, with a firm hand on the rug, when she bites, quickly remove rug with on hand, step away and give her a good crack on the shoulder, bum with the whip.

    Shock her little socks off.....

    Timeing......quick......shock....then walk away with her feed, rug and leave her to dwell over night **)

    Totally innapropriate behaviour.
  6. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member


    You mean don't feed her Eoroe?

    I think she'd quite possibly die.

    I've tried rugging while she eats.. I find she's usually worse, gives me grouchy faces because she wants ''her'' food.. I guess it all comes back to dominance. She clearly thinks she has one above me.

    Should also say, she isn't sore anywhere. She very regularly gets bowen/chiro etc.
  7. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I think you can safely put away the idea that it's pain or discomfort related :D She's just being the boss ;)
  8. ellechim69

    ellechim69 Guest

    Mine are all rugged and unrugged while they are eating. I can ask them to stop and lift thier head at any time. I have one that is VERY food orientated and he never moves or looks like biting. I think you need to be boss again and let her know that biting is not ok. She is a lovely horse and she should get back in her box without too much problem.
  9. Gamby

    Gamby Well-known Member

    I dont think feeding her then backing her away from the feed is helping her issue. I would be rugging her while tied up (out of biting reach) and then feeding her.
    My mare likes to nip when being rugged which i find pretty rude, she is tied up to rug and i dont rug while they are eating...that is there alone time and as soon as feeds are put in they are left to do what they want.
  10. ArBeeBar

    ArBeeBar Active Member

    We always rug/unrug when they're feeding. Only had one problem child. He would do a mock kick, never try to connect, just being dominant. We never rugged him when he was eating. It was all about routine for this fella. We always rugged him with a halter & leadrope on. He knew this was business time whenever he had halter on. Then he'd get his tucker. Pretty much now, his a good boy and I'll rug him while he's feeding, but still have a halter & leadrope on him.
  11. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Sorry, should say there is no feed in her feed bin when I back her away.. I pour her feed in her bin after I finish rugging.

    I thought about tying her up but it's just a short term fix, especially when I only feed/rug her 3x a week max.. another stockie rugs and feeds for me, so don't want to add another job for her.
  12. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    If she goes to bite, nip, anything involving teeth/lips & human body parts... Bomb the freaking hell out of her.

    Chase her backwards, kick her in the guts, go all Alpha Bitch on her ass.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Well-known Member

    I have a mare that does this. I have tried everything, I just ignore her and stay out of the firing line... It's dinnertime, she is hungry no amount of punishment or stategy has worked so I have just moved on**)
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Well-known Member

    I would love to see you try this with my mare you would come off second best ;) Some horses cannot and will not be bullied or bashed ;)
  15. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Well I'm not stupid enough to do it on any horse. To me though, it sounds like Bess is getting too big for her boots in this case.
  16. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    Yeah. you do try it. BUt you also have to know when to give up.

    Bess is not too stubborn - and seems a humble girl most of the time.

    I just think she has gotten a little ego trip on her lovely little routine.

    Yep - she is anticipating her feed time, and getting a control kick out of it.

    So, yep, remove rug, step WAY back, ONE good crack with the whip, take the feed, and walk off ooooozing alpha mare style **)

    That should do the trick. You have to mean it have to gain her respect that you are quicker, smarter, and stronger.

    You only get one chance with Alpha mares at doing it the easy way.
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  17. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Same. I have a gelding that tries to eat me alive at rugging time. He has a go when he's tied up but that's nothing compared to performance he puts on if I rug him while he's eating*#)
    I always keep the elbow at the ready.
    It's not pain related, he's just a dominant grumpy old pr*ck but if that's his worst vice, then I'll take it. :)
  18. goldenbrumby

    goldenbrumby Active Member

    Hey Lauren this is what my little love bite I got from my boy just the other day!! So I now put on a grazing muzzle when I have to either rug or doing up the saddle. Saves alot of time and pain!!
  19. cupcake

    cupcake Well-known Member

    Thats a good idea!

    My horses saddle fits, he is just a shit and some one who had himbefore me must have once yanked a bad fitting saddle and done the girth up supper tight.

    I cant even put a saddle blanket on him with out him putting his ears back and trying to. Hes only ever got me once, and that was rugging and ended up with a little nip on the arm.

    Ive been smacking him on the nose if he brings his head around and say No really loud with an "angry" voice. He knows!

    I only do his girth on the very last holes to start with, then before I get on I tighten it just enough to get on with a mounting block, then do it up again, then again before I start trotting. When the saddle has been on a few min though, he doesnt go me then, its just at first when I put it on. It seems to be like he realises, oh yeah, this saddle doesnt hurt me!

    Hes started being nippy when I put his rug over thim though, I just make sure I always have one eye on him. When hes rug is over him though hes fine about it.

    hes an odd ball some times!

    Lauren, bess is just a diva! Id just keep one eye on her head and smack her nose each time she goes for you.
  20. Leon

    Leon Well-known Member

    Is this a new thing since the warmer weather has started?

    I have found her a tad more angry faced when rugging but like you I put an elbow up and growl at her if she even thinks it. Not acceptable though but she is malting like crazy at the moment, so so very itchy! I think she may be uncomfortable. There is definately no ears flat back, raising back legs, turning her body away from you.. too me no dominance behaviour (apart from the biting which is a small nip)

    I think strip her down to one winter rug, less weight/bulk. It's a tad cold at night this week but she is a good weight and would survive with just the one rug.**) Few nights of this and see how she is..**)
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