Biting when rugging

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

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. sherreem

    sherreem Well-known Member

    totally agree with you deb2.

    i dont do things with our horses expecting to have to discipline all the time. they are put back in their place when and how needed. i'm not nasty to them in anyway just firm and fair.

    i have been at shows when a young girl talking on the phone to her friend was attacked (yes attacked) by her horse from inside his float yard. that horse was not sore he was not touched by anyone for him to react this way. she was very lucky she had her phone and hand up against her face as that is where he went for and he got her hand instead of face. her dad had to jump into the yard and bash the horse to make him let go of her.

    this said horse has done things like this on many occassions but does not get a swift and severe enough penalty and never has done. now the horse has to be muzzled to do anything with.

    i would hate to even think of one of mine becoming remotely like this. it would receive a bullet if it did. and i am not joking when i say that.

    its all well and good being nice and smoochy with them but they a not puppies and not toys. dont treat them like one
  2. Cav

    Cav Gold Member

    thanks for clarifying that smash.

    Deb2, i have handled a lot of youngsters. :) dont get me wrong my pony is well behaved...with a halter on ...but he has zero respect for personal space (with no halter on) despite him getting a few boots off his mother and being sent away by me he thinks he is a human because basically, thats the only contact he ever gets.

    His attitude is not due to lack of handling or correct teaching about space. It is just that I am a human and I cannot teach him the same kind of "respect" a herd of horses can.

    It is also just my own personal preference to want to send him out anyway because he is also sight reliant on his mother for company. Weaning was an interesting process but he is also not compeltely weaned mentally from her despite being physically weaned...IMO. My stallion was the same, he got a bit boss cocky with me so I chucked him out with some pregnant mares who soon taught him a few manners about respect and minding his manners. :)*
  3. beau

    beau Well-known Member

    Deb in our case this mare my daughter was riding for someone else, and previously with another rider. The mare had always been dominent and had a bad reputation for her narkiness, so putting her out to teach her a few manners and letting her be a horse as she had not had a break for a few years was the best thing for her.

    I am not saying the quick fix is spelling, and yes you are right, the handler should be in control, just saying with a sour horse, its the best we have found to de fizzle the brain.
  4. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    Lauren you are such a classic!!! You have got everyone who loves each other and some of those who don't love each other so much debating from different corners:D. All over our gorgeous little Bess:p. I am loving your work. Reading this thread has made my day. I am killing myself laughing it is so funny to see how everyone has different opinions.

    Anyway I am sure you will work it all out Lauren. You love Bess dearly and will do whatever you think is right:)). I seriously love your threads they are never ever boring I will give you that**).
  5. crave

    crave Well-known Member

    QUOTE: Smash:
    girthy horse is a sore horse.
    when you gently move your hand down the girth area and they twitch and such, that is a muscle spasm. muscles spasm's because they have a entrapment somewhere. apply pressure to this area, they will nip, move or do what they can to stop the uncomfortable sensation/pain.
    horses muscles do not go into spasms for no reason.

    I am sorry to disagree with you Smash ....I have done everything to find out why my horse is girthy as I did with a mare a few years back. The mare was 14 and my boy was just 4 when I got him. Both behaved in a similar way except the mare was not girthy whilst being brushed. My young one behaves in exaxctly the same manner to his other paddock friends (who are both the dominant ones over him) and even if you go to him in the paddock with food or a carrot. I have tried ALL avenues to rule out pain and spent a lot of time and money doing it. If your saying its a muscle spasm in the girth area then why does he behave that way on his face, neck, legs, rump and also whilst being rugged???? Once tacked up and ridden he is an angel by the way. If I hold a crop in my hand whilst tacking up.....NO girthyness. I dont hit him but do let him know Ive got it!
  6. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    Oh bless Bessypants, I love her :p I remember meeting her at Peel in her mega blingy browband and going to tell her how lovely she was, and she put her ears back and clearly told me where to go!!!!! She's a crabby mare :D

    Honestly, if this was a younger horse I would be more proactive about it - but - Bessy is 23 and not much is gonna change now. She's earned her right to a bit of grumpiness at 23, and I know how much you love her Lauren.

    If she was mine, I would hold a stiff bristled dandy brush in my left hand, keeping a close eye on her but not actively facing her, and fiddle about rugging with my right hand (going about the motions, in other words) waiting for the inevitable SNAP lol. When she does, she'll bite a faceful of dandy brush bristles.

    This way she is disciplining her own behaviour - you are not the big bad wolf, but she will not be so keen to repeat the experience. I find it takes 3 or 4 decent gobfuls and then they just see the brush and rethink that next move ;) Also stay really quiet and soft around her, then when she makes a horrid face, a loud 'AAAAHHHH NO'. She'll far prefer nice sweet Lauren to loud grouchy Lauren!!!

    Your timing and position has to be spot on, but practice makes perfect lol!!!! Just wear thick jumpers til then!!! **)
  7. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Gee, and you weren't even trying to rug her!:eek:

    I also dont even think it matters how old, or young a horse is, if you would be able to put that same horse into a herd environment and have it learn it's place from the other horses, then it should be able to learn it's place from it's handler....regardless of age.:)
  8. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    Oh she wasn't going to 'do' anything Deb, she was just being like I am if you wake me up early :p
  9. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    Just remember...the threat comes before the action!;)
  10. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    So true! We bought a pony (sh!tland...and we were first-time owners) and it's owner said, don't worry if she puts her ears back, she doesn't actually do anything.

    Got told that was not true by a lady at pony club. That we had to not let her get away with that because it can escalate.

    EG. In my horse's herd, somehow he got to top of the food chain (what happened to mr meek??) and he's in with big >16hh horses but all he has to do is put his ears back and look at them and they step away. No doubt, when they first moved in he had to do a bit more than that. But if a horse can get you to step away when it puts its ears back, it's calling the shots.
    If my horses try to dictate where I'm putting my feet I get them to back up, move their bum around, move their shoulders over. Just remind them I'm in charge. And that pretty much ensures they don't get the idea in their head that they can get away with biting me.
  11. luffy

    luffy Active Member

    Well this has been an interesting read. Lauren let me know how you get on and what the outcome is. I would be very interested to hear what you tried and what (if anything) made a difference, particularly if you find that she is actually sore and this was the root of the problem.

    I have a young(ish) horse that "threatens" to nip when I am doing up the front of his rug. He does not kick and is fine with the rug being put on and the back straps, it is just when you are at his head. To me it seems like he is just being rude/naughty, rather than sore (but maybe I am wrong). I am always on the ready and have an elbow or hand to push his head away. However, if you really "get up him" (e.g. with a hard slap on the neck or big GROWL) he will semi-rear and get really silly/aggressive. It doesn't matter if he is eating or not, it doesn't seem to be food related. If I put a halter & lead rope on he seems OK (I don't even have to tie him up, just leave the lead rope on the ground), but it is hard if you have other people rugging your horse to expect them to put up with this bad habit. I have carried a whip before (and told other people to do this) and he is more respectful without needing to use it.

    I would like to sort it but not really sure where to go from here, as he seems like the sort of horse that if you show you are the boss he won't really try it on but give him any slack and he is in your face again (very hard if you have a non-horsey husband or friend that you need to feed up etc. for you). I have done heaps of ground work with him and he is good, but it is like you have to be on guard all the time - he never completely submits to the fact that humans are boss. He is very "human" orientated and didn't have a lot of herd interaction when he was youngster. He is lovely under saddle, easy to catch (comes running to me even when on spell in a very large paddock), but always needs to be reminded who is boss (e.g. when leading, rugging, doing feet).

    He has become a little bit girthy lately so maybe I could send you some photos too smash? What sort of photos do you require to look at these sort of issues?
  12. ashes88

    ashes88 Well-known Member

    lauren bessy is so lucky to have you as an owner, you look after the grand ol lady so well, everytime i see her she looks a million bucks!!! you spend all your hard earned money on her and i give you a pat on the back =) i love it when i see someone who does it all by themselves and hasnt been given any help or money from there parents( it makes you appreciate what you have more!), i am the same ive been doing this all by myself since i was 15.
    bess has bitten me but i was the idiot who was in the way as she was getting her girth done up(and i was warned aswell) she is an old mare but i think its just her being grouchy but oh well you have been given lots of "advice" and have fun with it lol ;)
  13. Cav

    Cav Gold Member

    Lauren....does bess bite/nip/get cranky at times other than when you are just rugging her??:confused:
  14. ashes88

    ashes88 Well-known Member

    some mares do, my old girl does when she was in work (shes retired now) but i know some mares can get like that when there in season
  15. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Hen - when do they 'become of age' where 'we' allow them to be 'grumpy'?

    I ask this out of pure interest, as my girls are "older" (19 and 22), both in good nic, but I still expect the same manners out of them as if they were 9 and 12. I've had people say "oh you can't teach an old dog new tricks, they're set in their ways" .. I disagree. I will have good manners around me at all times from any horse. Young horses there is some lee-way, but I'd still except them to try.

    I'm not trying to have a go Hen, I am honestly curious to know when "the age" is, as noone can seem to tell me :p

    And on the note of 'old horses being grumpy'.. no-one can tell me why for that, either. My own thoughts are similar to the ones of us - as we age, our eye sight begins to go, our hearing, our teeth, sore backs, arthritis, joint pain, digestive system starts to lag ... I don't believe there is any reason why we should rule this out for older horses too. I don't mean to sound all doom and gloom - just need to change our tactics slightly to accomodate their bodies (different style of rug, certain exercises, certain feeds, bi-yearly health checks, etc). jmo tho :eek:

    So I do think that she is displaying a sign of discomfort, but perhaps not the 'normal' pain we'd look for.

    Sorry Lauren .. just started thinking and rambling :eek:
  16. supersezabell

    supersezabell Well-known Member

    I disagree with the "they are old so must be allowed to be grumpy".....

    On our property there is an agisted galloway who is 31 and definately getting quite rickity, he is still expected to have manners and told off if need so he still DOES have manners and the only time he ever shows any sign of "grumpiness" is towards his paddock buddy at feed time (ensuring hes the boss) however towards US he is 100% perfect.

    Even if his paddock buddy then comes up close whilst we are standing there he knows he needs manners and will then not pin his ears or show any grumpiness towards his paddock buddy until we are well outside the paddock fence.
  17. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    :confused: guys, Bess is a lovely old girl. I really think you are all overthinking this. All horses have bad days etc. You are leaping upon a single comment I made and overlooking the context it was said in ;) in other words - heavily discplining her is probably OTT for an older, slightly more fragile horse. Let her make the mistake and learn from it with the dandy brush trick ;) I use it on very young horses too, when I don't want to come down on a 6 week old foal like a ton of bricks!!!!!

    It works, and they are disciplining themselves and so the timing is spot on **) they get it very quickly, even foals!!
  18. Cheeki

    Cheeki Gold Member

    Nono Hen - I was being serious, I genuinely want to know the age when we start to forgive the 'grumpiness' of a horse :eek: Wasn't having a go, promise!

  19. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    Depends on the horse and what other perculiarities it has I'd say :) and taking into account any health problems, aches and pains, etc etc ... but I reckon 23 is a pretty good place to start :p I just could not personally be real hard on an old(ish/er/aging) lol horse. The young guns, look out!! But dear old granny mares ... nup. Call me soft *#) I let old people away with certain stuff, so not gonna be a hypocrite!!! :D
  20. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    This just made me remember something :D The mare that I mentioned 3754 pages ago, who was snappy and domineering....started with biting at girthing/tacking up time. This escalated to her getting very dominant in the paddock - to the point of turning her ass as you approached. I growled at her (very loudly) for doing it to me while trying to read her brands....and she backed up so fast to me (aggressively) that I was rather shocked :eek:

    Process of elimination led us back to it having started with girthing up....she'd been saddled up with those old girths that don't have the rollers on the buckles....yanked up, tightly, causing her pain #( #( Maybe something similar happened to Bess before Lauren got her ';'
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page