New Foster horse... *pics*

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Lorije1, Aug 7, 2010.

  1. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I foster horses seized by / surrendered to our county. I have had horses since I was 13 (many, many moons ago) but I have NEVER had anything younger than 6 (and that mare is now 28!). My fosters have all been 14 or older. Now, I have a 16mth old colt (gelded about a month ago). He spent almost 4 months at the county shelter with his mom, then she died. He is a super sweet little horse, very willing to trust and learn. I got him on Thursday and have already introduced him to fly spray and garden hose showers. We conquered his fear of the big scary water tub and of going inside the barn.

    BUT - he is a nipper. Not aggressive in the least, and I am not sure he is even playing - it is more the exploratory lipping right now. How do I "nip this in the bud" (pun intended)





    ETA: time since gelded
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010

  2. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    Very cute!!!

    My 7 year old used to bite when we got him as a 4 year old. He had a lot of resentment from his last owner. A harsh "No!" and if he got us good, a little smack, took care of that within a few days. (He's in my avatar)

    Although, I'm always hesitant to smack young horses at all. They should see hands as good things, where they get pets.
  3. PioneerPrincess

    PioneerPrincess Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Wow, he's beautiful! What breed is he? [​IMG]
  4. Lorije1

    Lorije1 Songster

    Mar 13, 2010
    I have looked at stuff online and get conflicting info -- smacking is like "Mom" issuing discipline vs smacking is like another colt biting back. One article said to "rub the fuzz off his nose" petting him .... [​IMG]

    I only know his dam was a quarter horse, no idea of sire. He is a bit stunted because of the neglect, just a little guy
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    For me, it depends upon the "bite". If it is a soft, nibble - explore type, I usually do not mind. If the mouthy-ness starts getting nippy, I will grab their nose or lip and lightly pinch/squeeze and tell them to be gentle. But if the bite is a "mean" or aggressive, I will smack with my open hand on the neck or shoulder with a stern no.
  6. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

    Jan 4, 2009
    Claremore, OK
    When Max was 2 years old, he nipped me. ONE time. I hauled off and whacked him in the nose and started screaming. He has NEVER done it again. Nearly killed himself getting away, but has never done it since! lol!

    I have this weird "flight or fight" response. If something scares me, I will hit it first. If I'm asleep, I will hit the headboard, boyfriend or whatever is nearby if something decides to scare me.
  7. IcarusSomnio

    IcarusSomnio Songster

    Apr 27, 2010
    Vernon County, MO
    My 10 year old, Loki, nipped and nibbled for a while after I got him out of boarding onto a pasture I personally leased. I started with a finger pop on the nose and a firm "NO!". He didn't listen to that, so next time he got a SMACK on the nose. Only took two of those to make him quit nibbling on me. THEN he nearly bit my dad and he really unloaded on him. Never nibbled, bit, or lipped after that. Definitely not head shy either, he adores getting pets, pats, and head cuddles. Still nags my dad (and other people) for cookies, too, just without the teeth [​IMG]

    I like to give my geldings a chance to improve or correct their behavior before going to harsher means. I had an issue with lunging once, horse didn't want to go. So I increased the pressure of the cue (tapping the hindquarters). Still didn't want to go. So I increased it again, smacked his rear and yelled "HEYA GIDDIUP". He went [​IMG] First, he had a chance to go on a simple cluck and non-touching cue of the lunge whip, then a tapping, then a harder tapping, then a whack. Went to lunge him a few days later, and this time he moved at the first cluck and cue.

    Be firm, but not violent [​IMG] Your horse won't be head shy, mean, or flighty of people unless every time you see him you whack him. Or, if you smack him more than once per bad behavior. One bite, one smack or pop! Theres a huge difference between correction, and abuse. [​IMG]

    He looks a bit Arabian in the head with his eyes and face, and I love how he's built. Talk about a super cutie pie, I'd adopt him if I could!

  8. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Quote:What Maggie said. Also, open your eyes a little wider when you discipline a horse, in horse language that helps to signal you are dominant. Make sure you don't act fearful around him either.
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    A horse can't tell the difference between a nuzzle, a poke, a 'little nip' and a 'real bite that hurts'. So I ithink the best thing is to get after them for any nosing or nibbling. Hopefully, someone else has already worked with your horse before you get it, and you don't have to stop them from biting. But if you raise your own you see JUST how they come out of the womb, which is for some of them, that people are sort of a fun chew toy!

    I know a lot of people think that nosing and poking is cute and a sign of affection. I don't think it is in the horse's mind. For the horse, I think it's exploration, to see if some rough play is going to be ok. That's what they do with each other. First a little nosing and exploration, and then yay, BITE BITE BITE! Humans must be very, very strange critters, they just don't play that way! They give all the signals that they want to play, then you play, and for some odd reason they start screaming and crying 'ow! ow! my haaannd! you bit my finger off!', can you imagine! Humans are so hard to understand!

    My friend got a horse from a lady that never let anyone get after her studs if they bit. One of her studs was very nice when she got him, but after a few years he was so bad, he put someone in the hospital. It's better to just swallow hard, forget about being 'baby's mommy' for a little while, and make sure they know not to bite.

    I do have one horse that has never 'escalated' from nosing and nibbling to biting, and others may have a horse like that too. Lucky you, that is actually very, very weird and unusual, LOL. I'd say most horses just are not like that. I've got that one, and I've got two others that are very, very unlike that. You let them nuzzle, the next thing they are biting.

    I don't think that most slapping on the neck or shoulder is seen as discipline, unless the horse has been made very, very afraid of people by rough handling, and thinks that after that slap the sky opens up and all heck breaks loose.

    With a normal horse, it's just how horses play with each other. I once watched a gal slap a 2 yr old stud colt for about an hour and a half, LOL. She'd slap him on the muzzle, he'd bite, and she'd slap again. He had this look on his face like, 'THIS IS FUN!' I said, 'he's biting you', she said, 'i know'. I said why don't you do something different. She said, 'i don't wannaa HURT him!' I said well, if he winds up in a can of Biljac because he bites, that would hurt him more. She shanked him. And he seemed to say, 'oh, well, fine, why didn't you say so in the first place', LOL.

    I don't much like to hit them around the mouth or face with my hand, either. Logic tells us it's going to make them jerk their head back when you try to bridle them or give them medication. Sometimes you just have to react fast and that's what happens. So sometimes you just do what you have to do, if it works, so be it.

    So normally what I do is put a chain shank over the nose (wrapped round the nose piece of the halter so it's not dangling and loose, which can be dangerous, and wrapping it also makes it not as harsh). When they come at you to bite, jerk, every single time. It is uncomfortable and unpleasant, but not so much it makes the horse rear or run back. I don't want to shank them really hard and make them run back or rear. I want to keep them with me and thinking about it. If they really do land one on you, you have no choice really but to be very, very dramatic, like the gal above described. Make it memorable.

    When they bite or nibble or nuzzle, I yank on the shank, fairly hard.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  10. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    I agree with welsummerchicks. Well actually I have a zero, absolute zero tolerance policy on any behavior from a horse that could result in injury to a human, the horse or another animal. Anytime I am leading, moving or working with a horse on the ground they have a shank on…period. Obviously I don’t tie them with the shank, but you get the point. These aren’t cute little babies, they are great big strong animals fully capable of killing you on a whim. I don’t care whose horse it is, how big or small it is or how well trained it is. Using a lead with a shank is a safety measure Id never forgo.

    Any time the horse even thinks of nipping or even mouthing they get shanked HARD, told NO and then I go right back to whatever activity I was doing. This way they learn, nope it’s a bad idea to bite, but if I behave myself its not a big deal or anything to be afraid of. Have I ever slapped a horse, yup. Once I went to take a blanket off and my own horse decided to invade my space and banged right into me, I slapped him with a flat hand right on the side of the muzzle and told him NO. then kept right on with what I was doing. Has never gotten into my personal space again.

    Op I also think your little guy is qh/qh or qh/paint, pretty much qh and some kind of stock horse.

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