On good days, your horse brings you so much joy, companionship and sense of partnership. They make your heart sing. There’s nothing like a horse – human relationship, nothing!
On bad days, they bite. And it hurts! You’ve got a big old painful multicolored bruise, maybe it even bleeds a little.
Even worse, they can seriously injure you, or even cost you your life.
If your stallion bites you, it’s time to get horse savvy now. You’re missing some fundamental rules of equine horsemanship.
What is your Stallion/horse trying to tell you when he or she bites the snot out of you?
1) Play With Me! Horses are playful creatures by nature. They indulge in rough play with other horses, which often times includes head and body banging and biting. Sometimes, your stallion/horse starts biting you because they think you are their equal, a playmate like another horse, and that they want you to play with them. From your horse’s point of view, it’s really just good natured fun and can even become quite entertaining — for your horse.
What to do? Tell them that even though you think they’re swell, but that you are not another stallion/horse and those games aren’t fun for you.
Teach them to move around you and have them follow you instead of the other way around. Stallions/horses naturally respect and follow an alpha leader personality. If you can direct their feet and make them move the way you want them to, while you stand still, they will give you more respect.
Also, you can help your stallion/horse by playing games that will help them use their energy more positively. Games that include oral interaction such as teaching him to pick up objects are good ways of managing and redirecting the habit. By playing games, you can also show him that you can have fun without having hurtful “horseplay”.
2) Time For a Herd Reality Check – What’s Your Status in Your Herd? There are important hierarchies in every herd. Whether there are only 2 in the group or more, one will always be the leader and one (and the others) will follow.
The dominant horse in the herd is known as the alpha horse. Other horses in an established herd never bite the alpha horse. They know that if they did, they would die a horrible painful death, or worse, be isolated from the group, because the alpha horse has the right of control, direction and punishment.
Therefore, biting you may mean that your stallion/horse doesn’t consider you to be their alpha leader, and that their status is higher than yours. That means they have the right to direct, control or punish you. And you haven’t earned their respect.
What to do: Many stallion/horse owners react by withdrawing in fear, and approaching their horse very cautiously. After all, getting bit by a stallion/horse is a very painful experience. Worse, a bad stallion/horse bite can be disfiguring or even endanger your life.
While understandable, this is not a healthy, pro-active approach and may cause your stallion/horse to become more disrespectful. They could even escalate the bad behavior by kicking or striking out, running over you or body slamming you!
You need to reclaim your power and assert yourself. I like the John Lyon 3 second “I’m Going To Kill You!” Rule. You have 3 seconds to convince your stallion/horse they are going to die. Make a lot of noise and get their attention any way you can. After 3 seconds, walk away and take a time out.
When you come back, be sure they know you mean business and won’t tolerate their biting you ever again. And start doing the things that earn your horses respect and trust.
3) Hey – What You’re Doing Is Hurting Your Horse! Other possible reasons for biting are pain related. There may be something that is hurting them, such as a pinching girth, a sore mouth from a badly fitting or ill designed bit or bridle, a sticker or burr under their saddle pad that’s rubbing them the wrong way.
They could also be trying to tell you they are uncomfortable, nervous or feeling bad that day. Mares are notorious for having bad days when in their cycle. If that’s the case, it’s smart to take a day off and do something else that’s more fun for you both. And for your mare, that might mean go away and leave me alone for awhile.
If you keep at it without acknowledging or correcting whatever is making them feel bad, then they have no choice but to either retaliate – or suppress their feelings and pain for as long as they can, until they can’t take it anymore and they lash out.
What to do: It is always important to listen to your horse, assess the situation and find out why they’re doing what they do. What they do makes perfect sense, from their viewpoint.
If you don’t know which one of the three causes of their biting are, then you can waste a lot of time, energy and money going off in the wrong direction. Even worse, you’ll have lost even more of your horses’ respect, trust and affection, and their willingness to work with you. And your relationships will be in serious trouble.
So how can you know precisely which of the three is driving your horse’s biting behaviour?
It can be confusing to figure out exactly why your horse bites if you don’t get inside their head and listen to them first.
Animal communication gives them a voice to tell you what they’re thinking, and gets you quickly to the cause of the biting. Once you know what’s wrong, you can establish a more respectful, happier and healthier relationship.
Bio: Val Heart – Internationally known expert animal communicator, teacher, author & master healer, Val is called The Real Dr Doolittle, & Animal Communicator to the Stars. Resolving behavior, training, performance, health, working with euthanasia. Free AnimalTalk QuickStart Course, The Real Dr Doolittle (podcast) Show now on iTunes! For your Complimentary Happy Animal Assessment Session, call (210) 863-7928, email:email@example.com visit http://www.valheart.comCopyright Val Heart & Friends, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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