As you take care of your horse, do you ever see any bad habit coming from it? One of the wrong behaviors among horses is biting. So, here you’ll know about why horses bite and the tips to stop horse biting.
If a horse bites you, then know that it has a serious problem. Horse biting can bring injuries to another horse, you, or another person around you. Also, this habit will destroy a good relationship with your horse.
But why does your horse bite? Whether it’s a good or bad reason, you shouldn’t allow the habit. So, let’s start with why horses bite.
5 reasons why horses bite
When your horse starts biting people or other horses, you should understand the status of the horse’s surroundings. Some surroundings make a horse have bad behavior.
So, if you love your horse, it’s good to know how it behaves every time. It will help you understand why your horse bites and even prevent the act. Below are the reasons why your horse can bite people.
1. Being aggressive
Your horse will bite because of being angry. It should scare you a lot if your horse bites you because of being violent. Also, when a horse is aggressive, it will grind to protect itself.
But how will you know that a horse is angry? It’s simple; look at the body language. The horse’s ears will pin back as it stomps its feet.
Remember, stallions are the ones that bite because of being angry. It’s rare to see a female horse bite because of being violent. Many people prefer having a mare over a stallion because one must have skills to handle and prevent it from having a wrong behavior.
So, if you are young and have no experience in handling a stallion, it won’t be a surprise if it bites you while taking care of it.
Also, a horse becomes violent because of excess body energy. So, if a horse doesn’t use its power by becoming active, it will start doing wrong things like biting people.
Horses become more aggressive during cold or rainy weather. Also, when riding becomes hard for you, a horse can bite.
2. Horses bite to communicate
Even if it’s bad behavior, a horse bite shows that the horse is talking to another horse. Either way, you shouldn’t tolerate the act.
It’s safe if your horse bites another horse. But if it’s biting you, it’s a bad thing.
So, if it’s biting another horse, it’s a sign of love. But what message will it show if it bites you? It’s a sign of total disrespect to you and can destroy the bond between you two.
Also, a horse will tell another horse that it’s in fear by biting it. The nip will be friendly. Remember, if a bite is consistent, a horse will be telling another one to move.
Loves bites are natural in horses. Your horse will bite another horse lightly to prevent any damage. But don’t tolerate it because even as they communicate through biting, it can cause injuries.
If a horse nips you, it’s not safe for your skin. But you are part of the horse’s life, and it will want to talk to you. So, what next? It can bite you as a form of greeting.
Also, a horse will bite you to show that it’s the boss. Remember, a horse bite is painful, even if it will be talking to you.
3. Horses bite during an Allogrooming
As horses look after one another, nipping can occur. Allogrooming occurs when horses groom each other. So, it’s a way to show they care for each other in the herd.
But how do horses learn how to groom themselves? A horse will learn this act while you’re taking care of it. Remember, horses are bright animals.
Allogrooming is a form of your horse returning the favor to other horses.
So, a horse will nip on top of the other horse’s neck and withers. After biting, you can scratch the horse where the nip took place.
Also, don’t allow a horse to do an allogrooming to you. If it tries to dress you as you are handling it, push the head away softly but forcefully. So, know that it’s not correct if a horse tries to groom you.
Remember, allogrooming shouldn’t scare you at any time. When you see it among horses, let them be but reduce the nipping.
4. Horses bite when sick or uncomfortable
Sometimes, your horse can nip when it’s sick or lacking comfort. Yes, horses are always gentle. But make sure that it’s comfortable, or it will bite you.
Many types of diseases can change the behavior of your horse. So, if you see something that is off and your horse is nipping, please attend to it.
Remember, if a horse is sick and it bites you, it can cause problems to your health. You’ll need a vet to check and correct the problem.
Also, before you punish your horse for nipping, first check its health status. A horse can nip itself on the sides when sick.
Why would a horse bite when in discomfort? When you saddle your horse, and it’s too tight for it, or it becomes oversize, it can nip you. Also, if your horse doesn’t always bite and it nips, check for anything sources of discomfort.
When uncomfortable, a horse can bite you because of being unhappy with a situation.
5. Exploring the world
Like young human beings, foals would want to explore the world using their mouth. It’s where the problems begin.
Many owners find it to be cute when a young horse starts biting their arm or anything else. Also, horse owners think that it’s a form of love with the foals. Yes, it’s good to create the bond but remember not to tolerate this bad habit.
While the foal is young, biting might seem to be fun and of no harm, but as the foal matures, it becomes dangerous. Also, the mare will help you by stopping the biting play to see that the baby horse knows how to play.
Do foals bite as they play? Yes, foals grow while learning ways to play with you or their peers. So, one of the things you’ll find a young horse do is biting.
Even as the young horse plays, ensure it has good habits and not biting. But if you let it grow by playing through biting, it will turn into wrong behavior.
5 tips to stop horse biting
Horse biting is normal, but it’s not a good thing. So, here’s the idea, preventing horse biting is helpful to stop your horse from having a behavioral issue.
You’ve seen the common reasons that make horses bite. If you act quickly in these situations, you will remove the bad behavior in horses.
Remember, you can deal with all these causes without causing any problems, but how? So, here are some ways to stop biting in horses.
Be the leader in relationship
Horses can know if you’re controlling the relationship with them or not. So, as a horse owner, be the leader in everything you do with your horse. It will make the horse follow your commands.
Horse biting comes as a form of being disrespectful. But if your horse trusts and knows that you are in charge of the relationship, you won’t see any wrong behavior in them.
Yes, it’s not easy to make the horse know that you’re the leader. But how can you establish yourself as a leader? Follow these ways:
- Work hard and spend time with your horse, for it will help.
- While with your horse, ensure that its head is at the front and center. If it goes in a way you don’t like, you should push it back to the position where you want it to be, but gently.
- If the horse isn’t standing where you want, push the body to where you want it to be. Also, while riding, please don’t allow it to go in a direction you don’t want.
- As for a young horse, ensure you give it consistent orders. It will learn.
If your horse is violent, show your leadership using the above ways. Also, build trust with your horse.
Train your horse
Training your horse is essential in ensuring that it has good behavior. If you choose to prevent your horse from biting, do it all the time. Being consistent is helpful.
In young horses, nipping will be a way of showing love to you. But you should correct this act to one that is better.
Even if it’s a mature horse, you can still correct the bad habit once you notice it. Train it to know that horse-biting is not good.
As part of the training, don’t allow your horse to groom you. When you brush your horse, it will try to use the mouth to return the favor. Would you please not allow this habit to grow by constantly pushing the head away?
But what if it becomes violent? Be a leader, but gently.
Teach your horse to have respect
Like taking care of a child, ensure your horse has respect. After becoming a leader of the relationship with your horse, you’ll earn its respect and trust. Remember, it takes hard work and patience to get these good things from your horse.
It’s easy to remove the bad habits from a horse if it respects your authority. So, ensure that there are healthy limits between you and your horse. Also, with respect, you’ll see that a horse won’t establish any contact like horse biting unless the order comes from you.
But how can you make your horse respect you besides being a leader? Have a look at these tips:
- Make your horse be out of your space unless you direct it.
- Move the horse’s shoulders away from you.
- It should have good feeding habits. Don’t feed a horse using your hands because it will tempt it to bite you.
- Punish your horse for wrong behavior, but first, check for any health problems.
- Reward good habits by giving it a soft pat on the shoulder. It creates trust after a punishment.
Exercise your horse
Horse biting comes because of having excess strength. Mostly, it happens in male horses. It will become violent because of having too much power that is not in use.
Keeping a horse active every time makes it not to be biting. Also, the groundwork will help.
Ensure your horse engages in many activities to exercise the body and clear the excess energy. So, every day, you can take your horse through horse racing. Also, teaching it a new skill or move keeps the horse busy and away from having wrong behavior.
Remember, you can stimulate your horse through feeding. Let the horses have hay around them every time to keep their mouths busy by chewing. It will reduce the bad habit of biting you.
You will know that your horse is bored when brushing it. It will bite without harming you. Ensure your horse has focus by keeping it busy unless it’s resting.
Look for a vet and trainer
In some cases where horse biting becomes serious, call your vet or trainer. So, you will see that the behavior is serious when it becomes a problem.
If your horse keeps on becoming aggressive and biting people, please sound an alarm.
With a vet, you will find out any health problems that may bother the horse and make it bite. Some diseases make your horse become uneasy and thus bite you in response.
A trainer will help you reduce the bad behavior before it grows to become a serious problem. So, don’t ignore the help of a vet or a pro trainer.
Horses will have the habit of nipping or biting. But this habit is dangerous, so you shouldn’t allow it in your horse. If a horse bites you, it shows that it likes you or there is something wrong. Also, it can bring health problems to your skin.
Other things can make your horse bite, so you have to be keen on it. But not to worry, using the tips to stop biting will help your horse not to have this behavior.
So, do you have any questions or more insights about why horses bite? How else can you deal with this problem? Please, feel free to share with us.