Q: I have a horse that loves to nibble on things. Recently he bit one of my friends. He doesn’t bite hard, but I’m afraid this behavior could get worse. What should I do?
Be aware of what your horse is doing at all times, and try your best to stay out of biting range. Tie him up a bit shorter than you usually do so he can’t reach you easily.
When you’re working around your horse, carry a brush with a hard back. If he lunges out to bite you, raise the brush so he bangs his nose into the brush instead of biting you. If he tries it again, make a loud, angry sound as he hits the brush so he pays attention to you and moves away. If you don’t have a brush in your hand, let him bump into your your bony elbow and make a loud sound to discourage him.
Smacking your horse in the face isn’t really the best way to teach him to stop biting. Poking or smacking him can become like a game to your horse, and if you do it too hard it can make him head shy and spooky.
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2014 issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!