More info needed
Mare or gelding?
When did this start , or has it always done this?
When will it bite or kick? Before feeding? when getting groomed? all the time?
What have you done to correct the behavior?
Does it do it to everyone or just you?
Hey Ken, Thanks for replying, well ...
He's a gelding
7 years of age
apparently he was always an angry horse.
He puts his ears down whenever you go close to his stable and gets extremely aggressive when eating. He's alright with my groomer, but he to says that "yoda"(the horse) is very unpredictable.
He does this to almost everyone.
Intensive socialization. Put him in the stall closest to where everyone is. next to the tack room/feed room. You want him to be in contact with people as much as possible. Keep some small treats nearby and reward good behavior. Leave him alone when he is eating. If the biting is dangerous put a muzzle on him. The bucket type so you can drop treats in it. If he is a bad kicker you can put anti-kicking chains on him like these >>> http://www.kyhorse.com/store/equipment/kicking_chains.htm . Do not leave them on all the time.
Do NOT yell or hit at him unless he is in the act of biting or kicking and may hurt someone.
Keep anyone away from the horse who can not do this Or,who may get hurt by the horse.
Thanks a lot - Sounds interesting- I'll give it a go and update you on the progress. Thanks
Swim with him...
What are you feeding him??? do you have him in close box??' getting outside in a paddock i had exactly the same problem with a horse, good work out everyday and get him relax leaving out side after work him ...but when he does that make sure he understand he is not doing good...not saying to hit him but talk to him in a difference voice tone...
or just bring to me and i'll give you back nice and easy
the food is very important
Hi Adam. I am an equine nutrition specialist and can help on the feed issue. If you would like to visit my website www.sel-plus.co.nz and read the nutrition articles about feeding and selenium in particular.
A comment on your choice of grain. Corn has the highest amount of energy in it and ferments quickly in the horses gut, this can make them uncomfortable and grumpy. Corn also goes mouldy easily which can cause problems. Oats have the lowest amount of energy in them and are easy for a horse to digest. How many times a day do you feed. Does the horse have a problem with colic or ulcers. Is he stabled all the time or in a paddock?
When you run your fingers along his back on either side of the backbone with mild to medium pressure does he react? Ears back, unhappy or does he not notice? What supplements are you feeding? When did you last have his teeth done? Is his coat in good condition? Does he have flakey or peeling hooves?
This is just a start... much more to it than this!
Hey Dr. Kathrine - I checked out your site, its quite nice. About corn well I absolutely make sure that no moldy corn is given to my horses- I have 5 polo ponies and only one of them bites and kicks. The rest our fine. There's no reaction with any of the horses when I rub my fingers on the side of their backbones, they don't notice it. The coat is in great condition. I dont feed supplements to my horses. Its just corn, Lucerne hay, adding oats hay to their diet in a few days-I would like to keep their diet completely natural.
I just have one angry horse who plays very well but is very unpredictable. I want to cure this behavior of his, yesterday he almost took my face off(haha) the groomer says its impossible to cure. I'm pretty sure his stable manners can improve, Should I try the alpha male tactics with him, like they do in the wild-Im pretty confident it could work!?
Hello there Adam, It is pretty hard to do any diagnostic work further from afar and in a forum, I work hands on, do bloodwork to check for deficiencies and do ration analysis of the feed sources and make a feeding and husbandry plan for the individual and the whole barn. It is always best to keep natural I agree. Feeding balanced horse pasture, good hay, whole grains, salt and select vegetables and fruits when needed is the basis of an excellent diet. I do not like pellets or muesli mix processed feeds for horses, its like feeding them a Big Mac! However, if you have a horse with a gut absorption issue and seek peak performance or, for example, live in a selenium deficient area you are seriously hampered without targeted supplementation and the horses physiological needs cannot be met.
Whatever you do with regard to behavioral modification please be careful! If you are familiar with Monty Roberts equine techniques that's what I would do. The horse is a herd and "prey-ed upon" animal so if you have confidence in using Monty's behavioral techniques that a horse will interpret as herd dominance behavior and not "I am going to eat you" behavior it may be positive. I have seen Monty in action, also Denis Reiss and Pat Parelli, these guys are miracle workers. I have also seen cowboys try and copy them unsuccessfully and received a kick to the chest which put one guy in hospital.
There will be people on this forum who have experience in these areas so I leave it open to them to comment.
Hi there Adam,
It sounds to me like he needs more work and he needs to learn to be more respectful. Do you tire him out well after a workout or practice? A tired horse is generally a good horse. That being said, it seems like he is used to getting his way (instilling fear in others by kicking out and biting) so others tiptoe around him. He sounds like a bully. I would suggest working with him on the ground, doing ground-work exercises to gain his respect and trust. Lunge him, move his feet, demand his attention and respect. I can give you much more detailed exercises to do with him if you’re interested, if you think it would help. I had a mare that was exactly the same until we turned her out with a mare that was even more rude to other horses, but not to people. Being turned out with a bigger bully that she was calmed her right down. I don’t suggest bullying your horse, but more demanding respect. Let your horse know he doesn’t need to be in charge because you are.
I hope this has been helpful and if you want more information, please do not hesitate to let me know.