Ouch! Horse Bite! - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Ouch! Horse Bite!

I was grooming Cash today, he had some dried mud on him, and I was curry combing him, and must have pulled his fur and hurt him, because he decided to stop eating his hay and bite my leg. OUCH!!!! LOL It wasn't his fault, I felt bad because I hurt him. But I almost went down on my knees. LOL I had to go to Urgent Care and get a Tetnus, so all is good. Oh! Did I tell you all that we added a horse? Tess, a 18-19 year old Buckskin Quarter Horse!

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-13-2009, 11:15 PM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Yay for Tess! Bad, Cash!

I have only been bitten by a horse ONCE. It is sort of a funny story, though.
It was by my Appaloosa gelding Cochise. We would ride a LOT in the first years I had him until adult responsibilities took over. In the summer, it wasn't uncommon for me to get up at 4am to feed him and then be riding by 5:30 and we'd ride most of the morning, come home for an afternoon lunch/siesta and then ride most of the afternoon until dusk/dark. When I was in school and had an assignment to read several chapters (I fondly remember reading most of The Scarlet Letter in this manner) I would tuck the reins under my legs, leaving them long enough for Cochise to walk and dip his head for a bite of alfalfa that would grow along the edges of the fields, and I would read the chapters. As long as he continued to walk and did not stop suddenly, I didn't mind him nose-diving. When I had read the chapters I would tuck the book under my arm, and then ride with purpose.
Here is the bite story:
Late one summer day, we were returning home around dusk and met my Mother driving out our driveway. I hopped off to chat with her through her window for a quick bit before she left to do the grocery shopping. Now, Cochise knew that when we got home I'd turn him out and feed him, so he waited as patiently as he could while I talked to my Mom. Eventually, his patience just ran out. Instead of fidgeting and getting prancy with his feet, or trying to tug me away with the reins, he nipped my arm! I was surprised and stood right straight up and gave him a goggle-eyed look!
Now, the look on HIS face was PRICELESS!
HE stood straight up, with his head raised high (nose up) and turned to the side. Every inch a look of "Who? ME?! I don't know what you're talking about."
I couldn't chastize him. I am certain he knew it was bad to bite, but he communicated his message loud and clear: take me home.
*sigh* I miss that wonderful horse.



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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 12:38 AM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Do not let Cash get away with that! It wasn't your fault. You may have pinched him, or annoyed him, but it is not acceptable for him to respond by physically harming you. There are dozens of ways he could have expressed his irritation that didn't include hurting you.

Smack him, chase him, do whatever it takes to make him think within those first fifteen seconds that he is going to die. He will get over it. He will still love you - and he will respect you. Do not ever let a horse think they can treat you like just another animal. You are not just another animal. You are their alpha, and regardless of the wonderful working partnership you may cultivate, as soon as you stop being in charge, you allow them to make the choices - and they don't always make the best ones. Don't let it get to that point.

When you've spend more time with, and with horses (I'm talking many months and years), you'll be able to gauge their intent when they misbehave. In the meantime, you can't afford to let this sort of thing become habit. You'll get hurt, and badly.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 01:01 AM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

I must agree with Lisa. Perhaps my own story was not particularly suitable... Sorry.

Many people become upset when they see people disciplining their horse, or they become upset when they must discipline their horse and/or they do NOT discipline their horse because they don't want to 'hurt the widdle horse-y'.

There is NOTHING us puny humans can do to a horse with our bodies compared to what another horse could do to them. An open-handed slap, fisted strike and even a kick, are nothing compared to the amount of force behind another horse bumping with their head, biting or kicking. It is acceptable horse behavior and they immediately understand that type of reprimand.

Cash should not have bitten you (and neither should Cochise have bitten me) because of the amount of damage these animals can do to us, even if they aren't trying to hurt us, they have a lot of mass and strength behind their movements.

John Lyons (and many other trainers) recommends reacting like an alpha horse and for 3 seconds, make that horse think he is going to DIE because it offered/did bite you. Yell, wave your arms and become very aggressive. If the horse is on a halter/lead, back them up vigorously while you holler and yell. Let them move, but make sure they face you and move away from you or circle you. But only for 3 seconds. That is how most horses behave towards each other: immediate punishment, offender moves off, squabble is resolved because order has returned to the hierarchy. No hard feelings remain.

http://books.google.com/books?id=Nm5aN- ... &ct=result
http://dboard.johnlyons.com/archive/ind ... t-118.html
Page from my Google search:
http://www.google.com/search?q=3-second ... 1I7GGIC_en



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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 01:15 AM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

It's okay, Heidi. I have lots of stories about nibbles and stuff like that. But I've spent enough time around horses to understand the motivation behind it. Even my reliable, crotchety mare (who always, always tries to nip when I tighten the girth) gets smacked each time. It may be her naughty little habit, grown over the years, but that doesn't mean I accept it.

Thanks for the great explanation and resources!
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 01:54 AM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aphrodeia
It's okay, Heidi. I have lots of stories about nibbles and stuff like that. But I've spent enough time around horses to understand the motivation behind it.
I have too, but after reading your post, it made me think about younger members or just in general people who are new to horses and how to handle them. It is a big, wide world out there and the internet allows us to reach further than our own voice carries. I would be devastated to know someone got hurt because of a 'cutsie' story I posted if I didn't try to show how dangerous that behavior really is and how best to handle it and keep yourself safe.

I was lambasted for some advice I once gave about handling a poorly socialized cat because I shared some of my feral techniques. Well, my advice was valid, but because I tailored it to fit the situation of an adopted cat who was poorly socialized (I cannot see a rescue adopting out a truly feral cat w/out informing the adopter) and didn't include my early steps of working with a completely feral cat to get it to the point this particular cat was already at, someone thought what I was saying was dangerous.
So, I think I am a little bit gun-shy and over-reacted. Please accept my apologies. I do understand what you meant, though.
h



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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-14-2009, 09:42 PM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Ouch! I agree, Megan, DO NOT let him get away with that, he is to big of an animal to be taking his anger out on you. Letting him get away with it, can leave you dealing with a way bigger behavior problem than you ever wanted to have. Don't ever let him push you around. He needs to know you are in charge, not him. One thing I like to do, rather than smacking them, is grabbing some of their chin hair, or the hair right under their jaw, and pulling it. It gets their attention, and let's them know they did wrong. I'd kind of gotten out of the habit of smacking from raising a foal, they tend to get head shy very easy when you smack them, and they react more from the pain vs. the hand going up or coming at them, to hit them. Sometimes I pinch the lower lip to, if I can't get a grab of hair quick enough.

Pictures of the new horse please!!! How exciting for you!
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Yeah, he got a smack in the mouth, plus when I yelled "OW!", that scared him. LOL I don't let them get away with anything. Tess tried to nibble my hand this morning and I smacked her right in the nose. Thanks for the tips! It's better, my arm is still sore. LOL So is my leg. I will get pictures of Tess up soon!

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-15-2009, 07:20 PM
 
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Owww!

Funny that should happen to you as last week I was going along the line of paddocks, and handing out carrots, well I got to the one paddock and I tripped over myself as I was handing Tonka a carrot, and she grabbed my thumb instead! There was a frozen moment of panic then I dropped the bag of carrots and started trying to pry her moth open, she finally gave up enough to let me rip my thumb out, but it's took half the flesh off on the one side, no one was home at the farm, so I had to drive the 10 mintues home with blood running all down my hand/wrist.

It was my fault, I actually gave her some more carrots afterward, then went and shoved the rest at my horse, and booked it home.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 01:06 PM
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Re: Ouch! Horse Bite!

Sorry you got bit, Megan, and glad you're alright.

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