2018 Miniature Horse World Magazine April E-magazine - Page 6

By Lana Grieve

When a horse bites you, it is commonly happening for two reasons:

#1 - The horse is dominating you aggressively to establish being the “Alfa.”

#2 - The horse is attempting to be playful and affectionate toward you and relating to you with a herd mentality

Both circumstances, although dramatically different in the moment to moment severity, need to be corrected for you to have a safe and effective relationship with your horse.

Whether you own a Miniature Horse as a pet or want to show competitively, if your horse doesn’t understand basic physical boundaries with you, a habit of playful nibbling and daily head pushiness will translate to a more significant training issue over time. One innocent moment of your horse pushing their head affectionately into your hands to prompt a brushing or scratch is how an incessant biting habit begins. Every time you allow the horse to decide when they are entering your space for attention and affection, you are setting the precedent for the horse to think it’s okay to dominant you, and this is ultimately how the behavior becomes harder to manage and more aggressive in nature.

Why Does My Horse Bite and How to Fix It

Incorrect Lead Rope Position

Holding your horse with too much lead line slack allows the horse to lean their head into your personal space which can set a foundation for bad habits.

Correct Lead Rope Position

Hold your lead rope on or at the base of the lead clasp. This gives you contact with the lower chin knot on the training halter and allows you to bump your horse’s face away from your hand if they try to crowd your hand space and/or bite.