Biting?

(18 Posts)
CatKitson Mon 12-Nov-12 09:49:18

Dd has been riding twice a week for a while now, and this weekend helped out grooming and mucking out for the first time. I had no idea horses bite! She wasnt really hurt (thank goodness as she is a bit accident prone!), but what do you think? A biting horse, is it really that dangerous? Im happy for her to keep on going, but dh is convinced she is going to be eaten alive or something similar. She is so happy and has made some lovely friends, but equine and human. I had to drag her away from the horsey object of her affections and she brushed it off as nothing so she is still very keen to go.

CMOTDibbler Mon 12-Nov-12 09:52:39

They do bite, but it is rarely any worse than a bruise. But she should have been taught to watch out for signs of horsey unhappiness and how to deal with it

goralka Mon 12-Nov-12 09:57:47

the problem with riding school horses is that often they are soured and fed up of being pulled/pushed around by all kinds of people in quite a rough way, therefore they do develop such vices. Having said that though, a horse that just bites randomly is relatively rare, most do it eg when their girth is being tightened (again usually cos so many people have done it too harshly) - another thing that brings on biting is too many titbits out of the hand (another common riding school thing) The thing about horses is that essentially they are dangerous critturs and sooner or later someone is going to get bitten/stepped on/kicked/fall off/whatever, it goes with the territory. tell dd not to give titbits and watch out when doing up girths. If there is a pony who is biting randomly without these kind of triggers I might take it up with the riding school. If she is keen to go, fair play to her, I would suggest some steel toe capped boots.

CatKitson Mon 12-Nov-12 10:06:57

She was brushing him and he gave her a little bite. She wasnt even really bruised. She just managed to freak out her father who she was with at the time. Even she said she had probably irritated him and wasn't paying attention.

I think Ill go and get her steel capped boots then, can you get them which are suitable for riding in? Right now Im resisting her pleas for a share in a pony. I honestly know nothing about it, and am pretty sure that would be unfair on the horse. I figured the best place for her to gain experience was the riding school.

Thanks for the advice!

goralka Mon 12-Nov-12 10:31:51

yes I have some jodhpur boots with steel toe caps from 'justtogs' - do get them ! I remember wearing silly little rubber boots when working with horses years ago and was lucky to escape with my toes, what with horses stepping on them and dropping a water trough on them.....
perhaps she was brushing his belly?
tell DH not to worry too much, playing/working with ponies is so much better than hanging around in town looking for boys!

CatKitson Mon 12-Nov-12 10:41:51

Ah now Im embarressed! I sent her off in smart little jodphur boots thinking it was a step up from trainers. At least she didnt get trodden on!

That is a fab argument - ponies not boys! Her dad will go for that, I think. She went on and on about a done?? (no idea) icelandic mare who she is totally in love with and apparently is nice to ride. She asked me if we can request her next time. I dont think anything would keep dd away right now tbh! Im just glad it is not me having to watch her fall off and get bitten! I think she was only half joking about putting the pony in the lift up to our flat and letting her sleep in our spare room. I showed her pink pony in classics on mumsnet, and she said that lady should win a prize for coolest mum ever.

Cheers lovely horsey people!

basildonbond Mon 12-Nov-12 12:46:11

it's 'dun', it's a colour!!

I know this because dd's constant bedside companion is the Kingfisher Horse and Pony Encylopedia

Dd's been riding for about a year now and has been bitten once - the pony she was grooming didn't like her neck being touched, which dd didn't realise, she's not been bitten since and is very careful to find out each pony's foibles

Pixel Mon 12-Nov-12 17:09:54

You could teach your dd to tie the pony up quite short when she is grooming or tacking up. I always do this now with ds's loan pony since I bent down to pick out her front hoof and she bit me really hard on the bum. Oh the pain!

Pixel Mon 12-Nov-12 17:11:37

I've got those JustTogs steel toecap boots, they are almost the same as the Mountain Horse ones I had before but half the price and have lasted for years so a good buy I think. They feel very heavy when you first wear them compared to normal jod boots but you get used to it after a while.

FeckOffWithYourXmasBollocks Mon 12-Nov-12 20:51:46

I've always found that a swift smack across the snout as soon as you're bitten is a good discouragement! But then, on the other hand, mine don't really bite, because we don't feed treats. It's one of the main reasons.

When I was about 8 I had a pony that bit me (unprovoked) hard so my Mum told me to bite him back - I did, through about 6" of fluff. Pony was really surprised and never bit me again......

Callisto Tue 13-Nov-12 11:53:40

Same here Feck. I have a nil-by-hand rule for my two boys as the sheltie x in particular has nippy tendencies.

OP - if your DD was nipped while grooming chances are she hurt or tickled the pony somehow with the brush. A lot of TB's are ultra thin skinned and don't like rough grooming.

Mirage Tue 13-Nov-12 13:34:43

Dpony can bite,I think she does it without thinking as she's done it for so long.She has only gotten me 3 times and I've handled her every day for 18 months.She got the dds a couple of times because she'd go to bite,they'd jump out of the way so the clever old thing sussed out that, annoying kids to close-I pull a bitey face = annoying kids move away.Result.I found that if she goes to bite,a swift sharp pinch stops her in her tracks.

CatKitson Wed 14-Nov-12 08:42:37

I dont think Ill be telling dd to smack, pinch or bite the pony in retaliation. shock

Mirage Wed 14-Nov-12 13:21:21

Why not ?They might be lovely,but they are also big,powerful dangerous animals and can cause a lot of damage with a bite.I've had a lot of experience with a bitey pony and nicey nicey just doesn't work,it puts them in charge and things can go downhill surprisingly quickly with a horse that thinks it has the upper hand.I love dpony dearly,but she knows she shouldn't bite and she knows that if she tries it with me,she'll get the same in return,so she rarely does it now.

Have you asked your daughter's instructor what they'd prefer she'd do when the pony bites?

Callisto Wed 14-Nov-12 13:56:29

Cat - there is a big difference between being firm and being cruel. Being firm with a pony or horse can include the odd smack, slap or pinch, and I would be amazed if your DD can do any of those things hard enough to actually hurt the pony.

We're not suggesting your dd beats the pony up! Just a firm reminder of who is in charge, and the consequences of over stepping the mark. My big horse bites the pony (vvv hard, and has drawn blood) and gets bitten or kicked back (by the pony, not me!) so it's not as if it's an unnatural response to bite/pinch back.

FeckOffWithYourXmasBollocks Wed 14-Nov-12 19:59:51

Cause and effect. Animals learn through cause and effect. It has to be straight away.
Believe me, ignoring bad behaviour is worse.

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