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why would a pony nip..

(31 Posts)
booksinbed Thu 20-Sep-12 17:35:11

Walking along with pony going back to field once and she just nipped.not done since but today walking in different place did same .first time i smacked her fairly gently and she was all wide eyed .a pal said i shouldnt do it just guide her away with my hand fiirmly.advice please and why wd she suddenly do it - shes new to me ...

Booboostoo Thu 20-Sep-12 22:08:33

Did anything happen right before she nipped you?

In general horses might nip if they are in pain, for example if they have ulcers it may hurt them when you do the girth up, or mares can be particularly sensitive when they are in season and may nip when being groomed, or some horses like to groom you back when you scratch them but forget themselves and nip.

If she did it completely out of the blue and meant to bite you, I think she deserves a growl and a tap.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Thu 20-Sep-12 22:55:29

Hand feeding is a cause, treats, mints, polos. Or just being a pony who doesn't like being led. Or being in season and having their undercarriage groomed...
TBH any pony who nipped me would get a slap on the beak! Cause and effect. Nip me, I'll nip you back!

booksinbed Fri 21-Sep-12 09:30:49

boo - its was when i was leading her both times - tho she has head butted me instable when i fuss her and does not want to be fussed gut feeling is i annoy her !!!the first time was when she was going back to field whch she likes and the sceond out on a hack when she was worried by aggresive dog and i got off and led he r to re assure.

CMOTDibbler Fri 21-Sep-12 09:34:06

A sharp tap and a loud no works. Nipping each other is normal horse behaviour when they are annoyed, you just have to show them that it isn't acceptable horse/human behaviour

Callisto Fri 21-Sep-12 14:11:34

DD's first pony had a habit of nipping me when I was leading him, only ever when DD rode him. He was on a nil by hand feeding regime and not nippy at all in any other situation. He was an expert at pinching the skin on my hand, hard enough to hurt but not hard enough to leave a mark. Taps, slaps, firm 'no's and shouting made no difference to him and he would get me at least once every ride. (It was a revelation when we got DD's current pony who wouldn't dream of nipping - I had no idea how defensive I had become in my leading technique until I lead a non-nipping pony grin).

DD's pony was a shitland x and I came to the conclusion that he nipped for the reaction he got (little bugger). Could be your new pony is the same.

Callisto Fri 21-Sep-12 14:13:06

Btw, does she nip with her ears back? Because that sounds like she is pissed off for some reason (could be season, but late in the year). If she nips with her ears forward it is more 'playful'.

booksinbed Fri 21-Sep-12 15:41:56

no ears are not back and she just looks at me !!!!

booksinbed Fri 21-Sep-12 15:44:26

ps she has also started stopping on hacks - she seemed scared at one thing but the others not at all - seemed to be saying she was bored and wanted home .tried persuasion - spinning round - had to end in a smack and a" get on "!!!which worked - i had v compliant cob when i was little and this is all new to me !!!!!!feel like she doesnt like me .when i gave her a tap for nip she did looked scared and i felt terrible.......

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 21-Sep-12 15:46:02

My pony nips as a 'joke'. When I am dodging under the bar into her stable she will nip my coat, run to the back of the stable then turn and look at me all wide eyed as if to say "What?"

Only when I haven't got a coat on........

horseylady Fri 21-Sep-12 17:15:11

Is she in season? Some mares may get mouthy when in season? The stallions often nip when lead!

Callisto Fri 21-Sep-12 17:34:21

Sounds like she is taking the piss to me. Give her a (humane) wallop every time she misbehaves and you will soon get her in line. Mares can be tricky, more so if they are an alpha, and she will know if you're scared of her.

I'm not sure about her 'disliking' you. I've always got on with every horse I've worked with, even the bastards (especially the bastards most of the time). But I do know that some horses are more stand-offish to begin with, and there are horses that prefer women to men etc so it could be a personality clash.

booksinbed Fri 21-Sep-12 18:06:41

- thanks v mch for info - what if it is a personality clash???? wot to do !! and how do not be a little scared of her - its meant too much to me to get a horse and as result i was /became suprizingly anxoius which ive not had before !!

Booboostoo Fri 21-Sep-12 19:15:57

I am afraid she sounds like she is taking the piss to me too. Get yourself a good instructor asap! A decent instructor should be able to help you with (the small) handling issues you are having and give you some tips for riding her more forwards. Well done for getting her going on the hack, you did exactly the right thing. It is very important she thinks forwards and she will get a lot more confidence from a rider who can rider forwards than one who lets her spook and run off back to the yard. She will get much more scared if you let her react badly to little things and will only spook more.

None of this means that you need to be aggressive or nasty to her, just determined and positive. She will like you a lot more for it!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 21-Sep-12 19:18:48

Shes taking the piss! If you are on the ground and she gets boulshy or nips, look her in the eye, stamp your foot hard and make yourself big. (You can also add OI! if you like.) Thats herd talk for your annoying me, get out of my space!
When you are on her, give her a smack with the whip.
To help you bond with her and establish that you are in charge, try Join Up. Its Monty Roberts/Kelly Marks. It really helps.

booksinbed Fri 21-Sep-12 19:33:53

thankyou all so much - i was worried re smack her and was convinced instinctively that she was gen uine spooked at on ething but sort of acting on another time ...!! thankyou for highthighting i not be cruel give her a good smack w whip !! i read somewere that a horse can feel a fly land o n em therefore was worried re a crop!! i do think she may have picked up that i am too soft!!!!!!.and a bit scared and a bit exited at at last having a pony !!!!!!when you say make yourself big do you mean raise the only 5 ft u c

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 21-Sep-12 20:09:10

Yes. Make yourself as big as possible. Put your arms out and puff out your chest. The stamp and looking her in the eye are more important.

Mirage Fri 21-Sep-12 20:25:35

She is taking the piss by the sounds of it.Dpony has tried it on in the past and making yourself big and looking her in the eye escalated things and she'd get very defensive/aggressive.I have found that she responds best to a growl and if she tries to bite,I give her a sharp pinch,really emulating what another horse would do.She has only ever gotten me twice in the past year and doesn't bother to try it any more,if she looks like she might I growl 'don't even think about it',and it stops her in her tracks.

Don't worry that standing up to her will harm your relationship,it won't.Once she respects you things will be a lot easier-similar to people really, it is hard to like someone that you don't respect.

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 21-Sep-12 23:03:21

I have been known to hurl a bucket or a mucking out glove at mine when she has really hurt me.

You won't hurt her if you give her a slap.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 21-Sep-12 23:18:27

A bucket?? Mines had a good kick up the arse! They are much bigger than us. Theres not much we can do that would really hurt them.

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 21-Sep-12 23:20:01

Oh I don't know

We had one shot yesterday.


ExitPursuedByABear Fri 21-Sep-12 23:21:01

Sorry, that was unnecessary. Just still feeling a bit raw.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 21-Sep-12 23:27:01

Im fairly certain that you did that to stop it hurting. Its never nice, but you made the right decision im sure.

ExitPursuedByABear Fri 21-Sep-12 23:29:39

Not my horse, my friends, and she didn't tell me it was happening, until it was done. He was old.

We now have a big horse shaped hole in all our lives.

To add to all the others.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 21-Sep-12 23:34:28

You know its time, and they know its time, and you just do it. Shooting a horse is never pleasant, maybe she just wanted to spare you that.
Someone will soon come along and fill the space. Just you wait. Horse shaped holes never stay empty for long!

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