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You are in... Forums > Welcome To Your Horse Forum > The Yard > Noise association

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ellasmellaa

Joined:

Oct 11

Posts: 94

ellasmellaa says:

Noise association

We tried doing a bit of groundwork today and it wasn't very successful! The problem is that he is constantly nibbling and bitting me, i have been trying to prevent this using a calm approach but he dosn't respond and feels like he needs to be boss as i am not assertive enough. I need to be more so but i find it always leas to confrontation and then my horse seems to have injured me or galloped off up the field! (dont have a schooling area)

So to fix this i was thinking about using a sound. When he starts biting sound a kind of siren for a second and then hopefully he will stop and i can reward him and continue with ground work. Hopefully if i keep it up he will then associate biting with a scary noise and refrain from doing it! Hopefully i will gain his attention also.

What do you think and does anyone have any other suggestions/tips?

Thanks :)

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Tommytank

Joined:

Jan 10

Posts: 2000

Tommytank says:

Re: Noise association

 just no, you'll stop your horse wanting to be with you blaring sirens at it!  Try backing him up every time he goes to nip, so your taking control of his feet and making him think about something else

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ellasmellaa

Joined:

Oct 11

Posts: 94

ellasmellaa says:

Re: Noise association

 Okay will give it a try, thanks

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lauralou15

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 450

lauralou15 says:

Re: Noise association

surely you have him on a lead rope/lunge line etc? so how can he run off? a sharp jab with your elbow if he gets as far as nipping you (if you wern't quick enough with Sams suggestion) or if you can't jab maybe a screech like another horse might do something loud and high pitched but very quick so that he knows it's not on what he's doing....

 

.you also need to assert some more dominance in how you treat him in your day to day tasks if your more assertive around him and start acting like the herd leader then he won't need to try and dominate you...

 

animals only dominate weaker animals so if your not weak he wont dominate...see where I'm going with this? I'm not saying be aggressive towards him just more assertive than you seem to be at the moment

 

:) good luck xx

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kevinhiatt

Joined:

Aug 10

Posts: 5609

kevinhiatt says:

Re: Noise association

This is the main problem we all have from time to time with me its mares you have to show that you are the leader otherwise they will boss you, they need to respect your space and what is allowed, I have learnt the hard way unfortunately and its hurts me when I have to take action as I am too soft, some animals respect this others take advantage, Sabrina being a case in point as sharp jabs and shouting at her, never ever hit in the face makes them head shy and if I saw enyone do that to an animal would feel to do the same to them as they then would know how the animal feels. So the best of luck with your project don't rush it and manage to get the bond we all wish for, never give up and as we all know its one step forward and five backwards with horses as they have brains and feelings and have off days like the rest of us.

Gypsy Gold does not chink & glitter.It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark.Tonka & Lara my beautiful horses RIP, Nelson,Chloe & Kitty the cats.

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nix123

Joined:

Aug 11

Posts: 283

nix123 says:

Re: Noise association

 I had a mare who used to nip if she got the chance. I used to try and keep one eye on her mouth and when she'd go to nip i'd nip her back as quickly as she'd do it in the same spot (under her jaw bone) so she couldnt see me doing it and she soon learned if she nipped she'd get this pinchy feeling instantly. She didnt like it and because she didnt know it was me doing it she associated her nipping with the pinch so in the end she stopped doing it. Plus i was still her friend too. Everyones a winner.

 

You need eyes in the back of your head for this one but its worth a go.  

nix

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SuzyA

Joined:

Mar 09

Posts: 811

SuzyA says:

Re: Noise association

Do you feed him from your hand?  That can be one big reason he tries to nip.  Personally I would ignore it.  I've heard of someone tie a couple of magazines under their sleeve, one on the forearm and one on the upper arm.  If your horse does not get any response from you when he nips he will then soon give up, coz he doesn't get any reaction from you.  You could also hold a bit of lead rope between both hands say about 12" long so that you can block his movement towards you.  Never, ever hit your horse, it's not their language and it can cause damage.  Also, training any animal needs to be through cooperation, not because it's scared of the consequences.  Hope all goes well.

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Cocosmom

Joined:

Jan 09

Posts: 2546

Cocosmom says:

Re: Noise association

Yeah I dont think the noise will work, you really need to work on your body language and assertiveness, its not easy if your not used to it but it is amazing what a difference it makes. Also Nix's idea is a good one, if Coco ever got nippy I squared my shoulders and pinched his neck as if I was biting him back, it was quick and there was no shouting and no further outcomes but if I was the top horse in the field he wouldn't dream of biting me and if he did he'd get a bite (if not a kick) back so that is the appraoch I took! If he is just mouthy and trying to nuzzle and nibble at you just continually push his head out of your space and also agree with TommyTank back him up a step or two, he has to learn to respect your space and the only way to explain to him what you want is to consistently push him out of your space when he gets too close and crowds you. 

 

Re the body language might sound stupid but try it in the mirror or on a friend to get it right, if you walk towards him with your shoulders square, head up high and with meaning and believe that if he doesn't move out of your way you will walk straight through him, if he still doesn't move as you get close, use your arms to forcefully push the air just in front of him and if he still hasn't moved by the time you get to him use  the tips of your fingers your fingers to firmly push him back and do not accept no for an answer. As soon as he moves remove the pressure, relax your shoulders and tell him he's a good boy, then repeat, square up and mean it and make him move away from you. It takes a while initially but once they click and understand what you want they will learn very quickly and very soon you wont even need to touch him just a wave of your arm or pushing the air in front of his chest will get him moving for you. If he tries to turn or spin, give him a firm snap on the lead rein to let him know you are still there, you still have him and the session is not over until you decide it is over. He has got to learn to listen to you and if he is not hearing you or choosing not to hear you you need to make your body language louder as that is what horses respond to. There is absolutely no way a human can outpower a horse even a tiny one so your body language has to be stonger, its all in the power of the mind not physical force.  

 

Good luck and dont give up, we have all been there at one time or another with a dominant horse or one that has just never been taught what is expected, the 1st bit of getting him to listen is the hardest bit once he catches on and realises you wont take no for an answer and there is no point arguing they tend to improve very quickly. Juyst remember everytime he does as you ask, even if its only small, release the pressure and give him a reward instantly even if it is just a 'good boy' as he will learn quicker when he gets postive reinforcement for doing the right thing.

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AMLS

Joined:

Apr 10

Posts: 306

AMLS says:

Re: Noise association

Move him out of your space with assertive body language if he nips. He shouldn't really be close enough to nip you whilst doing ground work, he should keep a respectful distance from you and be listening for instructions so you need to grab hs attention, and I don't think a noise is the way to do this you'll frighten him. The last thing you want to do is teach him to associate you with a frightening experience !!!

 

Instead, move him around. Ask him to swing his quarters or shoulder away when you approach these areas, ask him to back up and walk on. I taught my filly to move one foot at a time on my command which is fun to do and useful also. By moving his feet like this you assert your dominance in a non-threatening way as whoever moves the feet of the other horses in the herd is the boss. This is a language that horses instinctively understand. Be disciplined with him and don't stand for this behaviour as it'll only escalate as he learns to understand that he can push you around and do what he likes. Be firm and fair and very clear on what you want. You want him to learn to respect you, not fear you.

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