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Mouthy horses

Mouthy horses

Postby fabikat » Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:04 pm

Would like some ideas from folks on how to dissuade a mouthy horse.
When I want to work Kaiser inhand and my hand is near his head he gets very mouthy. At first I thought it may have been because of using a bridle and bit but he is the same if I try the same work but with a cavesson or headcollar. He has not shown any mean tendencies with it and generally just seems to be playing/bored but for obvious reasons I dont want it to get out of control. (Thinking of M-E and dearest Mossy here ).
I have had a quick look on yt and found a couple of videos with two different approaches but would love some other input.
It was really frustrating today as he just wouldnt settle to work :random: and I know he can do something better.
katy x
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby spottygiraffe » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:10 am

How old is he, remind me? Is he teething?

I think geldings can be quite mouthy in general when they're young and they can grow out of it, but as you say, you don't want it to escalate.

Clickering could stop this really quickly because the first lesson is to teach them not to be mouthy and they get it really quickly. I'm sure there are lots of other ways too, but that's what I'd do.
Sarah x

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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby fabikat » Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:43 am

He will be 5 this year so still relatively young. He is definitely not being nasty with it atm but it is soooo annoying.

One of the videos I thought looked good was a clickering one. My guess is that clickering out the mouthiness would be the same as for antimugging really. May have to investigate it a little further....
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby Trudi » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:45 am

You could clicker it :thumbup: but whatever method you choose it will be essential that you teach him what you expect when you hold the rein. So many horses (my Moo being a good example) are started by just pulling on a rein until something happens. Keep to short sessions with lots of praise for the right thing and try to ignore the unwanted behaviour. I don't think we want a horse that never moves its mouth or has an opportunity to express itself as this is an important feedback system for us, often stress from starting something new will result in mouthiness. Be guided by him and keep safe.
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby Chevalblanc » Sun Feb 22, 2015 9:54 am

spottygiraffe wrote:
I think geldings can be quite mouthy in general


So can mares! Sky is still mouthy when she gets anxious (so quite often!) and likes to chew on her lead rope. We have taught her not to chew on us using treats, we don't clicker as such but she knows she only gets a treat once she's stopped looking for it/nibbling clothes/lead ropes/reins and is still. Sometimes you have to wait a while for her to stop fidgeting and fussing, as with everything patience is the key!
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby M-E » Sun Feb 22, 2015 2:34 pm

Trouble is there are so many reasons for why they are mouthy, are they afraid, in pain, stressed, playful, looking for food, is it avoidance thing, the list goes on. as you know I had lots of pratice with Moss :lol: doing the MM stuff I have learnt just how many horses just don't like being held close too the mouth or nose, think it might be one of those domanice things, Brett & Moss and now Brett & Tiky do a lot of biting each others mouths, it's not normaly play, I'm not sure what they are trying to say to each other, as both can start it :roll:

I never liked the idea of clicker with a mouthy horse as it would be so diffcult to get through the mugging bit and your inviting the theeth right in.
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby glenatron » Sun Feb 22, 2015 3:59 pm

I had a cob that used to try to bite chunks out of anyone in range, but in a sporting sort of way where he'd approach quite slowly with his mouth wide open, so if you got caught it was your own lookout, and my little pony now loves to mouth on things in an interested/experimental kind of way to see what happens. Cobbo taught me that you can set up a clear boundary just by making enough fuss when the horse comes in towards you that they step back a little and look askance at you, do that a few times and they'll rethink that approach. Ponio has taught me that once that is established I do tend to let standards slip if it's adorable.
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby Trudi » Sun Feb 22, 2015 5:06 pm

:lol: adorable can definitely lead to a slip in standards I would agree!

It is a myth though that you can't use clicker because they will take your hand off the first treat you reward with, there are other ways of delivering a treat to make it safe.
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby M-E » Sun Feb 22, 2015 6:26 pm

Trudi wrote:
It is a myth though that you can't use clicker because they will take your hand off the first treat you reward with, there are other ways of delivering a treat to make it safe.



Nobody wanted to try with Moss :lol:
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Re: Mouthy horses

Postby Trudi » Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:20 pm

:rofl: I bet!
Seriously though you can use a bucket or a scoop, the ground...or forget the food and click and scratch.
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