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Friday, March 31, 2023

Horse is Mouthy When Haltered

A standard criticism from horse house owners is that their horse is mouthy when haltered. The horse mouths or nips them, or the halter or leadrope, after they attempt to put the halter on or take away it.

Horses behave this manner for a number of causes. For instance, the horse might wish to have interaction socially with the human, however as a result of they haven’t been taught acceptable methods to take action they resort to behaviours they may use with one other horse. One other frequent motive for mouthy behaviour is anxiousness. Identical to with individuals, a horse who’s anxious might fidget and have interaction in behaviours that will delay the beginning of an occasion they really feel is disagreeable. For the horse exhibiting such anxiousness when haltered, they might have realized that what comes after haltering – like coaching – is nerve-racking or scary.

Frequent recommendation for this concern is to make use of punishment: smack the horse, again them up, transfer their toes, and so forth. There are a number of issues with utilizing punishment to attempt to remedy this concern:

1. Punishment does not deal with why the horse is behaving this manner within the first place
2. Punishment can solely say ‘No’, to the undesirable behaviour, and after we use punishment we aren’t educating the horse what it ought to do as a substitute.

3. To be efficient, punishment must occur at each single incidence of the undesirable behaviour. It additionally must be disagreeable sufficient to trigger the horse to by no means wish to do the behaviour once more. This often means hurting or horrifying the horse sufficiently, in order that they discover this consequence for performing the behaviour simply not value it.

4. On account of downside #3, utilizing punishment could cause the horse to worry the coach or something related to the coaching occasion. This will harm the belief between horse and human.

5. Routine use of punishment throughout coaching decreases the horse’s need to be taught.
6. Punishment can worsen the present downside, and create new undesirable behaviours.

When I’m working behaviour circumstances, I typically want to present individuals ‘triage’ recommendation, to assist them lower the frequency or depth of undesirable behaviours within the quick time period, earlier than a longer-term retraining plan can start. Triage recommendation retains the horse and human protected, and prevents the horse from getting extra ‘practiced’ on the undesirable behaviour. Moreover, in circumstances the place feelings akin to worry are on the coronary heart of the behaviour downside, it permits the horse to have a mini-vacation from feeling anxious or fearful earlier than retraining begins. This little break from stress primes the horse to be higher in a position to be taught as soon as we do start the retraining course of.

The recommendation given within the above clip could also be useful in case your horse is exhibiting mouthy behaviour when haltered. For some horses, it might even be all it’s essential to do to perpetually resolve the problem. If nonetheless, your horse exhibits different indicators of worry, anxiousness or stress of their day by day life, please search the assistance of a professional horse behaviour guide. They might help you get the foundation of your horse’s downside, and resolve it with out scaring or hurting your horse within the course of.

#horsebehaviour #horsetraining #horsebehaviourproblems

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