Horse Bites, Doesn't Obey Male Owner
Our 14-year-old OTTB [off-the-track thoroughbred] gelding has been with us for a little over three months now. He has adjusted well to us, with the exception of my husband. The horse will sometimes walk up to him in the pasture and try to bite him. When my husband goes to correct him (by grabbing his halter, applying pressure and telling him “no”), the horse often lashes back at him. He does not do this with meI can correct him in the same manner without a negative outcome. What can we do to possibly remedy this reaction? I really need the two favorite men in my life to get along.
Terri, I wish I was able to observe the behavior as we may be dealing with play or with something a bit more serious. Either way, we need to teach your thoroughbred that this behavior is not appropriate.
It is obvious that the current correction is not effective by the fact that he is repeating the unwanted behavior. Ideally, what we want your horse to learn is that putting his teeth on people does not feel good. An air horn can be a handy tool here; be sure to keep it hidden, and to have anyone who is interacting with him have it on them when they enter the pasture. If he leans in to nibble, blast the horn. Any interaction that does not result in a nibble should be rewarded with attention (if that is motivating to him) and a treat.