Is it because she is cold?

Marshmallow29

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I am a novice owner, although I am trying to learn as much as I can, so please bear with me... I went to ride my daughter's pony for her this afternoon and, when I was doing up her girth (very slowly, on the loosest hole first) she bit me. Fortunately, she missed my arm and just ripped a little bit of my coat sleeve. There was no-one there to ask for advice so I carried on as normal and took Chloe (pony) into the school to walk her round before doing up another hole on the girth. I kept repeating this until the girth was tight enough for me to get on.

I was prepared to get off again if Chloe seemed unhappy but she was fine and had her ears pricked most of the time. She did shoot off like a bullet from a gun when I asked her to trot, and we completed several very fast circuits of the school until she got it out of her system, but she seemed happy enough.

She was ok when I untacked her and stroked her girth area and when I put her rugs back on. Should I just wait and see or do I need to do anything do you think? Sorry once again if it is a stupid question, but I would welcome some advice from more experienced people please
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katiehatie

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my daughter's pony is cold when she is first got out to be ridden at the moment as she is very fine and is clipped out except for her legs but this manifests itself by her not wanting to stand still and raring to go as soon as my daughter gets her foot in the stirrup, usually she has to mount super quickly on the move at the moment!

she is also going super fast but i think thats down to pent up energy due to spending the majority of her time stabled at the moment due to the rubbish weather and this is the case with the majority of horses at our yard at the moment. also depends on the pony obviously but super woolly native types shouldnt be that cold even in our awful weather.

i wouldnt have thought a pony would nip at you when doing girth up due to coldness, i assume she does not regularly do this?
have you checked girth area for lumps or sores? could be due to her having had the girth over tightened recently and she has become rather grumpy and is objecting, if it becomes a habit you could swap to the humane girths with elastic, bear with her and take it slowly when girthing her and she should improve.
 

lucy1984

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I used to have a mare that didnt like the girth being done up. She was checked for any soreness, but in the end we put it down to her being a cow bag. I used to give her the elbow as it was a split second reaction and got her out of that habit. It wasnt as if I tugged the girth up tight.
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sea_view

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I would say she is probably being naughty and has the measure of you and needs a smack however, if she is a bit hairy and you maybe pulled the girth tight quickly you may have nipped her slightly - just tighten the girth slowly, stretch her legs to make sure no hair is pulled. I don't think it is anything other than that.
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Do you ride/work round her often?
 

now_loves_mares

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Is it normally your daughter that tacks her up? How old is she? *whispers tactfully* that your daughter might not be being gentle enough when tacking up, so the pony was anticipating a "nip" from the girth?

FWIW I do tend to reprimand them immediately for trying to bite, as it implies that they are trying to establish the Alpha role. The ideal is that she thinks that in biting she actually injured herself (ie you weren't involved), so I think perhaps the previous poster meant you need to punish her for biting, but you need to be immediate about it - as above, the horse needs to think that your elbow was in fact something mysterious that hurt them when they try to bite. It's best if they don't associate it with you, but the act of biting itself. Sorry if that's not clear
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but it's not going to benefit anyone in the long run if your pony gets off with biting. Certainly I don't advocate a thumping, but it's like if you keep stubbing your toe on a table, you eventually realise walking further away from it doesn't hurt
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Don't raise your hand though, or you'll just make her headshy; it's as if your elbow needs to be there by accident.

Editing as I'm a slow typer - I was referring to the first reply when I said "previous poster" - to avoid confusion!
 

sammyt

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My old horse always used to attempt to bite me when i girthed him up or whenever i brused his girth area - he's ticklish (thin skinned TB). Worst was when grabbed the front pocket on my jeans and promptly ripped it off. I'd suggest he's just trying it on and therefore you need to nip it in the bud before he gives you a proper nip. Give him a clout if he tries it again.
 

spike123

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ponies are often very smart and quick to take advantage of a novice.Being as she is a pony there is a good chance she has in the past been over girthed and hence her turning round and nipping at you.In future tie her up short so as she can not reach you if she goes to bite and do the girth up slowly and make sure you pull her legs forwards before mounting to make sure there is no pinched skin under the girth causing her discomfort.
 

_HP_

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First off I would tie her up short so she can't nip you.

Yes it could be the cold...a saddle will flatten the hair on her back and could make her a bit grumpy however its bad manners to bite so she needs to know its not on so I would avoid it by tying her short and growling/saying no when she attempts it.

I would also keep an eye on her to see if she does it again or keep s doing it as it could indicate pain or discomfort such as back pain/ulcers/badly fitting saddle/girth galls etc.
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helloamys

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My sister's pony was like that. People put it down to being mareish and then they thought she was pregnant but she wasnt (just not exercised due to weather and bucking etc) so it just got worse so the horse now knows she can basically get away with murder because everyone scared they'll get bitten.
She only acts up with children and people who've previously let her get away with it.
I think she's a lovely pony (my sisters) who just needs some authority so I would advise you to try and stop or it will get progessivly worse, unless it was uncomfortable for her then just ensure you're not nipping her by accident.
 

Dubsie

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I would say if it's not a normal thing it's quite possible you caught her a little as S_V suggests, or being a novice owner if she sensed you were unsure or hesitant in your movements, or even if you did something suddenly she might have nipped to try to test her authority over you. I would suggest to talk to her a lot as you're tacking her up/handling her, and to be firm and consistent, and to avoid sudden movements.
 

soph21

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I would have smacked her
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Gimley got a bit bolshey with his head earlier, I think its cos he's cold but I dont care
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No need to take it out on me lol!
He had a smack
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Very very very rare he gets told off, but at the end of the day, I will NOT stand for that especially if he did it to my 5 yr old daughter he would have scat her flying
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! He wasn't being nasty, just a fidget.
 

Cuffey

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How cold was the saddle/numnah?
Please make sure the numnah if used is pulled up into the gullet of the saddle and everything lying smooth--on both sides
It is very easy to pull long hair in winter doing up the girth if pony is not clipped.
The RS ponies used to have their saddles on for at least half an hour before girths properly pulled up in cold weather
My own horses--the saddles straight out of warm house so not so much of a shock to horse after taking nice warm rugs off.
You may need to turn the ponies head away from you before tightening the girth--it can become a habit for some to take a nip when you have both hands busy
 
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Donkeymad

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I am assuming that your daughter normally tacks up? Is this how she normally reacts when your daughter does it? There could be a variety of reasons why she did this, don't just assume she is being naughty. If it is a regular thing, she could have ulcers, your daughter might possibly be pulling up too hard, and so on.
 

Marshmallow29

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Thank you everyone
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I've read all the replies and I think I will reprimand her if she does it again.

shoegal - I did run my hand all round her girth area but I couldn't find anything and she was happy for me to do it.

Lucyfur - I hope she doesn't stay grumpy like your mare. I like her to be all cuddly!

Sea_View - she would be very hairy I think but she has been clipped (for the 3rd time since Autumn). I groom her/skip her out most days and I've started to ride her a few times too, although I am a real novice. She is a lovely pony and I want to be firm but fair with her, if I can achieve that.

now_loves_mares - my daughter is 16 and I hope she isn't doing Chloe's girth up too sharply. I will watch what she does tomorrow to be sure.

spike123 - I have just learnt to do the leg stretching thing, after the physio lady showed me what to do. I never realised you could stretch a horse's leg like a ballet dancer before that. I told you I was a novice
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lucy1984

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[ QUOTE ]
Thank you everyone
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I've read all the replies and I think I will reprimand her if she does it again.

Lucyfur - I hope she doesn't stay grumpy like your mare. I like her to be all cuddly!



[/ QUOTE ]

no need to get personal
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lol

It was a mare I 'used' to own like when I was 10 years old. My izzy would never dream of biting me
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Marshmallow29

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I am sorry to show my ignorance again, but what sort of ulcers might she have?

The saddle is stored in a tack room so would have been cold, but it has a saddle cloth underneath which would have made it a bit warmer I think. The girth would definitely have been cold because it's a sort of padded leather thing. I bought it from saddle when we got new saddle at the end of Autumn.
 

Echo Bravo

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Sounds like saddle and nummah and girth cold.
I tie mine up with haynet after bridle put on also try and make sure bit not ice cold. Could be she was having an off moment as she sounds nice
 

lucy1984

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[ QUOTE ]
I am sorry to show my ignorance again, but what sort of ulcers might she have?

The saddle is stored in a tack room so would have been cold, but it has a saddle cloth underneath which would have made it a bit warmer I think. The girth would definitely have been cold because it's a sort of padded leather thing. I bought it from saddle when we got new saddle at the end of Autumn.

[/ QUOTE ]

Are these two links of any use?

http://www.articlesbase.com/pets-article...hem-588405.html

http://www.equinegastriculcers.co.uk/what_are.html
 

ROMANY 1959

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My sons mare started doing this a while back, so the YO told me to put a flash on the noseband, do it up, then do the girth... BINGO she dont even look round now, she was just being naughty, and she is probably bit ticklish there, but now she knows cant nip she does not even try. Undo the flash and she will have a go!!!
 

Marshmallow29

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Thank you for link. The ulcers sound horrible. I don't think she has anything like that because she has no other symptoms. I will keep my eye on her behaviour and am happy to call the vet if it changes and I think she has a problem. I really love this pony and I want to do the best I can for her. I do appreciate all the advice I've been given
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I will speak to my very knowledgeable yard owner tomorrow as well, just to see if she's noticed anything.
 

Marshmallow29

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romany - I hope that Chloe is just trying it on with me. I can be firm if I need to be. I treat her very well, but I will stand my ground if she is getting ideas that she is the boss and not me
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Lulup

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Just a quick tip - for a clipped pony in cold weather like this make sure that you do not hang about grooming and fiddling for long periods with her rug off because she will get cold and justifiably grumpy. Peel the rug back to halfway to put the saddle on - you can then put the rug back over the top of the saddle until you are ready to get on. If the girth is a leather type one and quite 'cold' then try putting a furry girth sleeve over it to minimise this.
If a normally sweet natured pony behaves in an out of character way then they're normally trying to tell you something and an elbow in the face is not a very fair reaction if you have inadvertantly caused the discomfort in the first place!

Not directed to you Marshmallow - but -Drives me mad when I see people halfway through tacking up who then stop to chat to each other while their clipped ponies/horses are standing their 'naked' in freezing cold conditions in the meantime! A bit of consideration is needed before assuming that our equine friends are just being 'naughty'!!
 

Marshmallow29

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Lulup - I actually did that bit right
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I put her rug over her quarters whilst I put her saddle on and then I pulled it right over her whilst I was walking her round in the school. I am quite pleased with myself now for getting something right
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I had thought about a sheepskin girth sleeve, but wondered if I was being silly. I am going to the tack shop on Monday afternoon so I am going to get one. Maybe that is all that it will take to get her happy again
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brighteyes

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M29 you are my kind of novice owner
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and probably selling yourself short on your ability
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Mares can be notoriously 'girthy' and objection to the girth being done up is not unusual. As long as all other reasons are 'covered' and there is no underlying issue, then a reprimand of suitable severity is justified.

I think any reprimand from you is going to shock that little mare out of her wits - you sound like a lovely, but by no means stupid, mummy!

Your daughter is very lucky.
 

Shilasdair

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You sound very considerate to your pony.
I'd just reiterate what people have said - make sure her girth area is clean and free of mud/sores.
Then tie her up quite short so she can't reach you if she does try to bite.
Do the girth up slowly, a hole at a time.
Stand in front of her (watch for nippy teeth, lol) and lift each of her legs at the knee, to draw them forwards - this will straighten out any nipped skin under the girth.
If you have to tighten up the girth in the school, just before you get on, put her reins over her head and hold the right hand rein over her withers (again to stop her being able to bite you).
S
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