TEST.  When you have a horse that is mouthy, bitey or nippy you need to ask yourself some questions. Is it all the time? Is it at a certain time? Do they do it to everyone? Your horse is trying to communicate with you – it is up to you to listen and try and understand what the behavior means. Most recently, I have had great success with the conclusion that the horse is trying to engage with me. The solution to this is to engage with their muzzle – however – you must be very present to do this because you have to be reading the situation correctly and responding in a timely manner – otherwise you will probably be bitten.

Success Tips:

- "Catching" their muzzle in your hands AS they come to you.
- Being mentally present and prepared for what it is that you need to do (catching their muzzle).
- Be consistent, this is not something you can do once in a while, you need to do it all the time.
- Use a flat hand if they want to chew on you, if you have a flat hand, they cannot bite fingers, they just gnaw on your palm.
- Keep your energy "I don't care - this doesn't bother me"

Common Problems/Mistakes:

- Not reading the situation correctly. If the biting is new or at a specific time - it could be pain related. It could be that your horse is telling you that you are not completely present or your energy is not acceptable. You may have to work with a fence in between you and the horse.
- Setting a timeline or expectations that doing this will solve the problem quickly. It took 2 months of consistent work for Dale to improve.
- Reacting with defensiveness (hitting, yelling, etc.)
- Letting your energy put off being scared, being mad, etc. Change it to - "not interested, this doesn't bother me, you are funny"