I recently got a horse on September 3rd, 2015. She was a rescue and was underweight. I noticed that she is buddy sour. She hates being away from the other horses, even if they are horses she doesn't like. She is about 22 years old. There are a few problems beside this I am having with her. She hates the cinch. When I try to cinch her up, she tries to bite me. I have rubbed her stomach and then cinched her up, it works for about a day. I do not have her on my own property so I am unable to train her every day. She also does not like to be caught. When I walk into her stall with her halter, she walks off with her ears pinned. When I try to put on the halter, she tries to bite me more. I gently push her head away and say no. She doesn't bite or anything else unless I am trying to cinch her, put on her breast collar, or catch her. She listens really well, but the owner of the place we keep her doesn't trust her and believes I should try riding other horses or get a new horse. I don't want to give up on her. I know all she needs is training, which I can do. She kicks the other horses sometimes, but not a lot. I got a certified horse trainer to look at her and she was extremely rough and would hit her when she tried to bite. I can't hit my horse. She means the world to me and I don't want her to think she cannot trust me because I hit her. Never before in my life have I hit a horse. The trainer said when we hit her, we are showing her whose boss. I understand her theory, but there must be better ways than hitting her. I need some help before everyone thinks I should just sell her. She's been the best horse for me, and she just needs training. Please let me know what I should do because I'm not going to give up on her like everyone else says I should do. Thanks for your time.
Thanks for the question. First off sometimes a horse with cinching problems can have ulcers, or also poor saddle fit. Get those ruled out before anything else. Second you trainer is right in saying that hitting your horse is teaching her who is boss. But by giving her a consequence you are teaching her what is expected of her. She doesn't understand English, she doesn't understand the word "no". She understands Horse language and in horse language if she tried to bite at or push around the dominant horse that dominant horse would bite back. That is what horses do. They can be brutal to each other. They can bite so hard they can rip out hair, skin and muscle. By giving her a little slap to the nose when she bites at you, you can not rip out hair or muscle but you are talking to her like another horse would. It is never ok to let a horse bite at us with no consequences, biting is very dangerous and should corrected. Also horses always respect and like the dominant horse. They view that horse as their protector and leader. By being your horses leader things like buddy sour and barn sour issues will all but almost go away as well.
So I hope I gave you some things to think about in helping your horse with what might be a physical issue and also shed some light on giving your horse a consequence for biting doesn't mean you are being harsh or mean, you are just being another horse.