Here are some recent photos of two of our geldings at the rescue, Shiloh and Sebastian, playing with each other and generally having a great time. The weather was quite nice last week and the horses really seemed to enjoy it. Shiloh is the dun (the one on the right in the photo below) and Sebastian is the red roan. They are similar in age and enjoy bossing around the yearlings they share a pasture with.
Here’s the two of them before they started playing, both looking innocent enough.
First, Sebastin reaches forward and tries to bite Shiloh.
Then, Shiloh lunges forward and tries to bite Sebastian.
This is a common game horses play with each other, standing there, taking turns biting and nipping at the other horse. It’s a playful sort of teasing. However, this is a good reason why you shouldn’t slap or hit your horse for biting you. To many horses, you’re just asking to play this biting game. Many horses find this pretty entertaining and will not see your action as punishment. The horse will only think how fast can I nip at you and then get out of the way to avoid your “nip?” (Here’s a good solution from Jane of Bookends Farm about how to actually address the nipping problem).
After the biting game, there was quite a bit of running, chasing and prancing around the pasture. It was a good day to be a horse!