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Discussion on Chewing ropes and leather

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Susan Turner
Member
Username: Disco1

Post Number: 8
Registered: 4-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006 - 12:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does anyone else have this problem? My two young horses, 5 and 6 years old, mare and gelding, both chew their lead ropes, especially when they are tied. I mean really chew, right back in the molars. It's pretty hard on the equipment. Also, because they have the rope or whatever so far back in their mouths, if they spooked and jerked back when tied, I worry that they could damage their tongues, etc., by getting the rope caught there.
I have raised both of them, and they have always been terribly mouthy with straps or anything near their faces. Any light anyone can shed on this would be great, thanks.
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Nicole Tucker
Member
Username: Tuckern

Post Number: 111
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Oct 4, 2006 - 11:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a four year old that likes chewing on leather. He doesn't really mess with the lead ropes, but he's ruined one set of reins already because I didn't catch him before he had them in his mouth. I'm wondering if it's a youngster thing? Maybe it feels good on their gums. Isn't four to six about the time that they lose the caps on their teeth?

Nicole
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 16782
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 7:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Susan,
how long do you tie them up and how short do you tie Susan? If it could be shorter times and shorter lengths perhaps that would improve the behavior. This is a bit late for teething problems but only a check of the mouth would be sure. I would also consider substituting a light chain (though I have seen some horses that will chew on the chain making a horrible noise) or perhaps a short length of semi rigid material to tie with. I have seen some that place the tie through a length of stiff hose.
DrO
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Chris Stevens
Member
Username: Stevens

Post Number: 148
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 8:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan,

My aged gelding always did the same thing, from the time I first got him at 12 until he died at 31. I ended up taking two approaches; first of all, I cross-tied him whenever possible. Secondly, I bought a spool of rope and learned how to braid on a hook since he went through about 2 lead ropes a year.

Good Luck,
Chris
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Dennis Taylor
Member
Username: Dtranch

Post Number: 290
Registered: 3-2003
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Susan ... consider yourself lucky they are only chewing. I have one mare who takes it too a whole new level. She is an expert at untying the ropes. I call her "houdini". If the barn door is not latched, she will get it open and come in to the barn. If her stall door isn't latched, she slides it open and comes on out on her own. I have a doorway at the back of the barn where I pull in the grain wagon. I have a 10 foot gate which is padlocked. The other day, she was in there eating hay. The gate was laying on the ground, still padlocked on the one end.
DT
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Susan Turner
Member
Username: Disco1

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2001
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 1:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks everyone for the suggestions; as for how long are they tied and how long is the rope, it doesn't matter, with Kali (the mare) especially, she's on it the minute her halter is on, she's trying to catch the lead in her teeth. I guess I just need to be vigilant, and buy lots of ropes. I have used chain on another horse that used to do the same thing, but these guys are just nuts about it. The chain can't be good for their teeth long-term, either.
I did try tying a short piece of rope to her halter, to give her a toy, but that gets really annoying, particularly as she gets it way in the back of her mouth and just goes to town with it.
Oh well, maybe she'll grow up someday. Kali is purebred Arab and the gelding, Thor, is a Xbred QH/Percheron, and with very different personalities. She's curious about everything, and he's scared of everything!
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Sue G
Member
Username: Warwick

Post Number: 483
Registered: 4-2002
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 2:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wonder what would happen if you dipped the lead ropes in something particularly nasty tasting? My guys are like beavers when around unprotected wood so I spray all surfaces with that "No Chew" product (can't remember the exact name) and it seems to deter them.

I've also resorted to using straight Tabasco sauce if I've run out of the store bought product, although it doesn't seem to work quite as well. They appear to like spicy food...
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Lisa Brand
Member
Username: Trouble

Post Number: 130
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 4:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My gelding does this, too. I resorted to letting him use an old lead rope that I cut the snap off of and letting him "chew" on it while I groomed, tied or whatever. I think he does it out of boredom, but he will try to get just about anything into his mouth at least once!

He usually chews on it a little, then gets bored and he's done. He still tries to get the lead rope or reins in his mouth any time he can. So much for working on showmanship! We'd be laughed out of the ring!
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Dove2
Member
Username: Dove2

Post Number: 86
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Thursday, Oct 5, 2006 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I once saw a trainer with a horse that liked to chew rope like yours. What he did was to put the rope in the horse's mouth, towards the back like where a bit would sit, and just hold it there, one hand on each side of the horse's mouth, tight against the back of the mouth. The horse didn't like that after a few minutes of not being able to spit it out or chew it, and got to where he didn't like it at all. After about 2 or 3 minutes, the trainer removed the rope and offered it to the horse. The horses didn't want it anymore.
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Dawson
Member
Username: Dawson

Post Number: 37
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Monday, Oct 16, 2006 - 5:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I purchased a young parrot a few years back, and was told by the breeder that when mature his beak would be capable of several hundred pounds of pressure. i.e. if he bites-it'll hurt big time

I asked her what I should do because all baby parrots go through a teething stage where they have to try and put everything in their mouths/beaks. And this is when the behavior of biting starts.

The breeders advice: Do not put my fingers in his mouth/beak and I will not have a problem.

Oh brother!
well she was right, common sense if I did not make my fingers available then the parrot would not pick up the behavior.
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