A Nip on the {Rump}

Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training, Ranch Life, Uncategorized

When it comes to horses, I grew up hearing my mom say “Pay attention, and trust him as far as you can throw him”. Until I started breaking colts, I didn’t fully appreciate the truth in that statement. Of course I have way more trust in my horses than the amount of distance I could physically throw any of them, but the metaphor is still worthy of rolling around in my brain now and then.

Spring time makes for itchy horses! Flies, mosquitoes, deer flies, horse flies, gnats, ticks, dead hair, dandruff; all reasons for horses to feel the need to scratch, rub, and roll. If you’ve watched horses in a herd situation for very long, I am sure you will have noticed how they use one another to get those non-reachable spots- withers and girth, especially- with their teeth. I imagine it is just instinct for them, rather than kindness, to reciprocate the nips and rubs back. So, when you go out and try to scratch your horse’s belly,  or withers, or ears, just know they tend to want to do the same for  you.

horsescratch, nip

My horses love being scratched, but bless their hearts, they can’t seem to understand why I don’t want them trying to help me out. And sometimes I forget… I forget my filly isn’t quite trained not to treat me like another horse; hence the nice big black and blue tattoo of horse teeth currently on the side of my arm. You would think I would learn… I believe there was a time when I had a matching mark on my rump not all that long ago from her brother.

I think she was as surprised as I was when she got horse- nipped on the side of the neck, and popped in the nose. With a look of indignant shock, she took her little nippers and jumped sideways… and I walked off to nurse my pride in private!

lucy2, nip

She has mastered the female look of disgust with her human.

Until next time,



Posted in: Featured, Horse Care, Horse Training, Ranch Life, Uncategorized

About Richelle Barrett

Richelle is a part time rancher, home office manager, full time wife, mother, and Customer Service Rep at the local telephone cooperative. She was born, raised, and lives on her parent's ranch in the North- Central part of Montana; and spends most days...

View all posts by Richelle Barrett