No one wants to be bitten by a horse, and no one wants a horse that bites. That’s for certain. It’s a very intentional move from a horse unless he bites a finger while being hand fed. Let’s have a look at some ways that this bad habit gets started and ways you help protect yourself.

Playing with the horse’s lips and muzzle. With some horses you can play Mr. Ed with them all day and they are completely fine with that. With others, especially foals, upper lip and lower lip play can turn into a cute game of “gotcha.”

If they win and score, you’ll be very sorry and will realize it isn’t cute or a good idea. Some horses just don’t like their faces touched very much. If you don’t have much experience, pay attention to the body to the body language of the horse.

The reason it’s not very often that someone very experienced get bitten is because they are ALWAYS reading the horses head (especially the ears) and the body language. It’s a lot about prevention.

There’s more to this story in the current issue of the Times Virginian newspaper. Pick up a copy or view the full article in the e-edition version with a subscription.