Why Do Horses Bite Each Other? [Top 5 Reasons]

By Zunnun Ahmed •  Updated: 08/13/22 •  6 min read

Horses make great riding partners and pets too. They are very good when it comes to training but at times, they have some confusing behaviors.

If you have more than one horse, you probably have seen them biting each other. But why do horses bite each other?

There are many reasons why horses bite each other. Horse biting can be both positive and negative. Therefore, you should understand why your horse is biting other horses or even you before taking the right measures.

Continue reading the rest of the guide to find out the main reasons why a horse bites.

What does it mean when horses bite each other?

There are endless reasons why horses bite. If you notice this behavior with your horse, the following could be the most common reasons for horse bites.

[1] Allogrooming: Horses do groom each other, and in the process, they can bite each other on the neck or wither. While Allogrooming is not bad behavior, you should not encourage your horse to groom you. If you are brushing your horse and it tries to groom you, push its head away because this is not appropriate behavior to engage with humans.

[2] Form of communication: Just like humans, horses also communicate with each other. Horses can bite other horses when they want to communicate with them.

[3] Biting when playing: Horses are playful especially when they are young. They can bite each other when they are playing with a compassionate horse, and this is a sign of excitement.

[4] Protection: Another common reason why horses bite each other is to protect themselves or their territory. This happens when a horse bites another rival horse to secure its territory or space. In other cases, horses can bite each to protect their food. This is a sign of defending their food when eating.

[5] When scared: Another instance when a horse can bite another horse is when they are scared or hurt. When your horse is hurt or feeling pain, they can bite themselves or other horses.

horses bite each other

Do horses bite people?

Of course, they do! Horses bite other horses, animals, people, and inanimate objects. If you have visited various ranches, most of them have warnings that horses may bite.

According to research carried out on animal related injuries, 22% of prominent injuries resulted from horse bites.

Horses bite people because of many reasons. I will take you through some of the common reasons why they bite people.

Sign of violence 

Horses bite people to show their aggression. This is a common behavior among stallions who have excess energy. They can bite you if they have not been engaged in productive activities. Beginners are not encouraged to own stallions because they need tactics when handling them.

Related: 7 Horse Treats Without Molasses [Quick & Important Facts]


A horse can bite its handler if he is uncomfortable with feeling ill. Before you punish your horse for biting you, you should understand the reason why he is biting. It could be he is in pain, has an infection, or feels uncomfortable. A veterinarian should do a physical examination to find out if he has any health issues.

Means of communication

Horse-biting behavior can also be a sign that your horse is trying to communicate with you or wants to get your attention. You should not encourage this behavior because it can be dangerous when your horse bites people.

How can I stop a horse from biting?

The first step to preventing your horse from biting is understanding why they are biting you, other people, or other horses. It can be tough to train your horse again to stop biting depending on how bad he bites. 

If the bites are severe, the best thing to do is to get help from an equine behaviorist or a professional trainer. Below are some tips that can help you stop your horse from biting.

Build trust with your horse

You should act as a leader so that your horse knows you are in charge. By doing this, your horse is unlikely to exhibit behaviors such as biting. Horses show aggression when they question you as a leader. You should build trust with your horse, and this will prevent bad behavior.

Related: Is Molasses Good or Bad for Horses?

Engage your horse

Horses can develop this bad behavior because you are not giving them enough chance to expend their high energy. Exercising your horse is one of the best ways they can release the extra energy.

Additionally, you can give them more hay or grass when they are idle to ensure they do not develop the habit of nipping other people.

Regular training

If your horse tends biting people and other horses, you should train him to change this behavior. Your training should be consistent to get better results. Teach your horse how to be respectful and don’t provide treats until they learn they learn how to respect you.

Start at an early age

Horse-biting habits can develop when horses are young. This is because young horses love to explore using their mouths. If you don’t stop this behavior at an early age, you will carry it until adulthood. Train your horse when they are young so that they should avoid touching you with their mouths.

Seek professional assistance

If you have a very aggressive horse, you can get help from professionals. Experienced horse trainers can help to stop horse biting behavior especially if it is serious and dangerous.

Related: Learn how much cost your horse for just 30 days! We will help you and your horse develop a strong bond that lasts.


Horse biting is a natural behavior in horses and that is why you see them biting each other.

Horses communicate through bites and it can be friendly nips to show affection or aggressive bites to move away from another horse.

They also bite people for various reasons but this behavior should not be encouraged because it can be dangerous if they bite people.

Understanding the reasons why your horse bites are essential to help you correct that behavior. I hope you have a better understanding of horse-biting behavior and what you can do to curb this behavior. If things get out of your hand when correcting horse biting, don’t hesitate to contact professional horse trainers. 

Zunnun Ahmed

We are a group of horse enthusiasts. We want to provide information and tips to help others learn more about horses, how to care for them, and how to enjoy them.

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