There are times when biting is a behavioral sign of hindgut sensitivity caused by ulcers in the colon. Ulcers can lead to colic, so it is critical to get a complete vet check on horses showing these signs. Please take time to review this explanation from John Hall, the President of Freedom Health, in view of studies recently conducted on horses and hindgut sensitity leading to colic.

Communication from John Hall, President of Freedom Health:

In reference to the blog post on the young lady that wrote about her horse “starting to bite when asked to canter”,  it is worth asking if there have been changes in the way this horse is fed and managed. Cantering requires more collection, which puts pressure from the hind legs on the abdomen, plus the horse appears not to like having any lower leg pressure from the rider. These are signals of hindgut sensitivity.

Usually, the horse will somehow put up with some discomfort, then finally rebel (which is totally against its instincts) as conditions worsen. When it does rebel, someone has to find out what is causing this, rather than assume it is simply a newly learned “bad behavior”.

Monty mentions spurs as a possible cause. We would suggest that, while we totally concur, it’s less likely if this hasn’t occurred previously (unless the young lady has just started with spurs). By far the most prevalent issue is colonic ulceration. Based on our most recent study, 88% of 262 horses had colonic ulcers.

Please study our White Paper on “Colic & Colonic Ulcers”. Most colics are “idiopathic”, the term used by vets to describe that they have no idea of what caused the colic. This covers virtually 19 of every 20 incidences. Tasha’s horse appears to be exhibiting some of the early signals of hind gut dysfunction: the paper is worth reading. Click here to view it as a PDF. Read more about Freedom Health and Succeed here:


I hope this helps, and that Tasha stays in touch.

John Hall
Freedom Health LLC
65 Aurora Industrial Pkwy
Aurora, OH 44202-8088