Can A Horse Bite Your Hand Off? (+ How To Stop Horse From Biting)

Horses are beautiful, smart, and strong creatures but over time they can also be dangerous. In order to control your horse well and enjoy the time, it is very important to gain your horse’s trust and respect.

People who have never owned a horse or those who are getting one for the very first time often have some questions.

Can a horse bite your hands or finger off? Can a horse bite kill you? And more.

In this article, you’ll learn the basics of horse bites, such as when and why horses bite, what to do when a horse bites your hands or fingers off, and more.

But first thing first let’s answer the question first;

Can a horse bite your hand off?

It is very rare for a horse to show aggression when you touch it, but it can happen. Yes, a horse can bite your hand off if it bites you around your elbow and lingers on it.

In most cases, if a horse grabs your hand, it can damage your bones and tissue, resulting in damage that may be irreversible. Therefore, you need to be cautious around horses that are not tamed.

Why do horses bite?

There are plenty of reasons why a horse may resort to biting. Let’s discuss the most common ones.

The horse may be sick

Yes, if a horse is suffering from a kind of illness or an infection, it can resort to biting as a coping mechanism or a sign of communicating its pain.

Therefore, if your horse is generally on good behavior and is acting out all of a sudden, it is best that you schedule a doctor’s appointment to rule out any possible cause of infection.


When horses groom each other, they often resort to causal biting as a source of showing their affection.

However, this behavior should be discouraged with human beings; it can cause injuries (as horses cannot tell how much force they are exerting).

Therefore, if you notice your horse biting you casually (even if it’s mild) you should put a stop to it to avoid any accidents in the future.

Showing affection

Yes, your horse can also be a toxic lover (joking). Studies show that when horses want to show appreciation or affection to their owner, they can resort to biting.

However, as a pet owner, you should discourage this behavior whenever you notice it. As it can be dangerous to you, and your loved ones in the future (trust me you don’t want to deal with bite infections).

Feeling Troubled or Discomfort

Just how you can get a punch from your brother if you rub him the wrong way, you can get bit by a horse too. It is important to look out for reasons that are making your horse feel uncomfortable.

For example, there can be a possible infection around the sheath area or a possible ache. Discomfort if ignored for long, can result in aggressive behavior – which can lead to biting.

How to stop horses from biting?

Now that we know why your horse is so fond of biting, let’s look for solutions!

Plan activities

Courses require some activities in their life to be stimulated because they have tons of energy that they need to put somewhere.

So if you keep them in one place for longer periods, they can resort to biting for stimulation. This is why a horse owner should plan some activities to keep your horse occupied and to find a productive way to utilize their energies.

You can take your horse for a walk or run or play games with it so that by the end of the day the horses are too tired to bite someone.

Discourage aggressive behavior

This is one of the most fundamental aspects of stopping your horse from biting. When your horse tries to bite you for the first time, do not look over this behavior and discourage it as soon as you can.

Because when you let go of it a few times, the horse thinks that there’s nothing wrong with it and continues to do it over time which can develop into a habit.

What to do if a horse bites you?

When you are bitten by a horse you need to clean the side of the wound thoroughly with soap and water or an anti-bacterial wipe so that there are no germs present to cause infection.

However, if the trauma is significant and the bite is over your joint and foot or a prosthetic device then it is best that you see a doctor so that they can rule out the solution for you.

On top of this if you’re someone who suffers from weakened immunity then you should definitely see a doctor so that they can rule out any possible causes of an infection.

Is horse bite dangerous?

Yes and no – horse bites are sometimes safe if they are just playful nibs that hurt a little but don’t cause major wounds.

If the teeth of the horse penetrate your skin then it is a cause of contention. According to studies, a large number of bacteria have been linked with horse bite infections in people including Actinobacillus, Pseudomonas. This means that these viruses can be transmitted to people via horse bites.

Moving on, rabies is another point of contention whenever a human being is bit by a mammal. Therefore, a horse bite can be dangerous but it depends on the type of wound that you have experienced.

Similarly, if a horse extends a lot of force then a bite can also chomp your fingers off or cause damage to your muscle tissue.

How powerful is a horse bite?

A horse bite can be pretty powerful. If you calculate precisely, the force from a horse bite can go up to 500 pounds per square inch (psi), which is a lot when you compare it to a human bite – which is around 200 pounds per square inch.


Can a horse bite make you sick?

Yes, a horse bite can make you sick as you can get infections from the saliva of a horse. Similarly, a bite from a mammal can cause rabies too.

Can a horse bite cause infection?

Yes, a horse bite can cause infections which include Burkholderia, listeria, and Hendra.

Can a horse bite your fingers off?

Yes, if the horse bites you for a longer period or Puts on more pressure then it can bite your fingers off.

Can a horse bite break bone?

No, a fracture from a horse bite is a rare instance. However, a horse bite can cause infection if it is not treated in time.

Can a horse bite you if you pat him?

Yes, if your horse is agitated or angry at something and you batten on the back then it can bite you. However, the most number of bites from horses occur when you are feeding them and then they unintentionally bite you.


Keeping a horse as a pet is an experience that most people want to have once in their life. However, keeping a horse can be a dangerous task as it has the potential to bite you.

However, with adequate training, you can make them forget their habit of biting.

But if you have been bit by a horse then it’s best that you see a doctor to rule out any possible cause of infection in the future.