Doesn't like her ears being touched? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 11-29-2011, 09:07 AM Thread Starter
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Doesn't like her ears being touched?

Okay, I just recently purchased a horse and she HATES her ears being tOuched! She try's to bite you if you touch them. Could it be mites? Or abuse? I know that people twist ears or smack crops between horses ears for punishment. So, what do you think is wrong?
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post #2 of 5 Old 11-29-2011, 09:14 AM
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If she's trying to bite you I'd give her a whack too- not between the ears or on her face though.

Does she flinch when you put a headcollar on? Bridle? I would get teeth checked hust incase its more than just ears, and then if you can get a headcollar on, try a knotted headcollar and teach her with pressure and release down so you and the vet can take a closer look without being in danger of losing fingers- I'm not an ear expert however,other people may have some clearer ideas.
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post #3 of 5 Old 11-29-2011, 07:54 PM
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Some horses just dont like there ears being touched. Not saying there isnt anything wrong but- My old gelding had scarring around his ears from being twitched so he refused to let you touch them and my new boy doesnt really like them being touched but will let you sometimes.

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post #4 of 5 Old 07-13-2012, 11:06 PM
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Many horses don't like their ears being touched, some develop the phobia just from being low man in the herd but most often it is caused by abuse. Many big breeders who don't have time to train foals, they just churn 'em out, will often drag them by the ears. Also reaching your hand up quickly toward her ears can be a really threatening position, it could be a smack or a pat, she'd rather not stick around to find out.

This being said, it doesn't matter what the cause is, it's a problem, especially if it inhibits your ability to tack or groom her. My suggestion is to practice touching her. Put her on a lunge line in an empty arena, make sure her focus is on you (at least one ear on you). Start somewhere she's comfortable, probably her shoulder or back, and just rub her, make it a pleasurable rub not a fly tickle or a smack. Most horses enjoy a good scratch behind the withers or on their chest between their front legs. From your starting point work your way to areas you know she's comfortable, rubbing her all over. Watch her body carefully, if she looks uncomfortable with a spot move away from it slowly then slowly back toward it until she's comfortable. If she moves quickly away from you or acts out aggressively (with a snap or stop) immediately send her out for a lap or two on the lunge line, that's not acceptable. When she's back in work again where she's comfortable then moving on toward less comfortable areas. Work your way up her neck toward her ears, the moment she looks concerned move back away and tell her it's alright, continue this until you are touching her ears all over. Practice this a while every day and I'm sure she'll quickly overcome this fear.

Good luck :)
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post #5 of 5 Old 07-13-2012, 11:17 PM
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My mare hates her ears being touched too because she was twitched with her previous owner. It made it really difficult to bridle her and then she started getting used to me touching her ears. Only one of them I can touch with no problem, the other one she will throw her head and I can't mess with it.
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