Originally Posted by LoveTheSaddlebreds
about the hitting the horse in the mouth then rubbing their face thing -- I waited a few seconds after I popped her in the mouth, then rubbed her face a few times to make sure she wasn't head shy. She is still not head shy and she doesnt bite. I've done this with a lot of horses and it works pretty well.
I am strongly against hitting the head, though, because my friend's horse is extremely head shy. I don't know how exactly to explain it, but I hit the bottom of the muzzle so they don't really see it coming, and they don't become headshy... does that make sense at all? :P
That sounds like what we used on a horse that came to us headshy. He would paw the ground or bite you when cross-tied, so a quick pop to the bottom of his muzzle or even his shoulder really got his attention. He had NO idea where it came from...lol, but he associated it with the actions.
I would not smack a horse that was already headshy or had been abused, but for a normal horse a quick smack is not a real issue if you ensure that there are lost of nice things that happen around the face as well.
I don't think there is really much you can do on the whole getting the horse checked out if he is a lesson horse. You could suggest it, but that's about all. (correct me if I'm wrong)