09-04-2012, 02:38 PM
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I have an ear shy horse. He generally raises his head during bridling and I have to step on tip toes.
We are working on many of the other techniques mentioned here, but I would stress to continue touching until the head dips at all. The more the better, but obviously a dipped head will demonstrate calm/relaxed on the horse, but also is a tool for training the horse to dip his head for bridling. The release of the ear is the horse's praise and learning so give him little wins, any dipping even an inch and reward by letting go of the ear.
Also, do only little steps of touching. Touch the forelock / base of the ears only until the head dips. When it dips nicely and quickly, move to more ear touching. Expect the head to go back up and work this level of stimulation until the head goes back down. The head should lower quicker and quicker as you increase the touch and pressure.
Check for ticks. They can compound the problem. If you find any sores or issues with the ears that could be painful, treat the problem and do not work on ear issues for a good 3 days following the treatment so you know that all pain is gone.