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Ear shy horse please help

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  • How to stop an ear shy horse
  • Head shy saddlebred

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    09-04-2012, 05:13 PM
  #11
Weanling
I don't know any other method, other than the one that I use for a head shy horse. I start with them either in a stall or some relatively small enclosure with no halter or anything, so the horse can leave. I start scratching the horse somewhere at it enjoys, even if that is on their rump. I gradually make my way toward their head (ears), stopping to let them get comfortable with where I'm scratching. When they decide that it's enough scratching, they can leave, but I try to stop before then. If time permits I do this several times a day. I always make it to their head without a major fight or them getting worked up.
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    09-05-2012, 08:37 AM
  #12
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaintedFury    
I don't know any other method, other than the one that I use for a head shy horse. I start with them either in a stall or some relatively small enclosure with no halter or anything, so the horse can leave. I start scratching the horse somewhere at it enjoys, even if that is on their rump. I gradually make my way toward their head (ears), stopping to let them get comfortable with where I'm scratching. When they decide that it's enough scratching, they can leave, but I try to stop before then. If time permits I do this several times a day. I always make it to their head without a major fight or them getting worked up.
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Scratching a horse is good, its something they really enjoy and seem to find less worrying than 'patting' if they are a little nervy - maybe because scratching each other is a social thing in a herd
I totally agree that the stable is the best thing to do this and not making the horse feel restricted is good too - we actually found with our mare when we first had her - she was very defensive - that if she felt threatened and too restricted by the ear handling she would actually try to attack us - and she has a lot of bulk to do that. She is now a real sweetheart, its all about building up trust but I think if she was handled badly again she would revert back to her old ways
     
    09-05-2012, 08:34 PM
  #13
Foal
When I first bought my horse, he had a hard fast rule - Thou Shalt Not Touch My Ears. Period. My mistake was thinking I could clip his ears right off. No way. So, we went back to basics - I will touch your ears. At first he would pull away in a huff. But, I kept at it and now I can fondle, fold, stick my fingers in (no, he does not appreciate that at all). Still can't clip em, but he's a TB and doesn't have hairy ears anyway. Also, I went to a cordless clipper - something about that cord whapping him in the neck did not go well. Now, I can do his bridle path without him in a halter if I need to.
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    09-05-2012, 09:56 PM
  #14
Started
Ticks, and the aural plaque mentioned are main things to consider. And make sure you do not allow him to make this a battle that he wins all the time. It may just be that no one has ever told him, yes I am touching your ears.

And as for ear twitching. It is not a bad thing per se.

I worked Saddlebreds and we used to ear twitch them and not a one of them was head shy either, not one.

We did not, however, use the "grab 'em, bend 'em and twist 'em off at the roots" method that you oftentimes see on TV.

We simply ran hand up neck, took hold of ear, and gently twisted, no bending, no pulling, just partial twist too. Slightly more twist if horse acting up. It worked perfectly.

And as I said, this was in training barn, and these horses were not head shy and did not mind having their ears handled at all. These were Saddlebred Show Horses, and very expensive, and were handled daily, as well as clipped, braided and put into tailsets.

For that matter, it was also routine to float teeth ourselves, and clean sheaths, without tranqing.

The problems come from someone not knowing how to ear twitch correctly, and using the wrong method.
     
    09-06-2012, 03:38 AM
  #15
Foal
He also will not load onto a large horse lorry as that's what he was twitched for apparently so I'm assuming he was twitched and dragged on an it's stayed with him, I will use the techniques people have suggested thanks
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    09-06-2012, 08:10 AM
  #16
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomine    
Ticks, and the aural plaque mentioned are main things to consider. And make sure you do not allow him to make this a battle that he wins all the time. It may just be that no one has ever told him, yes I am touching your ears.

And as for ear twitching. It is not a bad thing per se.

I worked Saddlebreds and we used to ear twitch them and not a one of them was head shy either, not one.

We did not, however, use the "grab 'em, bend 'em and twist 'em off at the roots" method that you oftentimes see on TV.

We simply ran hand up neck, took hold of ear, and gently twisted, no bending, no pulling, just partial twist too. Slightly more twist if horse acting up. It worked perfectly.

And as I said, this was in training barn, and these horses were not head shy and did not mind having their ears handled at all. These were Saddlebred Show Horses, and very expensive, and were handled daily, as well as clipped, braided and put into tailsets.

For that matter, it was also routine to float teeth ourselves, and clean sheaths, without tranqing.

The problems come from someone not knowing how to ear twitch correctly, and using the wrong method.
This type of action used to distract a horse is a completely different thing to using a 'mechanical' twitch on a horses ear. Most horses enjoy having their ears rubbed but the pressure of a twitch on such a sensitive area only inflicts pain
     
    09-21-2012, 02:54 PM
  #17
Weanling
Best way I've found to handle an ear-shy horse, if he can be haltered or roped, is to hold the lead with one hand and put some weight on it, then slide your free hand up his forehead in a quick sweeping motion, right up past his ear. Touch the ear, but don't stop or try to rub it. Just sweep the hand right up over and past his ear. He'll jerk his head up, but normally not very far, because the stimulus is gone before he gets his head moving. Don't try to keep him from jerking. Just keep a steady weight on the lead and the weight on his head from your hand pressure on the lead will quickly make him tired of jerking. Horses don't like to waste energy. Do this repeatedly for a few minutes, first one side, then the other.

You might have to do this in several sessions. Don't get impatient and try to do it all at once. He will eventually get tired of jerking his head, since the stimulus (you touching his ears) is gone before he even jerks. Once he quits jerking, you can start slowing down on the sweep until you are rubbing up his forehead and over his ears, and eventually you will be able to handle his ears.

It normally doesn't take me more than two or three sessions of this to get a horse to let me handle his ears.
     
    09-21-2012, 04:58 PM
  #18
Showing
Another technique I have used is to stand by the horse's neck facing in such a way you can hold the lead with your left and place your hand mid way up on his neck. Hold it on the crest and just rest it there. If he doesn't begin to fuss move your hand about 3" closer to his ears. When your hand arrives at where he starts to fuss, hold your hand there. He may even try to go forward so just bend his head a little toward you. Try not to remove your right hand until he is either still or lowers his head even and inch or two. Remove it quickly. Then place it there again. He will learn that when he stops moving/lowers his head, you take your hand away. Don't think you have to accomplish your goal in one session. Just move your hand in smaller increments toward his ears. By now he should have figured out how this works, if not, just do as you have been. When you get to his ears rub your thumb around the base. If he's got bug bites there, he'll soon appreciate this.
     
    09-21-2012, 05:02 PM
  #19
Foal
He's come on leaps and bounds to the point I could of hung from his ears the other day! He was very well behaved think its just trust and he's began to trust me more now so very pleased with him next step will be a bridle when I have him ready don't wanna go at him like a bull at a gate x
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    09-21-2012, 05:17 PM
  #20
Weanling
Haha. I should have watched the John Lyons video before I posted. Yep. That's the way I do it.
     

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