Head-scratching on people - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 66
• Horses: 2
Head-scratching on people

Ok. I've had Magnum for six years. And for six years, we go through an itchy spell every spring where he will absolutely knock you flat on your rear end by trying to scratch his big, itchy head on you. I have NEVER allowed this and I'm strict with the students who ride him in lessons that they never allow it, either. I know it was allowed before I got him, but that was SIX YEARS AGO! What can I do to break him of this? I've got lesson kids afraid to lead him to the arena, lest he whack them in the face with his gigantic skull! HUMANS ARE NOT SCRATCHING POSTS!
Magnum Opus is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 10:43 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Location: New York
Posts: 48
• Horses: 1
My trainer always has a nail in her pocket for occasions like these. She has one horse that turns to bite when cinching or cleaning her feet so as soon as the horse turns her head to bite she comes smack into the nail (dull nail). The message sent is if a horse is putting their head anywhere or too close into your space they hit the nail and eventually they straighten out and get the fact to not bite or push with their head.
Undante is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 1,487
• Horses: 0
I would never recommend using a nail or anything sharp near or on a horses face. I can only imagine if something went wrong....and the vet bill for it too.
Posted via Mobile Device
xlionesss likes this.
GamingGrrl is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 11:43 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,567
• Horses: 7
One solid smack along with a verbal reprimand. If you can sense it coming, use the verbal. If that doesn't change his mind, follow up with the smack.
Wallaby and GamingGrrl like this.

Learning never stops
aforred is offline  
post #5 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 66
• Horses: 2
I wouldn't use a nail, he's accident-prone enough. I can see him putting an eye out. As for a verbal reprimand and smack, those I have tried, but he just tries TO SCRATCH HIS FACE ON YOUR SMACKING HAND. Is there something separate I can use to address the itchiness? I brush his itchy forehead all the time, and extra before lessons.
Magnum Opus is offline  
post #6 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Powhatan, Virginia
Posts: 877
• Horses: 2
It could very well be dry skin, try an extra supplement to avoid this. Lots of supplements will help your horses skin and coat
xlionesss is offline  
post #7 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 11:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 572
• Horses: 1
strange tho ive never seen a horse scratch its face on a tree or wall..i always was told it was a sign of dominance...if look at how the wild horses interacts theres deffinatly no head scratching on the alpha horse
TBforever is offline  
post #8 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NW Oregon
Posts: 2,400
• Horses: 0
Maybe start out the day with a good head brushing with a somewhat stiff brush? Repeat if necessary.
I'm not opposed to a smack if needed. Just watch out for the eyes. I'd rather they didn't walk so close though.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
Dustbunny is offline  
post #9 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Desert from Hell, CA.
Posts: 1,377
• Horses: 5
Hm, you know, I'm not huge on smacking horses unless they REALLY need it, but I'm also not big on head scratching. i figure, I am not a tree!!

In my experience, I had a feral shetland mare that I was taming down. In that process, she decided that she HATED me touching her chest, especially with a brush! She'd try to *bite* me!!!! Actually did a time or two. Now, yelling or smacking don't work with her, since she already had a huge wariness/distrust/fear of humans.

That being said, one day I was grooming her chest with a Furminator. If you aren't familiar, it's essentially an electric shaver blade mounted on a brush. Anyway she dipped her head down to bite and caught the metal blade on her mouth/teeth. Her head went back REALLY FAST! She has not tried to bite me since!

Long story short, the lessons they teach themselves seem to stick pretty well with no "reminders". I wouldn't use a nail, but maybe if you find another way to make it REALLY REALLY uncomfortable to scratch on you, he won't dare do it again.

Originally Posted by Jareth, the Goblin King
I move the stars for no one.
RIP Pumpkin: 2012-8/26/13
demonwolfmoon is offline  
post #10 of 19 Old 06-10-2013, 12:39 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NE North Dakota
Posts: 169
• Horses: 8
My horses will try to do this after taking bridles/halters off. What we do is when they try to rub on you take your hand and slap them across the nose (it won't really hurt them, just show them what what they're doing to you is uncomfortable by doing something that's uncomfortable for them) and sternly say "NO!".This will show the horse that they've done something wrong. It's by no means a miracle "cure" but in the long run it will help.
Good Luck! :)
Kamakazi is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scratching to the point of bleeding! WyomingSissy Horse Health 24 08-03-2012 02:28 PM
Scratching her butt? Wallaby Horse Grooming 17 02-21-2012 02:37 PM
Scratching mane out HalfPass Horse Health 7 05-28-2010 08:45 AM
My horse is scratching the heck out of her neck! CountryGirl43 Horse Health 3 09-02-2008 01:10 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome