Head shy? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 05:41 PM Thread Starter
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Head shy?

okay my moms 3 year old paint mustang. Is head shy around his ear. He doesnt mine his face or around his eye. Its hard to get a bridle on him or brush his mane. I've tryed to put my hand there and keep it there till he stops freaking out and then move my hand and do it again and he still freaks! Everything I try doesnt work!

Any advice? Anyone deal with this?

He's very stubbron. And will loung all the time even when tired and sweating bad will still go around then come to me. He seems to dislike me and I don't try to be mean to him I ride him 4 times a week and most the time its in a halter only, and no saddle.
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:00 PM
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I think what you are doing right now is going to eventually work. You have got to desensitize him to having his ear touched. As soon as he relaxes, move your hand away. Repeat, and repeat some more. It will eventually work. The main thing to remember is to keep your hand there no matter how much he freaks out, and release as soon as he relaxes.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:07 PM
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Another thing to try is to do the exact opposite. Rub his head for a minute, then sweep your hand back over his ears quickly. Do it so that your hand is away before he even has a chance to react- your pretty much catching him by surprise. This way he can't build up anxiety. Keep doing this, and when he doesn't flip out after you do it, start making your sweeps slower. Eventually, you should be able to stop the sweep mid way with no issues. I did this with an extremely ear shy horse, and in one day was able to keep my hand on her ears with no problems. Within two weeks, she had no problem whatsoever with her ears and would gladly let you bridle her. Mind you, this has to be done three times (3 swipes, then walk away) every 30 minutes all day for it to work that quickly.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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he's always tense and scared at everything.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:29 PM
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So doing a quieter approach might be best. Give him a chance to realize what you are doing, so he doesn't anticipate his ears being touched with fear :).
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarleyWood View Post
hes always tense and scared at everything.

Then you need to back off everything else and just spend time with him chilling until he can be calm around you, you will not achieve anything until he knows that with you he is safe and secure, from that you build
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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He's fine in the saddle and when leading and tonight bareback walked around the yard and over a bridge and other things just fine. But with out the other horses he seems like the worlds out to get him.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 01:57 AM
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Just keep doing what you're doing. He needs to be desensitized to a lot of things as per your other responses.

Just needs some patience and time. Don't make a huge deal about it, he'll soon learn to love it. My boy did :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 04:21 PM
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Think about what kind of horse he is. A BLM mustang I assume. His instincts are going to be much more hightened then a horse who was handled from birth or even one who was out in the safety of a field. Gaining his trust and respect would be the most beneficial to you. It's going to be something you can't rush either, he needs to decide that.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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he's from a sale and was with people his whole life and people have said he looks a lot like a mustang (people who have been around horses all their lifes and we agreed) and he was trained by amish his training isamazing but they did riding in a month and they did a great job, and his ground training is very good, but he hates his ears messed with and we have to leave his halter on for a few days beacuse he will sometimes will try to get away and come at you not meaning to and get you with his head.
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