Overcoming Twitching

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Overcoming Twitching

This is a discussion on Overcoming Twitching within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Ear twitching in horses
  • Twitched ears horse

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    02-05-2009, 10:04 PM
Green Broke
Overcoming Twitching

It's pretty obvious that Rogue had been twitched. She is SUPER sensitive about her ears, so much so that I can't even brush up against them with my hand without her moving away. It makes for a very difficult time bridling her.

How does one help a horse get over being twitched? I know it can be done. So far I have just been persistent, and have not hurt her in anyway. Each time I hold her grain bucket, I try and caress her ears on each side. She gets so irritated by this, she'll cock her neck and only get her head in as far as she possibly can to get grain.

I'd be open to all suggestions.

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    02-05-2009, 10:15 PM
Super Moderator
Ugh... why do people twitch ears? I hate that! It takes a really long time to get over that and sometimes they are always funny about the ears after that.

Keep petting her, keep grooming her and messing with her mane and slowly moving up towards the ears. Pet her while she's eating and always get close to the ears. Do it over and over and over again... you'll do it... over time...

Your poor baby....
    02-05-2009, 10:16 PM
Unless she had her ears twisted to get the twitch on her nose I don't see how her being thing about her ears has anything to do with being twitched. However, how to help her recover from her quibble is more the point of the question so here we go:

Try putting a towel over her head - not over her eyes at first so that she doesnt flip out but put it on her neck like a blanket and gently slide it foward unitl it is over her ears - leave it there as long as she will handle and continue to do this every day over the next few weeks and you should find that she becomes less sensitive to things touching her ears, then you should be able to start slowly rubbing your hands over them coming from her neck foward to the ears in the same manner you used the towel in. Give it a go - it has never failed for me and I have had some dead set wing nuts over the years
    02-05-2009, 10:17 PM
Montana was a bit funky with his ear/top of his head being touched.

I just did a lot of approach and retreat with him, and when I would get up to where he started to get antsy, I'd scratch him in one of his favorite places, or I'd pet him, to try and calm him down and then I would move my hand away and keep petting him.

I just suggest a lot of approach and retreat. Work you way up to her ear, don't go for it straight away.
    02-05-2009, 10:19 PM
Super Moderator
Some people consider twisting a horses ear "twitch" and that could very well be what they did to her.
    02-05-2009, 10:27 PM
Green Broke
As far as things touching her ears, she's alright with say a lead. We can rub a lead almost all over her body, and she stands there like "What?" But when it's a hand close to her ear, she gets a lil leery about it.
    02-05-2009, 10:32 PM
Originally Posted by farmpony84    
some people consider twisting a horses ear "twitch" and that could very well be what they did to her.
thanks I di know that
    02-05-2009, 11:16 PM
Yea my gelding had been ear twitched really bad. And had scars on his eas from it. He wont let me put anything neer his ears. He's fine with halter and bridle but anything else her freaks out.
    02-05-2009, 11:48 PM
The key here is to not make it about touching her ear. Don't be direct lined in your thinking. It's not about the ear! It's about her gaining confidence in you.

Do a ton of approach and retreat. As you rub her slowly work your way with your hand up to her ear and the moment she tenses stop and stay put until she relaxes, then retreat to a place where she is comfortable. Then repeat.

Once you can touch her ears and she is confident with you messing with them, here is a cool little thing to do. At the very tip of the ear there is an accupressure point, so if you hold there with a couple fingers and gently pull the ear out to the side slightly it can really relax a horse. Iv'e done this with friend's horses when they've been at shows and they really settle. It's fascinating to watch them go to their "happy place" but they'll only do that when they trust you around their ears.
    02-06-2009, 12:06 AM
Green Broke
Awesome tips everyone! I do a approach and then retreat kind of thing, but I will get better at it. I kind of approach, and then she jerks her head away. So, I'll approach to the point of where I know she's going to get a little jittery, pat and then retreat.

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