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Overcoming Twitching

This is a discussion on Overcoming Twitching within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

     
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        02-05-2009, 11:18 PM
      #11
    Started
    Sounds like a plan! Start to pay attention to the subtle things...when exactly does she tense? What do her eyes do? Where does her ear cock to? When does her head go up? When you start to tune in to those small things you can act quicker and gain her confidence quicker. Just be patient. Things will work out.
         
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        02-05-2009, 11:39 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    Our POA was really "ear" shy when we got him. I'm assuming they twisted his ears when they were branding him as he has about 5 brands, poor guy. It took a while but after about a year, we are doing great. He didn't enjoy being scratched anywhere so we started with the withers, etc. and once he trusted us, we moved up toward his head. He really likes to be scratched on his jaw and around his eyes and ears after being ridden, then we just worked up to the ears and as long as we move slowly, he's just fine. It does take a while if they've been abused. We're still working on his farrier and vet or anyone with something in their hand that "might" be a brand fears!
         
        02-06-2009, 12:54 AM
      #13
    Super Moderator
    I've worked with quite a few ear shy horses and basically what I would do with them was not mess with their ear (usually it was only one ear they were sensitive about so if she's sensitive about both I'm not sure how well this would work...) and just work on gaining their trust. Eventually they get to trust me so much that they seem to believe that I'm not going to hurt their ear and then they're mostly fine. One mare that I worked with was really shy about her left ear (but she freaked out about both to begin with which is where the trust thing comes in) so when I was bridling her I'd get the headstall (no forehead thingy or chinstrap, just a leather loop around her head) over that ear first so no pressure was put on it then slide it over the other ear. She'd still freak out if you put it on the wrong way but it was manageable. The POA that I knew had a split ear and he was really sensitive about that but once he got to know me and trust that I wasn't going to mess with it he was fine. By our second summer together I could touch that ear and rub it and everything and he couldn't care less, he actually liked it. Good luck! She'll get better eventually!
         
        02-06-2009, 08:35 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    She did seem a little more sensitive about one ear more than the other, (I think) only because she had burrs in one ear and not the other. Bridling her is a pain because do have brow bands, I have a headstall for her that is just a 1 ear, and I just bought a headstall setup, I wonder if I can take the brow band off of that? I'll have to check it out today.
         
        02-06-2009, 02:26 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Ear sensitivity can be from anything, mites, ticks,burrs, twisting, one too many rounds with an electric fence while trying to get that grass on the other side. Don't be too quick to judge. You'll have to earn her trust and go from there. Approach and retreat are your 2 best tools here. Don't forget to add a good dose of time in there. It can take 6 months plus to get to a point where she really trusts you with her ears. Don't give up and don't give in. Time and patience...all things horse take time and patience.
         
        02-06-2009, 04:06 PM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Thanks Amy and everyone!

    I did go out and lunge Rogue today, and I noticed a whole new issue.

    We did do some of the approach and retreat today. I didnt do too much with the ears, I figured she would appreciate a break from it for a day. But I did pat and scratch my way up to her halter, and then retreat from there. She didnt seem to mind that at all.

    I know time fixes all, and I am more than willing to wait as long as it takes. I just want her to know that I am not there to hurt her.
         
        02-06-2009, 08:01 PM
      #17
    Trained
    She'll figure that out over time.
         
        02-07-2009, 05:28 PM
      #18
    Foal
    I agree with everything that has been said. We have a little pony who came from Mexico and when they misbehaved, they would grab his ears and twist them around. It took about a year but he is getting better. A lot of it was trust as well as the get closer and closer then stop and get closer and closer again and then stop. We also sometimes used cookies as a reward when he would let us get closer to his ears. Not all the time so he didn't come to expect them, but sometimes. Good luck with Rouge!

    Just out of curiosity in your last post you mentioned you noticed a whole new issue. What was that? Does it have anything to do with her ears?
         

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