Rescued a head shy horse, and we're having difficulty trying to care for him!
   

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Rescued a head shy horse, and we're having difficulty trying to care for him!

This is a discussion on Rescued a head shy horse, and we're having difficulty trying to care for him! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Head shy horses training
  • Head shy horse bad teeth

Like Tree8Likes
  • 1 Post By lilruffian
  • 1 Post By Taffy Clayton
  • 4 Post By Palomine
  • 1 Post By PunksTank
  • 1 Post By PunksTank

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    08-20-2012, 08:33 PM
  #1
Foal
Rescued a head shy horse, and we're having difficulty trying to care for him!

My step father brought home a horse about a week ago from an auction in my town. Whoever owned the horse before us, definitely took terrible care of him. His hooves are cracked and infected with thresh. His teeth need to be floated, and we're positive he was abused/not trained right because he's incredibly head shy. He's gotten used to me petting him on the forehead, but he's still pretty nervous around my step father. Today we tried to hook his hooves, but it was near impossible to do without him kicking or stomping. We're getting worried, because we want to help him out, but not sure how to get him to trust us. If anyone has any tips, it would sure help out!
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    08-20-2012, 08:58 PM
  #2
Green Broke
Hard to tell without seeing him in person, but one way to get them confident about stuff touching their heads and legs is to get a short whip and tie a bag on the end of it.
My suggestion, is if you have a nice, long rope, loop it around a post but don't necessarily tie it. This will allow him to pull back a bit but you still have leverage to keep him in place. Touch him all over the face, shake it near him until he stops fretting about it.
Same goes for his legs. This way you don't actually have to get in a kick zone.
This is of course an easy, quick remedy if you need to get things done without sedating him. Other than that, it will just take time.
Also, horses respond to rythm and consistancy, so when he starts getting upset, don't necessarily remove the pressure. Keep it constant and rythmic and when he settles, even if he just stops twitiching or moving his feet, relax/stop immediately.
Just remember that pressure is what motivates, the release is what teaches.
irr3k likes this.
     
    08-20-2012, 09:26 PM
  #3
Green Broke
While Lilruffian is correct, this is one way to despook a horse.
Please do not do this to an alredy scared horse, I feel you will terrorize him to the point that he will never get over it.
Patience is the name of the game here, petting while he is eating, getting him to equate you with something good. Quiet easy movements, slow and low arm movements.
I feel if you scare him now that might be the end of his trusting ever.

Good luck.
irr3k likes this.
     
    08-21-2012, 01:06 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Leave him alone, feed, and do the bare minimum directly to him for a couple of weeks. Clean stall, fill water, sweep, move around. Calmly, sensibly.

Work with him the littlest you can for first week, let him see you are quiet, and have a routine of being quiet, and not mean.

Leave his head alone for a while. You don't have to rush into this.

Horses respond to a handler that is the same for the most part, in that they don't scream and holler, jump around, or do ignorant things.

Treat horse like any horse, but don't push it.

You are trying to do too much, with a horse in a new situation, and that may have been abuse to boot.

Slow down.
     
    08-21-2012, 03:27 AM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by irr3k    
My step father brought home a horse about a week ago from an auction in my town. Whoever owned the horse before us, definitely took terrible care of him. His hooves are cracked and infected with thresh. His teeth need to be floated, and we're positive he was abused/not trained right because he's incredibly head shy. He's gotten used to me petting him on the forehead, but he's still pretty nervous around my step father. Today we tried to hook his hooves, but it was near impossible to do without him kicking or stomping. We're getting worried, because we want to help him out, but not sure how to get him to trust us. If anyone has any tips, it would sure help out!
Okay.... just because a horse has cracked hooves and thrush does not equal bad care. Weather does that, bad trimming, normal wear and tear. That happens... bad care is doing nothing about it IMOP.

It's been a week.. stop trying to do so much. Slow down, be clear and patient.

He doesn't trust you.. he doesn't KNOW you. Just don't jump into the ocean without learning to swim... (that's a metaphor)

Get some help, but over time. Don't stuff it all into the first week. This isn't a race.

But good job on taking in a horse and providing him with a good home..
     
    08-21-2012, 08:50 AM
  #6
Started
Yes Definitely slow down. If his feet are in serious danger of causing him permanent issues, call a vet, see what they say and potentially tranq him for a trim. If it's just cracks and thrush don't worry about it - those can work themselves out later. I agree spend the first while just carrying on about your business giving him a chance to get comfortable with you and see what your character is really like.

What you can do when you have time off and want to work 'on' him. Go into his paddock with a good book and wait. It may take hours or days, or just 5 minutes, but eventually he'll come over to you to check you out. If he typically lets you pet him you can pet him where he's comfortable, but if you reach up to his ears right away he won't be coming back anytime soon. You need to make yourself a more pleasurable place to be. Once the horse is comfortable being around you and realizes that you make him feel good, not bad, when you touch him you can take it from there. Find his 'itchy spot' and make good use of it too! My mare was never touched before me, but she had one hell of an itchy belly - she would walk over to me and point her nose to her belly whenever she wanted a good scratching.

Once he's comfortable around you you can begin touching him everywhere. Run your hands over his withers (make it feel good, not tickly like a bug or hard like a slap) and down his top line, rub him nicely until he doesn't jig when you touch him, work your way down each side of him rubbing each part of him without asking anything of him. Once you're able to touch his whole body (not head area) and able to touch his legs all the way up and down you can begin working around to his head. Some horses, no matter how well they're treated never fully get over being ear-shy. Don't worry if he won't let you touch his ears, you want him to be comfortable enough with being haltered, but you won't typically need to touch or hold his ears in general.

Now I do suggest, once this horse is calm and comfortable, getting him a very thorough vet check. His ear problem may be from an infection or mites, but is more likely just self-defense. But he could have a number of other issues from going through the auctions or his life before it. You should have a vet give him a thorough up-down.

Only once he's completely comfortable with you touching him all over should you try to pick up a foot. Giving up a foot to a human is like giving away all his defenses, he's not going to do it unless he trusts you.
soileddove likes this.
     
    08-21-2012, 09:25 AM
  #7
Showing
If you have a paddock take a chair and a book and put a pile of hay for pan of treats at your feet and pay him absolutely no mind. He has to decide if he wants to be near you to get the feed. Take a lunge whip or long stick and lay it on the ground beside you, in case. Let him investigate you if he choses. If he comes for the feed, every once in a while let out a big sigh. This is a signal to him that you are relaxed. He'll know if you are distracted by your reading or paying attention to him.
     
    08-21-2012, 09:40 AM
  #8
Weanling
I don't know about some of this advice. Horses never give up their feet just because they trust you, they have to be trained to give up their feet. When you start working with his feet their is a great book out their from 4H that gives you the basic handling of a horse. It shows you with pics and easy to understand guidance on how to pick up a horses feet in a safe manner so that you don't get kicked.

All horses are born head shy, and unless someone told you that the owner was hitting him about the head, it is natural for horses to be head shy. I'm a human and don't want people putting their hands about or in my face.

There is nothing wrong with taking some time to get the horse used to you, but if you took a horse to a trainer who would be a complete stranger to the horse and be in a new surrounding the trainer would get down to business.

If you decide to do some desensitizing make sure that you don't release the pressure until the horse shows signs of relaxing licking their lips, standing still, lowering their head, cocking their back leg, not pinning their ears all signs that a horse is relaxing and accepting that they are going to be ok.

Not all resuce horses have been abused some have just been neglected. No one paid attention to them and they may have not had good food, or very little intereaction with humans. I would treat it just like it was a foal a blank slate and start off like you don't expect it to know anything, except for what you begin to teach it.

If it is feasible have a vet give it a good looking over. I would look for a farrier now because this is a busy time of the year and you will probably have to wait a month to get a appt.

Treats are nice, some say don't give by hand, some do. I give treats when there is a fence between us some horses will mob you if they suspect you have a goodie on you it kind of depends on your level of what you feel comfortable doing now as well as your future interactions with the horse. My sister loved treating the horses and although I warned her, one day she went in and the horses started chasing her looking for those treats lol it was hilarious, it was very muddy and she could hardly keep her footing and it scared the crap out of her. Needless to say she started treating only through a fence and not everytime.

You should do a lot of reading, talking to others and watch videos because the horse will only progress as you progress.

Good luck
     
    08-21-2012, 03:52 PM
  #9
Started
Chandra - sorry if there was some confusion, no I don't think the horse will just pick his foot up and hand it to her because he trusts her. At the same time though, he's never going to be comfortable letting her take his feet if he has no trust.

As far as a trainer getting down to business, yes they would - but I also find a number of trainers rush things faster than some horses are ready, simply because they're being paid. She has the luxury to do it right. Also most trainers train horses that have at least some comfort level with humans, this horse needs time to get comfortable - not to be forced on

Blank slate is a good way to look at this horse, rather than focusing on what he can't do focus on what you can and take it from there.
Meatos likes this.
     

Tags
headshy, quarterhorse, rescued

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Rescued a horse.. what do you think he is? Stomp Horse Pictures 19 10-09-2011 10:31 AM
My head versus my horse's head? I lose! Rowansgirl Horse Talk 15 03-09-2011 05:35 PM
Pony/Arab dressage head piece $70 or trade for black horse sized english head piece! Gidget Tack and Equipment Classifieds 4 12-22-2010 03:01 AM
Breathing Difficulty Please Help Calerux Horse Health 2 11-05-2010 10:31 AM
Crazy head!!! Help for a horse with 'head raising probs'???? trot-on Horse Training 20 09-17-2008 11:29 PM



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0