Head Shy!

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Head Shy!

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  • Head shy horses when bridling

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    03-25-2013, 05:34 PM
Unhappy Head Shy!

Today when I was riding my horse became very head shy. She wouldn't let me touch her head! But eventually she let me take her bridle off. She has been somewhat head shy due to her previous owners but today she acted as if no one had ever touched her there. Does anyone have some advice?!
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    03-25-2013, 06:05 PM
Be consistent and work on it every time you are with her. Firstly, what I suggest is to get her to drop her nose to the ground when you say "down" - to teach this you need a ton of patience.. Stand next to her and apply steady pressure (not a lot of it, but enough to feel and hold consistently) downwards on the lead rope. Say "down" and hold the pressure (increase it if she moves her head up) until she gives downward motion even the slightest bit. Reward with immediate release and say "good!" Do this consistently enough and you will get a horse that drops their noses to the ground with a feather light touch and/or verbal command.
Next step is a bit hard to explain so I will link you to a video when I get on my computer. Basically you want to pet close to the problem area and move your hand very fast over the problem area so they don't have time to react to your hand even being there. Then you go back to petting the "good" spot, repeat, repeat, repeat, getting slower as you go.
Very effective to teach both at the same time, I've had a lot of success with it.
It can take a long time to accomplish but it can be done.
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    03-25-2013, 10:00 PM
^^^^ good advice, just what I was going to recommend :)
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    03-26-2013, 02:25 AM
This isn't the exact video that I was thinking of I don't think (the exact video I'm thinking of is at least a couple of years old) but it shows the quick technique I was describing. I would use a halter, though.

smguidotti and daystar88 like this.
    03-26-2013, 02:32 AM
John Lyons explains it quite well. The end goal is of course tone able to have your hand on the horse's ear as long as you want - but you can't start there. It sounds totally counterproductive but I promise it works if you stick with it. You don't want to go slow; you want to move fast. I was skeptical at first but now I completely get it.

daystar88 likes this.
    03-26-2013, 09:01 AM
When you bridle the horse do you push her ears back or forward? That can make a big difference. The ears should always be pushed forward and use the palm of your hand not your fingers to do this. When you unbridle be sure to lift the bridle so it doesn't jam against the base of his ear when pulling it forward. Release one ear then do the other side. When clear of the ears, hold the bridle steady and wait until the horse releases the bit. If you just pull it off the bit hits it's teeth. That will cause this reaction.
daystar88 and CowboyBob like this.
    03-26-2013, 01:56 PM
Well, I can tell you guys that she does lower her head when I tell her to except when she acts head shy. I will try all the things you all have suggested. And by the way I put her ears forward because I am not able to do it back and she releases the bit when your hand is under to catch it.
    03-26-2013, 02:02 PM
Okay...?? What exactly do you need help with, then, if you're going to be dismissive of advice that people took time out of their busy days to give you? She doesn't lower her head every time, which is what you need. Every. Time.
I stayed up late last night to find those videos for you.. Because I know how frustrating it is, and what worked for me, and I would have loved to have had guidance when I was dealing with it.
Sorry for the vent, but I hate when a person asks a question and is rude/dismissive of those who spend time writing out responses.
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    03-26-2013, 02:22 PM
I'm not saying you have to stop. I was responding to someone's question. Sorry if I mislead you!
    03-26-2013, 02:23 PM
That's ok! I will still except advice and I appreciate all that you gave me! =)

natural horsemanship, trust issues

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