Filly Pinning It's Ears

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Filly Pinning It's Ears

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  • Young horse pins ears back when ever she is approached
  • My 3 year old filly keeps pinning her ears and refusing

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    06-24-2013, 03:25 PM
Filly Pinning It's Ears

Okay so I met my new filly about a month ago. She's a little quarter horse, and not yet weaned off of her mom. She's a super smart and sweet filly. She isn't shy at all, was halter broke at a month old, and is ahead of all the other foals at her ranch in training. Everyone is super impressed with her learning abilities! When I first met her I fell in love with her gentleness, and curiosity. She loves to follow people around in the pasture ect. While I was at her ranch spending time with her I got a few pictures of her following us around and nosing around us and licking us (me and my boyfriend)... When I got home I showed the photos to my family and my grandma (who's owned a horse or two before) noticed my filly had her ears pinned back in 90% of the photos. She said that my horse is always mad, and the reason she is "following us around" is because she's telling us to get away from her. That makes sense, and may be true, but I didn't notice or sense any aggression from my horse. Every time we were around her she approached us or let us approach her. When we touched her she seemed quite relaxed and curious to touch us as well... So if my horse doesn't like me how can I properly fix that. Or is she even mad or being aggressive at all? Thanks!
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    06-24-2013, 03:35 PM
Sounds like you are relatively new to horses. If so, I really would not suggest such a young horse...are you working with a trainer or experienced horse person?
GamingGrrl likes this.
    06-24-2013, 03:43 PM
Yes I am fairly new to horses. This is my first horse, and I myself wouldn't have picked a young horse like this but it was a gift to me. I understand it's harder and not recommended to get a foal as a first horse which is why I want to get it figured out before she's actually mine.
    06-24-2013, 03:44 PM
Green Broke
Sometimes horses just like to make grumpy faces. At her age, still bein on mama so she sounds young, she may be testing the waters thinking she's big stuff now that she's getting older. My yearling makes stink faces when he comes up to me in the paddock, but quits when I talk to or pet him. He also likes to make stink faces when I bring his food. But he absolutely CANNOT touch his food until he gives me a kind look and I say he can eat. I do this every day, and he chooses to make the stink face every day. It's just something we go through. I know there's no threat behind his stink face, he just likes to make it. (He's not quite all there in the head due to an accident last year that almost killed him). It may be different with your filly. If she ever comes up to you with her ears pinned, chase her off. It's an easy fix, but it can get worse very quickly if you don't keep it in check.
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NaeNae87 and x8jason8x like this.
    06-24-2013, 04:13 PM
Thank you, that's insightful. I figured that's what is was or perhaps she was just listening for ques from her mama or something. I work at a ranch so I do have expirience with horses (young and old) I think I'm just overthinking every behavioral thing now that I have my own horse!
    06-24-2013, 04:22 PM
Are you sure they're pinned or just pointed back? Are the ears flat against her head? If not then she may be listening to something behind her or is just relaxed. Usually, a horse's ears are turned forward is when something has its attention in front of them. Can you post some of the pictures so we can see what she is doing?
sparklefox likes this.
    06-24-2013, 04:23 PM
I have a little quarter horse mare that I have raised since birth. She has ALWAYS pinned her ears since the day she hit the ground. She was so easy to work with as a youngster and a piece of cake to saddle break and same with her performance training. She only nipped aggressively once when she was about six months old and I am going to be frank here, I punched her square in the mouth and popped her a couple more times when she did that. Never to this day (she is 10 now) has she even acted like she was going to bite or kick since then. She still pins her ears with everything we do. I think she only perks her ears when there is food around. Some horses are just like that, her mother was the exact same way. Just be sure that you don't let her get away with any aggression early on. I don't take ANYTHING from young horses whatsoever. They get a good whack right away and it usually straightens them out.

Good luck!
InsaneDino likes this.
    06-24-2013, 06:10 PM
One of my Belgian mares has pinned her ears since birth. There's a difference in pinning and having them rotated back or relaxed and flopped back. If she is truly being aggressive and at her age she may well be trying it on for size you just have to make sure you keep the upper hand and not let her get away with anything. Shaz to this day demands a firm upper hand as she will aggressively pin her ears when you approach her.
    06-24-2013, 06:26 PM
Welcome to the forum.

Ruling out disrespectful behavior, you may be experiencing what some horse owners refer to as "the mare glare". However, this term doesn't always apply exclusively to mares.
    06-24-2013, 06:37 PM
Originally Posted by JustaSkippenJess    
I am going to be frank here, I punched her square in the mouth and popped her a couple more times when she did that.
I appreciate the candor, but this RARELY works. 99.9999999999999% of the time, the horse thinks it's a game. I promise you didn't hurt that horse at all, and probably just bruised your knuckles. NEVER hit a horse in the head! It makes them head shy. Do not take this advice at all. All you need to do when a horse bites is bump (not kick, bump) it's shin or coronet band with your toe or heel as it nips/bites. It makes the horse look down when it thinks of getting nippy. You'll have most horses nip free inside a day. Mine quit within an hour.

ear pinning, filly, foal, pinned ears, training

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