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Taya

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Hi

I purchased a new mini a few months ago and shes very head shy. If I go to pat her head she pulls away in fright she also hates!!! her ears being touched. Ive never dealt with this before with my horses and was wondering whats the best way to help her overcome her fear. Is there any method you have tried that has helped or is it a matter of time.
 

muffntuf

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I suggest this practice in place of the tieing up and forcing the horse and having a war with it until it fears you:

Patience. Put her in a small enclosure - like a stall that is big enough you can move out of the way, but not too big so that she can't easily get away from you. Put a lead on her that can reach the sides of the enclosure.

Find a 5 gallon bucket, turn it over and sit on it, and just wait. This may take hours, that's where the patience comes in. Then just keep her facing you, but let her make the choice to come to you. Don't force her right away, it has to be her choice. But don't let her go in a corner with her butt to you either. When she comes to you willingly, you can give her a treat, scratch her favorite scratch place (like the withers, neck)

Do this everyday until she freely comes looking for you. Once she starts coming to you willingly, start rubbing her chin and jaw and then work your way up her face.

The ears, don't rush those, take your time. But scratch around them and her forelock.

Eventually - I do want to caution you, it takes a long time, you can win her over.

The object - she needs to understand you are trustworthy and not going to eat her up. She still thinks you are a predator.
 

MiLo Minis

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Poling is a good place to start. Take a long stick and wrap the end of it with a soft rag. Holding her on a lead shank in a round pen or enclosed space with plenty of room and standing well away from her start by touching her on the shoulder or barrel with it. Rub it around in that spot until she is relaxed and comfortable with it. Gradually move it around all over her body and legs and work your way up her neck - stopping and staying on each spot that she starts to become tense or excited. Be very gentle but firm. With the pole you can be well away from her out of harms way. She will gradually except being touched on all parts including her ears and head. Once she is comfortble with the pole. Do the same thing with your hands the same way in the same order. Don't rush her - let her relax before moving to the next part. You can do this in stages over several days if need be as long as you are sure to stop at a point where she is completely relaxed.
 
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Taya

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Thanks for the replies.

I just wanted to say she is very social she comes straight over when she sees me and I can touch her entire body including udder and legs. I am spending time with her every day patting, grooming and training and she is perfect for it all its just her head and ears.

I do all her grooming etc without her tied up.

Will just keep doing what im doing I have been scratching her neck (her fave) then working up slowly to her forelock.

Maybe ill skip the ears for now and just work on her head.

Thankyou

 

Marsha Cassada

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TTouch uses a wand instead of a pole. You can also use a whip. I like the idea of the rag on the end of the pole. That is a good technique.

I had a horse that hated his nose touched and I wondered if he had been twitched a lot. Sometimes you dont' know their past and what they have experienced. Another horse hated his ears touched and I finally discovered the insides were sore. I had him over a week before he would let me touch them without a huge fight. That's when I saw how terrible they were.

So, usually there is a good reason why they have a problem. Sometimes you can find out--like the sore ears on mine--or you will never know and you have to work through it.

She sounds like a very sweet girl, and she is in the right home!
 

LittleRibbie

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Taya, all the answers you recieved are all things I would try as well. but I was just wondering when you said that you do all her grooming w/out being tied up ( Sorry, I cant figure the quote buttons yet ). Is there a reason you do not tie her? I think its awesome that she does stand great for grooming but I was just wondering if she stands quietlly being tied as well.

When I was younger I had a horse ( seller said oh, you never have to tie him ...hes great ) that I thought was just wonderful..he would never walk away...just stand untied for everything. Well little did I know she sold me a horse that would not tie and was 15 yrs. old and never been tied. I was about 14 and the horse was only about 14hand but geeze when he was fighting a tie I could have swarn he was 17 hands. Never again...will I buy a horse because " Mom. he looks just like Flicker and he stands so good !! "

Anyway Im sorry I wasnt tring to steal your thread...just wanting to make sure that your little guy will stand tied. Good luck and Im sure you will be giving him little ear scratches in no time !! Heidi
 

Taya

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Thanks eeryone

LittleRibbie - Great question, yes she does tie up, no worries there ive been spending alot of time everday with her and she gets haltered and tied briefly everyday. She has been great with that from the start. I have her tied to pick out hooves. But usually untied for a good body brush.

Marsha - Thanks for the last comment
I do love my horses very much, they are all part of the family and get treated as such. Will keep in mind about any medical problems although I dont think that is the problem ill definately look into it!!

Thankyou all for you advice. I will take it all on board and hopefully in a few months ill have a little lady that isnt head shy anymore

Thanks again
 

AceyHorse

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I'll just add here too, that one of my geldings (I have had for about a year now) Would no way no how let me touch his ears or pretty much go anywhere near them when I first got him. Because there wasn't any reason I needed to touch his ears, i didn't. I just left them alone. I just rubbed him where he liked it and didn't make an issue of the ear thing. Once he realised that I didn't give a rats about his ears he got a bit better, then only just the other day I was chatting away to a friend in his paddock and scratching his head not really thinking about it then all of a sudden I realised I was scratching inside his ear and he was loving it!! It was a really special moment. This is, as I said a YEAR after I got him. So I would suggest don't make an issue of it and when you build up trust, the problem will take care of its self. Have fun and enjoy your new baby!

Anna
 

Miniv

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There are a lot of techniques...........lots of wonderful ways.........

If she ties, start with that........and then SLOWLY begin rubbing her. With everything you do move slowly/gently. Rub the areas that don't bother her first. Because she doesn't like her head messed with, slowly approach her at the forehead and then work from there.

It's going to take several days of massaging and rubbing........but always end it with her not fighting you.....even if it means moving back to a "comfort zone" area before you stop.

I also recommend talking softly to her during the entire time, but I probably don't need to say that.


Let us know how it goes!
 

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