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What are some tricks you guys have for a head shy horse?

07/14/09  12:31pm


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  Message To: Dinkanber   In reference to Message Id: 2039115


I just saw a thing on this from Craig Cameron...
He likes to work with a horse from another horse...
OR being on a fence above the horse.
Have the horse distracted with grain in a bucket or hay...
ANd if possible sit above the horse, just talk to it..
Then if you can while its eating pet its head, neck, play with the mane...
And try to touch the ears.
If the horse starts to associate something good with having its head or ears touched it will get better.
ALso use the approach and retreat method, touch a little, if the horse doesn’t react..
give it space, do it again and again. Touch, retreat, touch retreat. Watch for a soft eye, chewing, licking lips.
When a horse chews or licks its lips, its thinking/relaxing.
Once it is comfortable with light touch, retreat.. stop for the day.
THe next day try to touch or pet a moment longer. then retreat...
Also when it does allow you to touch for a moment or two.. give it a small treat.
These methods will help to get the horse to understand you aren’t going to hurt it.

Hope this helps

07/14/09  09:43pm


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  Message To: Dinkanber   In reference to Message Id: 2039115


Ok I did just that today and got a great responce from him in only a matter of minuets I was all over his head and ears Then someone in the barn dropped a cup. No noice no nothing it’s just that he saw the cup fall and he almost took off. So I also need to do something about spokeyness in general

07/14/09  10:00pm


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  Message To: Dinkanber   In reference to Message Id: 2039451


When I desensitize a head shy horse I do as carol said, as for breaking a spooky nature all there is, is to do it.I had a horse that used to freak at plastic bags, So I politely tied one right by her feed bucket, left it there and let her get accoustomed. horses depend on us for strength and confidence we have to TEACH them to accept that we will not let anything happen to them... when I start lunging I tie bags around the round pen use coats, anything that will distract or spook, If a horse spooks on a trail I turn them and have them face and explore it... working on spookiness takes patience and exposure to outside things...if you note he freaks at a cup dropping tomarrow go to his stall drop a cup then leave it, he may freak when it drops but curiously will go explore....

07/14/09  11:30pm


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  Message To: CelticTigeress   In reference to Message Id: 2039502



I tie bags around the round pen use coats, anything that will distract or spook

We do that at the barn I’m at too.

Also, some other random ideas to be done on the ground:

-walking over a tarp or "water box" (large wooden box with the inside painted blue)
-carrying, snapping, waving a vinyl flag
-whistling clapping etc.
-pull a sled alongside you and your horse as you walk
-grab some construction cones and casually toss them. once the horse is used to that you can do this while walking.
-jingle bells! (sounds harmless, the horses don’t think so lol)

I did all of this (and more) with my mini Mirage to prepare him for the drill team and just plain driving in general. I would also whack random things with my whip like the walls of the indoor, barrels, and ladders and such to get him used to loud random noises behind him. I didn’t really suggest those because that was more for driving preparation. You’d need a pretty long whip for that.

On top of getting your horse used to these weird scary things it will also teach your horse that no matter what is going on around you, you’re still there to guide them and there’s no need to panic.

07/15/09  10:41pm

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