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HEAD SHY HORSE - SUGGESTIONS PLEASE!

Discussion in 'Horses - all breeds / types' started by Bic, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. Bic

    Bic New Member

    Hi, I have recently bought a 9 year old Standardbred horse. He lovely gentle boy, but is a bit nervy. The problem is, he is very head shy. He seems to get worse when he is tied up and you want to touch his face or when putting on the bridle or even when you hold his halter and try and pat his face (like when he is restrained thats when he has been hurt or something). I have been working with him using food and praise rewards and he is very slowely improving, the thing is he has a skin irritation all over the top of his face and ears that I am trying to treat with a herbal cream but just trying to get it on him is impossible and it seems that all the work I have done trying to convince him I wont hurt him is undone after I try and get this cream on him. I have tried different things but his sense of smell is great and he knows when I am going to do it! Any suggestion on how I can work around this or maybe a different type of treatment I can use that isnt as hard to put on as a cream? I dont want him to associate me with anything that he has previously been through, but I need to treat this skin irritation as he is scratching all his hair off so its not too pleasant for him. Sorry about the long winded explanation.
     
  2. SxyHyRidinCwgrl

    SxyHyRidinCwgrl New Member

    If you don't have access to stocks, then an arena, round pen or even fence (not barbed wire) and a couple of fence panels could help. tie two panels together, and one end to the fence or rail. Back your horse in or walk him in and turn him around and slowly close the panels around him (along his side, will probably take two people) rub his head and neck until he relaxes and then treat him. Continue to work with him using praise as a reward when it's not time for his treatment (out of the rails). Treating him is the most important thing and this is the easiest way that I know of to do it without injuring you or him.
     
  3. horse_child

    horse_child New Member

    Try starting at ths withers and working your way up his neck, massaging or brushing. then when you get ot his ears and infection you can sorta work the cream in while still massaging. then if he will relax massage his face. once you get him started keep doing it. during showmanship or leading stop and play with his face if he will let you. let him know that it will feel alot better to let you rub his face than if he didn't let oyu.
     
  4. Bic

    Bic New Member

    Thank Heaps

    :y_the_best:

    Hi There!

    Thank you for your suggestions. I am going to give them a go. I will post a reply on how he goes! Thank you very much for replying, its much appreciated and your suggestions wont go wasted!!!
     
  5. ya_gotta_luv_em

    ya_gotta_luv_em New Member

    hi
    i have an 8yo standardbred mare who is very head shy 2. a few months ago wen she put this gash in her face, i had a hard time putting cream on her face 2. the gash was smack bang in the very middle half way down her faceshe hated me touching it, but i learnt the best thing is not 2 force her head 2 stop moving. after a long time i found places that she likes 2 b rubbed so i could destract her. try rubbing him around the poll & on the cheek. it might work
    good luck
     

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