Head Shyness in Horses

head shyness

Head Shyness?

Have you ever heard of head shyness in horses?  Is your horse averse to any activity/hand placements around the head and/or near his ears? Does your horse hate to be handled with a brush, headstall or clippers around the head? If yes, then your horse might have what is known in the community as head shyness, which is exactly what it sounds like. This is common with horses exchanging owners as in an adoption from a rescue center. For more information on the great horse rescue centers in Colorado, visit our horse rescue centers page.

Don’t worry; if your horse has head shyness, which is natural, there are a few things you can do to reduce your horse’s shyness. Begin any head-touching with a slow rub directly on the head. This will show the horse that you are going to be relaxed and patient. Get horse horse moving prior to trying any head-touching and if they become agitated, then try moving them around again. Twenty to thirty minutes of moving should do it.

The next step that trainers use to address head shyness, is to lead the horse toward something that will cause the horse a little bit of anxiety. This may sound odd at first, but the truth is having a horse move toward what worries them is a great way to build confidence. You can do this by having your horse move towards something it doesn’t like or feels uncomfortable near. With each step toward this anxiety-object, go to the horse’s head and give it a rub with your hand as a reward. Repeating this process a few times will help change your horses perspective on getting its head rubbed and reduce it’s head shyness. If you have any more questions about head shyness or anything else in relation to your horse or horse property, contact Colorado Horse Property for details.

Photo by roberto gerco on Unsplash
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