What is Horse Head Shyness?
A head shy horse is fearful, jumpy, anxious, nervous and easily spooked. Horses with this type of disposition are dangerous to ride, do not like being touched and are difficult to manage. Some horses may always have been head shy, while others may have recently become head shy. However, with patience, determination, and lots of practice, it is possible to help your horse conquer his fear and touch and stroke him again.
What Causes Horse Head Shyness?
Head shyness in your horse may develop for a number of reasons. Horses that are neglected or abused often become head shy and nervous . When they are smacked in the face, whipped, beaten or jerked roughly with a bridle, horses become startled and back away from you.
A badly fitted bridle or if the bridle is too tight and tastes awful can also bring about head shyness. Horse anxiety and head shyness can also occur because of a physical problem such as decaying teeth, abscess in the mouth, ear infection, poor vision or an insect bite.
Help for Horse Head Shyness
Natural and holistic treatments have proven to be highly effective in calming and soothing fearful, anxious and stressed animals such as head shy horses. Homeopathic remedies are safe and gentle to use for horse breeds of all ages even nursing mares. Carefully selected ingredients such as Chamomilla, Kali phos, Cina, Phosphorus and Asarum supports and maintains nervous system functioning while also calming fearful horses.
More Information on Horse Head Shyness
Tips to prevent horse head shyness
There are several things that horse owners can do to overcome head shyness and these include:
- Be patient , confident and determined with the horse – take your time
- Move slowly and cautiously the horse’s head from their side and not the front because any sudden movements will cause him to panic
- Stay calm and do not show the horse that you are nervous
- Never look the horse directly in the eye, but let him know that you are there – you can hum softly or talk in a soothing voice
- Never grab his halter or hit him in the face or on the head
- Use one hand to slowly reach up under his chin to touch his nose and then give him treats such as slices of apple, carrots or molasses with the other hand
- If he backs away from you, step away and try again
- Once the horse allows you to touch him, rub his nose and allow him to nibble your hand or sleeve.
- After rubbing the nose, progress to the bridge of the nose to the forehead, and then stroke the back and neck
- Try to remove your hand gently and slowly if you suspect that he might nip you. Keep in mind that sudden movement will startle him
- Talk gently to the horse while touching and stroking him, and look him gently in the eye but do not stare
- Repeat these lessons as often as possible for them to be effective