Head shy horse

Why is my horse head shy?

There could be a few reasons why a horse is head shy.

The horse could be remembering a past experience, where a bridle was put on too tight, rubbing him and causing sores.



So, check the corners of his mouth, as splitting and cracking can occur, that will cause pain.

If you’ve just bought the horse, I would get his teeth checked.

You would be surprised at just how many people say the horse is up to date with the dentist, when in fact it has never seen one at all.

If the horse is suffering from mouth ulcers or simply sharp teeth, he will feel pain when you ride him.

So if he is in pain, he will resist the bridle being put on or any contact around the area.

If the horse is rubbing his ears a lot, he could be suffering from mites or tiny fleas in his ear.

You should also check the headpiece and brow band on the bridle is not too tight.

Eye sight – Ask your vet to give him a health check. If the horse’s eyesight is failing, it could make him fearful.

Some horses have been so badly treated in the past; they lose all trust in humans.

Just by raising, a hand in front of the horse is enough to make him on edge.

He will stand at the back of the stable with his back end facing you.

Seeing a traumatised horse is so sad. The sparkle has gone from the eyes and replaced with fear.

Unfortunately, there are some evil people around, who in reality are not fit to care for any animals.

They lack knowledge and equine understanding.

The temper is easily lost when the horse doesn’t do what is expected of him.

The poor horse who is totally confused, gets beaten around its head, some never regain a normal life.

Having owned a horse that had been mistreated, I have firsthand experience and believe me it’s a long road.

It’s so rewarding when you make that connection and your relationship with the horse strengthens.

Head shy horse

If the horsehas had a bad experience in the past, you need patience and time.



Run your hand over his neck, walking slowly towards him and rewarding this good behaviour with a treat.

Don’t expect results overnight, he needs to trust you.

Always use positive body language, make no sudden movements, praise and reward the horse for good behaviour.


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