Girls Horse Club Blog

Ask GHC: Head Shy and a Bucket of Troubles

Published by • Mar 4th, 2009 • Category: Ask Girls Horse Club

Ask Girls Horse Club

Gypsy, my horse, has been a real pain. She bucks, rears and is head shy. She hates winter, and doesn’t like the cold. Any ideas on how to help her feel more comfortable?

submitted by Autumn, age 14

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17 Nickers »

  1. Well how old his your horse? Ususaly around the age of 4-8 they are rebellious and sperky if not properly trained. Is your horse in any real pain or discomfort? Try looking around to see if anything around the stable or pasture frightens her. As for headshy you will have to work daily with her little by little. Try massage techniques on her neck and slowly work up to her ears and forelock. If you havent tried this already blow gently into her nostrils.. this is how horses great each other. When you let your horse out to run in the winter some people like to put heat/horse blankets on them and when in the stall. (look up your local tack store) Oh and you probably already know this but noooo baths in the winter…. it could give your horse chills uless you have a heated stable. If your horse is like a rebellious teenager… I would suggest getting her to a trainer. If you let it go she won’t respect you… and thats what you need her to do. You need to be the leadmare… she needs to follow your signals. I hope this helps… I’m not a professional but i listen and learn.

  2. You should probably get her used to being outside, put her in an outdoor pasture. You should also ride around an outside ring, if she goes crazy, lunj her around outside.

  3. Autumn: As far as headshy, I think I know how you can help Gypsy. Get her to sand still. And gently rub her head. Continue to do this with bubble wrap, sandpaper etc.
    I read this on Terri Farley’s Wild Horse Island! book#3

  4. Sounds like you aren’t in control. Do groundwork like making her back up, moving her laterally, and lunging her.

  5. I agree with Narnian Rose on the headshy part. Bucking in rearing, though, is a serious and dangerous problem and so you might have to send her to a trainer. Remember lunge her, and lunge her, and lunge her, about 15 minutes before you ride. I had a horse like this and lunging really helped especially in cold weather.

  6. Very good advice everyone… hey y’all look in the art gallery and tell me what you think of my artwork. Again like everyone says lunging is very important Autumn. Your horse needs to know you are in control… not her.

  7. My horse Lightning was head shy when I first got him. Adults tried to help me, but it seemed no one could help him get over it! In the end, it was me who helped him, and I didn’t even have a training method. I simply spent time with him and loved him and let him slowly grow confident in me as not just his rider or trainer, but as his friend. When he was able to trust me with his heart, then he was able to trust me with his head.

  8. Autumn: Here are some tips that you might want to try with Gypsy:
    1. Keep calm all the time around her (let your horse know that ‘anything’ she does won’t phase you)
    2. If she starts bucking HOLD ON TIGHT! When she’s through bucking stand in front of her with your head high ( show Gypsy that you are her *leadmare*, and that you won’t tolerate such behavior)
    3. If things don’t change at all or begin to worsen call your local vet and horse trainer!

  9. Stay calm. Gypsy will realize that there is nothing to worry about.

  10. I think you just need to earn her trust. Maybe a few carrots??? (Bribes never hurt anyone!)

  11. I’m not an expert at training horses, or anything like that, but here are a few tips:

    1. If she doesn’t like the cold, then give her a horse blanket. (If she doesn’t already have one.) They make horses feel comfortable and warm during winter.

    2. When you’re around her, don’t be “wild” and talking in a loud voice before you ride her. Sometimes it makes them a bit scared, and they stay like that throughout the ride.

    3. Before riding Gypsy, soothe her a bit, and make her relaxed. It may just help her stay calm.

    Hope this helps!

  12. Her being head-shy and bucky sounds a lot like my mare whose poll was out.Is she just like this in the cold or does it matter? I posted a blog on this a while ago (I’m sure if its still up..) that might help you.
    Good luck and be careful!

  13. Dear Autumn,
    Your horse sounds like MY pony. He is seven. He DOES NOT like to be rode in the cold. I STILL haven’t fiqured out what to do about it.
    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Try staying calm around your horse at all times. Show him that YOUR in charge. Be careful and be safe!
    ~Eastern Cowgirl

  15. Another thing: treat your horse the same in cold weather as you do in warmer weather. The temperature should make no difference, your horse should behave!

    Rearing is something you should fix as soon as possible. Your horse could tip backwards, injuring both of you! If you don’t know how to fix this problem, get help from a trainer! The best thing to do if your horse rears is to lean forward and hang on! If you think your horse is about to rear, turn him in a tight circle to keep him from rearing.

  16. Be paitent . Ask a perfessional trainer, a parent, or a friend for help. You could just work with her yourself. It might be dangerous . Continue loving her. Your horse needs you.

  17. Stand up for uour horse.
    Make sure SHE knows that you love her!
    ~Eastern Cowgirl