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A Different Approach On Head Shyness
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A Different Approach On Head Shyness

What do we understand the term head shyness to mean; that horses flinch when we move our hands towards their head; or that they are not happy with being touched around or near their face?

Sometimes horses are not head shy as such, it is the way that we approach stroking them on the face.

Many people reach out to stroke horses on the front of their face; not realizing that this is a very sensitive spot on horses. This is because between their eyes is their third eye chakra (energy point responsible for connection with spirit or telepathic communication) 

Chakra points or energy points are very sensitive but especially the third eye because of its strong connective ability. In fact we can cause horses to close this point down if we continue to over stimulate it but touching around it, or cause a misbalance of energy.

This energy point is not only where they receive energy and information but also where they are able to give out energy to other people and beings. By reaching out to touch them at this point or near this point we can send a jolt of energy through them that can be uncomfortable. It is also reaching into an area on their body where they do not see as clearly, so for many horses they would prefer limited or lack of touching in this area, especially by people they don't know.

Even with my own horses who trust me and who are used to me I am very careful when touching between their eyes. If we hold our own hand up and move it towards the centre of our head where our third eye is on our body, just take a moment to really connect what this feels like and how comfortable it is for us. Now imagine a stranger trying to touch us in this place.

Sometimes when we take a step back and look at the situation with new eyes then we realize that the way that we read situations with our horses can be very different to what is actually happening. By understanding how highly sensitive this part of their body is, maybe we can learn to be a bit more understanding about why they might not be happy being touched too much in this zone or approach it more gently.


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  1. jumpbuilder
    I had a horse once, that was so touchy about his head that I couldn't even raise my hand to wipe my nose while in the saddle without him ducking down...it took a long time to gain his trust. Must have been that someone had "clobbered" him in the head a lot. So many of the old time trainers were brutal....have witnessed a lot of cruelty........if one tries to dominate, one installs unsavory conditions for another to try to overcome.
    1. Andreana Dorrs
      Andreana Dorrs
      Thank you for your comment and reading the post. One pf my horses took years to over come a problem he had with being touched round his ears but finally he is great now and even lets some of the special needs children we help put their fingers in his ears! Its such a sensitive part of their body all round their head and face and it can take so long for them to trust people again.

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