When you are moving towards a horse, everyone tells you that the best way to approach him is forty-five degrees to the shoulder. Why is that? Why are we taught to not pass a horse from behind? Why are some horses head shy? It seems like when you first learn to ride they give you all of these rules, but they never really tell you why you should follow them.
So when someone says you should approach a horse forty-five degrees to the shoulder, that's because the horse will be able to know where you are at all times. This way, he is less likely to spook or react. He knows that you aren't threatening because he is able to read you body language while you are walking up to him.
Now the reason why a horse can be head shy is for more or less the same reason why you shouldn't walk behind a horse; they can't see your hand when you touch their head. As I mentioned before, horses like to see where you are and what you are doing at all times or they can become uneasy. Even if they might see your hand approach them, as soon as it disappears and touches them, they no longer feel comfortable. Think about it, if you were just minding your business and all of a sudden someone touched your back and you didn't know anyone was there, wouldn't you flinch? The only difference between you and the horse is that his senses are much more sensitive than yours. So if you're going to touch a head shy horse, just make sure to go slow and be patient.
I hope that some of this is useful to you and I thank you for reading my blog. I wish you all the best and I hope you are all doing well!