The head nod... - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 10 Old 08-20-2011, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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The head nod...

Bored at work tonight so I was flipping around youtube looking at videos of one of my top 5 favorite breeds, the TWH. One thing that I have always wondered is...what is the purpose of the head nod?


I think if I was this horse I would get a migraine! So why exactly do TWH nod their head while they are gaiting, and what made breeders think that that was a trait that they wanted to continue in the breed?

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 12:58 AM
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It's like a person swinging their arms when they walk. It works like a fulcrum to give them a long stride and rhythm.

It read on the internet somewhere that it is not just a head nod but a whole body nod, from the nose to the tail. So it is very much tied into their stride and gait (from what I understand). I have a Missouri Fox Trotter and the nod is prominent in that breed as well.

Papa's Royal Delight has quite the nod though doesn't he?
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 01:34 AM
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The head nod is part of the breeds mechanics. What you will see though is show horses have been trained to accent the nod while trail trained horses are not nearly as prominent.

What is funny though is a show trained horse who is relaxed while gaiting. Their ears tend to whirl around in circles.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 07:37 AM
Green Broke
 
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Just a bit of Tennessee Walking Horse head nodding trivia:

1. If the head is bobbing up and down, the TWH is performing a running walk.

2. If the head is nodding from side-to-side, the TWH is performing a rack or a Stepping Pace.

The degree of head bob also varies with each horse and can vary with speed. None of my current three move their heads too much.

As far as my comment goes, that only applies to Walking Horses because I am not familiar with other gaited breeds in this regard
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darrin View Post
The head nod is part of the breeds mechanics. What you will see though is show horses have been trained to accent the nod while trail trained horses are not nearly as prominent.

What is funny though is a show trained horse who is relaxed while gaiting. Their ears tend to whirl around in circles.
I love the ear flop. :'D I rode a little all-day pleasure mare, and she would get into it and start snorting in time with her gait and flopping her ears.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-21-2011, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivache View Post
I love the ear flop. :'D I rode a little all-day pleasure mare, and she would get into it and start snorting in time with her gait and flopping her ears.

My TWH mare does this. She snorts and her ears flop in time with her gaits lol! It sound slike she's going "ptthh! Ptthh! Ptthh!" with her lips

She head nods when she's in a good, steady runwalk, but not much when she's just flat walking.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 01:13 PM
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It drives me crazy when people say the head nod would give them a head ache. Ride one! When you understand the gait and the way walkers move, when that head is nodding in front of you, there is no better feeling!

I trail and show my mare, and she head nods just as much on the trail as she does in the ring.

I love the ear flop, the teeth smacking, the head nod. All signs that point to a relaxed horse and a true run walk.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 01:36 PM
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I think the OP meant that if he/she was the horse they would have a headache not that riding the horse would give them a headache. ; )

Amanda

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post #9 of 10 Old 08-24-2011, 02:16 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MajorSealstheDeal View Post
It drives me crazy when people say the head nod would give them a head ache. Ride one! When you understand the gait and the way walkers move, when that head is nodding in front of you, there is no better feeling!

I trail and show my mare, and she head nods just as much on the trail as she does in the ring.

I love the ear flop, the teeth smacking, the head nod. All signs that point to a relaxed horse and a true run walk.
Yep, I meant the horse, not the rider. I have ridden a couple of TWHs and like I said they are one of my top five favorite breeds. They are for sure on my bucket list of breeds I want to own.

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-25-2011, 07:19 PM
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My tw mare used to have quite a head nod. A friend that had paso's in the neighborhood said it drove her crazy to ride my horse. Yep, said it gave her a headache, hence, she only rode her once. I think that was enough for the both of them.

When I next got on a qh, it felt a bit off and strange NOT to see the head nod
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