Goofy Habit? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 06-15-2010, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Goofy Habit?


Ever since I've had my horse (about four years) I've noticed that he holds his head in a weird way when he eats. He pokes his nose out and sometimes will tilt his head. It's almost looks like he's saying "nanner nanner look what I have" because he'll shove it at you if you're standing near him. He doesn't really drop food, just a little piece here or there like most horses. Oh, another way to describe it: it kinda looks like he took a giant bite of food and is trying to chew it all at once. He gets uber excited for feeding time and will practically bust his bucket off the wall or run you over to get to his feed. His teeth are done annualy, and like I said he has been doing this forever as far as I know. I've never noticed anything odd about him like showing pain, and he definitely hasn't lost any weight. He's at a very healthy weight, very fit, and has a nice shiny coat to show for his yummy healthy feed.

Also, just a question I've been wondering for eternity, can a horse hurt his teeth, jaw, etc. by biting into a super thick carrot? My guy gobbles his up and doesn't drop even a teeny tiny piece, but I've always wondered.

So anyway, is the head thing just a goofy habit/quirk?


Oh yeah, and I've seen some other horses do this as well. ;)

Last edited by dreamrideredc; 06-15-2010 at 06:46 PM.
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 12:22 PM Thread Starter
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bumpity bump bump! =]
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post #3 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 12:27 PM
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When was the last time his teeth were done?

Holding his head at an angle to chew tells me he probably has some sharp points that need to be taken care of.

Regardless of his weight, his teeth could very well be bothering him.

No, biting into a thick carrot shouldn't hurt him. The PSI of his bite are much more than a human's.
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 12:45 PM
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It might be a habit he picked up from how he had to get to his food from a previous owner, perhaps he had to tilt his head like that to reach the food. Does he do it when he's grazing from the ground?

I doubt its much of a problem, but if it really bothers you, try feeding him from the ground, such as putting his hay on the flooring and his grain in a rubber bucket on the floor.

Wherever man has left his footprint in the long ascent from barbarism to civilization we will find the hoofprint of the horse beside it. ~John Moore
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 12:49 PM
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I would definitely at least have his teeth looked at. How old is he? If he is still younger he could have impacted caps, his jaw could be misaligned, points that are stabbing his cheek or tongue. A friend had a gelding and his entire jaw was aligned wrong, he was never anything but good even with his jaw like that and definitely not skinny, but it was very obvious once it was fixed that he had been uncomfortable.
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post #6 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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He had his teeth done in March, and I would assume that the "dentist" would have mentioned something in the past four years. It might be a habit. He only does that when he eats grain, with grass and treats he does it normally. I think he does it with it on the ground too, but like I said only with grain. Wouldn't he do that with all foods if there was a problem? Oh and he is eight as of February. Thanks!
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post #7 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 03:36 PM
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I Would find another denist to look at his teeth... if it was habit from a problem it should have stopped shortly after the problem was fixed....

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 03:43 PM
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I have a gelding that is 29, he's done the same thing with grain his whole life (my sis bought him as a 2 yr old). I've asked several different vets and "dentists" to check him and none of them could ever find a cause. It has been assumed by more than one, that this was a habit he picked up very young, and maybe at the time, he DID have a cause, but now it's just a peculiar habit he has. Next time your vet comes out, ask about it, but it could just be something he has learned.

"Keep a leg on each side and your mind in the middle"
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-16-2010, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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The dentisit he had at first is different then the one he has now I believe, so that's two different opinions. I would think they would have caught it, his teeth were JUST done in March, and they didn't find any problems other than the sharp edges that formed over the year. And like I said he has been doing this forever, so I know it's definitely not something new. Isn't grain easier to chew than an incredibly thick carrot? Wouldn't he be doing this with other foods? And actually, now that I think about it, he only does it when there's a lot of food in a bucket. At the last barn they would feed them on the ground and I don't THINK he used to do that. And if I give him a little handful of feed he chews normally, too. Hmm...

If I hand feed him out of a bucket he does the head tilt, but eating hay he just sits there and chews normally. I thought most horses had a habit similar to this, some horses at our barn poke there nose in and out, kick the door, or do what mine does, which is shove his nose at you with his ears pricked.
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