Head Tilt

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Head Tilt

This is a discussion on Head Tilt within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Head tilting horses
  • How to correct horse head tilt

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    03-14-2010, 05:28 PM
Unhappy Head Tilt

My horse tilts his head (nose to the right, right eye to the sky) intermittently, mainly when trotting and worse when he is in the school rather than out on a hack. This started about 18months ago. I'd started having dressage lessons and after 6months of this it all started. I tried lungeing him with and without a saddle, with and without a rider and loose schooled him with no tack or rider and he still did it. I got someone to check his back and a reputable dentist checked his teeth. The vet checked his eyes, ears, and he had an endoscopy. Eventually he was referred to Liverpool Uni who specialise in head tilting. They discovered he'd damaged his sup digit flex tendon on his left fore leg (which he'd done previously as a racehorse but had recovered). He was on box rest most of last year and had several scans which showed he was recovering well. I'm now back riding and he is still head tilting and he bucked when I got on which is unlike him. I really don't know what to do next???
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    03-14-2010, 05:34 PM
Super Moderator
So they said the head tilting was related to the injury in his leg??? I ask because I have a mare that is doing the exact same thing. I am going to make an appointment to have her teeth floated because I was thinking it may be part of the issue. I have already had the vet out to check her for ear mites and equilibrium issues. She suffered a life changing injury to one of her rear legs, maybe she does it when a pain shoots up? She is not supposed to have any pain associated with the inury anymore and she acts fine. If the teeth don't work for me then I'm going to have her back checked, I may do it anyway becuase she has always been cold-backed anyway. I will be following this thread because I'm interested to see what you find out. I'll keep you informed on my mare as well, maybe we can solve each others problems.
    03-15-2010, 08:55 AM
Vet said it may just be a coincidence, also he tilts to the wrong side as tilting this way actually puts weight on the injured leg not off it. I'll keep researching other forums and let you know if I come up with anything. Good Luck!
    03-15-2010, 03:17 PM
Green Broke
I was going to say teeth, there is a school horse at the barn that came from a less than ideal situation and had really bad teeth so he developed a head tilt to avoid the bit.

Have you checked bit fit? Or possibly bit shape?

I would also check for ear problems.
    03-15-2010, 08:11 PM
Super Moderator
You know... My mare does it the wrong way too. You are right it would throw the weight on the bag leg. Strange. I am calling the vet this week for a teeth appointment. My farrier is coming out on Saturday, he'll cut her heel down and force her to use that foot right. I was told by a lady that a snaffle sometimes will actually cause more irritation then say a port might when teeth are bad. I'm tempted to throw a port on just to see. (She does ride in a port).

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