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This is a discussion on Headshaking? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    05-10-2010, 03:21 AM

My horse is very sensitive to flies during hot weather. He throws his head and sneezes over and over, also carries his head low towards the ground. He did this when we were out riding In the warm up area of a competition yesterday. As soon as we started jumping he stopped altogether and didn't do it again all day?
It was very severe but I'm wondering whether he's just a sensitive horse or whether he could be a bit of a head shaker? I noticed he gets quite upset by the flies in the field and put a mask on but just a lil concerned especially with the season up and coming!?
What are your experiences?
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    05-10-2010, 03:03 PM
Does he have an ear infection? A horse will shake his head if he has an ear infection, a foreign body in the ear [such as a tick] or because of some sort of head trauma that affects the inner ear. The fact that he carries his head so low is what's got me concerned. Examine his ears, and perhaps a call to your vet is in order and he can tell you if he thinks it should be seen?

On the other hand, my mare will shake her head if her mane or forelock gets in her ears. I always have to braid her forelock and the first portion of her mane to keep it from happening. Also, does his fly mask have ears? You can also use fly bonnets while riding, or those easy-riders fly masks made for riding. You can also try to apply a good bit of fly spray via sponge or cloth on his face before a ride. Garlic powder added to his diet will help repel flies, and Ivermectin is an effective means to get rid of ticks, if that is the case.
    05-10-2010, 03:30 PM
Oh brilliant, will try all those! I dnt think it's his ears tho as he isn't at all senstive around his ears. And he was sneezing over and over so I was thinking more to do with the flies around his muzzle? But I do have a bonnet so shall out him that next time I take him riding
I was also thinking maybe he has like an alergy or hayfever? Which maybe a nazel spray would help?
Sometimes I realy wish horses could tell us what's up! :-/
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