Horse throwing head?
   

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Horse throwing head?

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  • Horse throws head when lunging
  • Horse runs in pasture throwing his head

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  • 2 Post By Horsequeen08
  • 1 Post By waresbear

 
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    04-16-2013, 11:26 PM
  #1
Foal
Horse throwing head?

I recently bought a 6 year old thoroughbred quarter horse. About two weeks ago, he started throwing his head up- in the stall, when lunging or riding, in the pasture- everywhere. He looks as if he is in pain, and it's preventing any real training from happening. We tried backing him up every time he does it, but I don't think it's intentional. Our vet came out and floated his teeth and dewormed him. There are no visible health issues. The vet did flush out a foxtail in his right upper cheek in his mouth. However, he said that was probably not the problem, and the horse continued to throw his head after the procedure. He also suggested to take him to a university to see if they had anything. However, I do not have the money for this. His feet need trimming, and that is happening this week. Any suggestions? Health wise. I do not planning on disclipling him physically for some thing he can't help. This is a danger issue, if he hits me or my family with his head. Thank you.
     
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    04-17-2013, 12:53 AM
  #2
Weanling
When does he do it? Look and watch and see if you can find a 'trigger'. For example, if it was a bit issue, when you pull on the bit, he will do it. If it is a teeth issue, when he tries to eat, he will do it then. Find the pattern. If you find the pattern, then you might be able to find the problem, and thus, a solution. I don't mean just watch where he does it, such as 'in a pasture' or 'in his stall'. I mean what is he DOING when he tosses his head? Eating? Drinking? Walking? Something along those lines. It may take some time, but there is always a reason. Spend some time with him doing nothing but watching him. If no luck, try working with him and seeing what happens then.

Good luck.
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    04-17-2013, 09:47 AM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsequeen08    
When does he do it? Look and watch and see if you can find a 'trigger'. For example, if it was a bit issue, when you pull on the bit, he will do it. If it is a teeth issue, when he tries to eat, he will do it then. Find the pattern. If you find the pattern, then you might be able to find the problem, and thus, a solution. I don't mean just watch where he does it, such as 'in a pasture' or 'in his stall'. I mean what is he DOING when he tosses his head? Eating? Drinking? Walking? Something along those lines. It may take some time, but there is always a reason. Spend some time with him doing nothing but watching him. If no luck, try working with him and seeing what happens then.

Good luck.
He doesn't have a particular time he does it. Its anytime, everytime. Ill watch him some more though. Thanks.
     
    04-17-2013, 12:03 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Is he still being fed hay that has foxtails in it? If so that's probably your problem. Not every vet is as good as the next. Instead of the univeristy I would just have another vet out for a second opinion. And did this happen before purchase? Did anything show up on the PPE?
     
    04-17-2013, 02:37 PM
  #5
Weanling
I would not rule out some sort of abscess in his cheek or gums from the foxtails- the dentist could have missed one. Something cheap you could try to see if it made a difference would be a flymask with ears- if his ears are being tickled by bugs or his forelock or the wind this could help, if he is experiencing some sort of vision issue it may help with glaring lights etc. I would advise having a chiropractor come look at him, he could have something out of whack that is causing him pain. Are you sure his saddle/tack fits? If he wasn't doing this before you purchased him/began using your tack on him, it could be that he finally had enough with ill-fitting tack, or a poorly fitting saddle could have damaged his back. That is a good vet/chiro question to look into. Best of luck!
     
    04-17-2013, 02:43 PM
  #6
Trained
I would find a large animal practice that comes highly recommended with equine dentistry otherwise you might never solve this horse's problem. Obviously something is irrititating him to the point of him being unusable, you have to find out what is or just hope it clears up on it's own?
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    04-18-2013, 01:45 PM
  #7
Foal
Head Tossing

Figuring out the answer to this question feels like detective work to me at times. After the veterinarian rules out a problem with teeth, and I have checked for spasms in the neck and poll, what is next on the checklist? An overlooked area is the throatlatch. When muscles are very tight in this area and the horse is put "on the bit" he might not be able to breathe! Your horse might be holding his breath as long as "equinely" possible, but then panic sets in and the head goes straight up. Once the muscles in the front of the neck and jaw are released, you might be very surprised how quickly the head tossing problem vanishes.
     
    04-18-2013, 11:47 PM
  #8
Foal
Thank you everyone for your suggestions. My trainer suggested trying a fly mask as well- ill try that tomorrow. As far as I know, this headthrowing never happened before we purchased him, and he had been living in the sun there. I highly doubt its ill fitting tack- we truly don't ride him that often or hard for his age and health capabilities. Also, we gave him a break to see if it was anything riding related, and nothing seemed to change. I would love to be able to get a chiro out And a high quality dentist, but I simply can't afford all that. I will, however, try to get a second opinion from a vet. I'll also check if the farrier sees anything odd about his feet. Thanks so much everyone.
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    04-20-2013, 12:28 PM
  #9
Weanling
My mare used to throw her head when we rode her, but it was only when we asked for a trot.

One of her issues was teeth, does your horse still have his wolf teeth? My one mare still has her's and she throws her head when you ask her to stop. The TB that would throw her head when she would trot needed teeth floated, her poll was out of place and we had one chiropractor come out and I thought she adjusted a lot but she didn't. We took her to another chiropractor and he spent 2 hours on her. He said the girl fixed a lot of her poll issues.

One trick to check for chiro work is take a pen cap and run it on the side of the spine from the poll to the tail. Not on the spine, but right to the side of it. If they shutter extremely bad, they need chiro. The TB shuttered extremely bad, and with doing stretches and getting chiro work done she doesn't shutter as much.
     
    04-20-2013, 08:39 PM
  #10
Foal
Does anyone know anything about light blindness or common vision problems with the light? Watching him closer, I found that it gets worst adjusting to or being in the light. Any tips? Anyway to get rid of this? I tried a flymask, no change.
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