head bobbing/throwing/shaking..ideas?

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head bobbing/throwing/shaking..ideas?

This is a discussion on head bobbing/throwing/shaking..ideas? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    11-23-2008, 04:05 PM
head bobbing/throwing/shaking..ideas?

So, within the last couple weeks my horse, holden, as devoloped this oh-so-lovely new habit: when we trot he will be going along just fine, then he will start bobbing his head, throwing it up and down, like ten times, then continue be good, then do it again a little later. He does it in the canter as well. I think my hands are pretty steady and when he does it I try to send him forward with my leg.
Anyone got any ideas?
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    11-23-2008, 06:16 PM
Green Broke
Ehhh my mare has the SAME problem its quite annoying!! Sometimes she does it just to play with the bit but im going to keep an eye on this post!
    11-23-2008, 06:29 PM
I've heard of several horses doing this after having the nerves in their mouth injured by the bit and harsh hands. But that's more of a short, intence shaking up and down.. spasmic.

I'm not sure what the throwing can be caused by... but does the bit and saddle fit? Are you touching him somewhere, maybe with your leg, that he doesn't like? Is there flies or something in the air? (like those things you can be allergic to from grass and the like).
I also know a few horses shaking their heads because of that, it helped to put a kind of moskito net over their nostrils.
    11-23-2008, 07:57 PM
Theres no bugs no...thank goodness. Finally they died (with the 12 degree weather)
The odd thing is he just started this, so maybe it could be something ouchy in his mouth, but I wouldn't think it was my hands because I don't THINK I am riding different, but i'll definitely pay attention to that.
    11-23-2008, 08:15 PM
The first thing I would eliminate is dental problems. Depending on his age you may be dealing with wolf teeth or he may just need a floating.

After that I would look at your bit and bridle adjustments, then changes in your riding - possibly the weather, or your clothing due to it, could be causing you to ride differently.
    11-23-2008, 08:25 PM
Also check up that allergy thing.. I really don't know the word but a bug sheet over the nose fixed it with those horses I've heard of.. it was something special made.. err..
I'm not very helpful.. xD

Could be the teeth too tho, not unlikely at all. Have you changed noseband? Those can press the chees in between the teeth and give wounds that way.
    11-23-2008, 08:37 PM
I will definitely check my bridle and I can see when the vet is coming next and have her look at his teeth.
He's 14.
Are allergies really a problem in vermont in november when the high is 17 degrees?
    11-25-2008, 12:13 AM
I have absolutely no idea if they are, but they are in sweden all year around for the horses with those problems.. I havn't heard of many horses like that, but I've heard of different horses reacting at different times of ear :P
I'm not saying it is what's wrong with your horse, dental issues are more common. But it's easy to check, just ride once with a fly mask or something that covers the nostrils. So if the dental won't be the thing, you could check the allergy thing..
    11-25-2008, 02:52 AM
I would definitely check his teeth. When my gelding was eight, he started acting HORRID. I got his teeth checked, and it turned out they needed to be filed/floated (I can't remember the correct term)

After that was done, he was an excellent ride.
Now he tosses and throws his head because he doesn't want to listen and is hyped up on a heavy grain diet that is thankfully being reduced finally.

You said he would go along for a while, then start bobbing his head? Do you give rein cues before he does this?
With my gelding, he'll be going along fine, so long as we're going the direction he wants to go. The minuet I give any kind of cue, he starts throwing up his head. This is only out past the barn for me, however. In the round pen and around the yard he's perfectly fine.
    11-25-2008, 07:43 AM
I agree with Iridehorses, you should definitely have him checked for dental issues. I had a gelding who would suddenly stop and twirl around when too much pressure was put on the left side of his mouth. After a visit to he floater he didn't do it anymore.

Also, always be aware of your hands. If you have an instructor, have him/her work with you on riding with your seat and weight, and become independant of your hands. It could help.

Also, if he does it mostly in the summer, and in sunlight, it may be a head-shaking condition I have read about.

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