Head bobbing? What does it mean?
   

       The Horse Forum > Training Horses > Horse Training

Head bobbing? What does it mean?

This is a discussion on Head bobbing? What does it mean? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • What does it mean when a horse bobs its head while walking
  • What does bobbed mean for a horse

 
LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-03-2007, 08:05 PM
  #1
Foal
Head bobbing? What does it mean?

My 12 year old TB bobs his head up and down when im grooming him and when im tacking him up. He is sound and happy, as the vet said, so I don't think he's in pain - maybe just being rude?

Is this similar to pawing?

If so, how can I stop it??
     
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
    12-03-2007, 08:43 PM
  #2
Started
It's probably displaced behavior. He may be frustrated in some way, or aggitated and the behavior is brought upon by some tension he has mentally. Check your brushes to make sure they aren't too stiff for him. If you cross tie him, try not doing that. For the tacking up, I would start over completely like it's the first time he's ever had a saddle on. Check saddle fit, placement, and shimming, and make sure the girth doesn't rub him.

Don't punish him for it. He's simply stating his opinion about certain things and if you punish him, it'll just show him you don't care about what he thinks of things. Horses have opinions just like we do.
     
    12-04-2007, 07:21 AM
  #3
Showing
Is this new behavior or just recently? I notice I get more static in my brushes this time of year (dry air). I use static guard on them and put a dryer sheet in my brush bucket to help keep it down. Make sure you aren't giving him little zaps when you brush him.
     
    12-07-2007, 03:56 PM
  #4
Foal
Could it be something like this?? Cuzz my instructors horse does this head waving thing constantly and no one knows how to stop it. Heres the video!! Its a little loud because of the fan. Sorry about that! Anyone have this same problem????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YYq03jKiHw
     
    12-08-2007, 01:27 AM
  #5
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaStables
Could it be something like this?? Cuzz my instructors horse does this head waving thing constantly and no one knows how to stop it. Heres the video!! Its a little loud because of the fan. Sorry about that! Anyone have this same problem????

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YYq03jKiHw
Looks like he is really bored (needs more turnout) or has an itchy neck
     
    12-08-2007, 01:28 AM
  #6
Showing
Cambria, could it be a type of cribbing ?
     
    12-08-2007, 12:59 PM
  #7
Weanling
Is this horse new to you? How much of his history do you know?
I know of a retired race horse that gets real fidgety when they put him in cross ties-the assumption has been made that prior to a race he was cross tied and groomed and this is an old habit of dealing with the anxiety. Tied to a post, he's fine, or if you brush him while holding him. So perhaps your horse is aniticipating something that makes him nervous or excited?

Try just tied to a post or hand held and see if he still fidgets when you groom him. Or take him to another place to groom him and see if he still does it. It could be the spot he's tied in makes him anxious for some reason-perhaps a boss horse is in a stall right there and he feels vulnerable tied there, or activity in the barn isle behind him where he can't see well. Or cross ties are too confining for him.

Another thought on the same lines about anticipation-do you only cross tie before working him or saddling him? Perhaps he's not happy with the saddle being put on, or the "work", esp. If he's fresh out of his stall. Maybe a little liberty just before you tie him would help-like 10minutes to run in a paddock then groom and tack up.

Or perhaps the cross ties put pressure on his head through the halter on his jaws and he has teeth problems that are annoying him. If he has an abcessed tooth, that could be it (though I would think there would be other symptoms-like problems in the bridle or while eating, weight loss, etc). But it's an idea to consider.

To stop it, you have to figure out first what's triggering it. It could be dis-respect, but it could be a legitimate worry in his mind that a little more exercise, less grain or being tied in a new area could help. If nothing else works, then consider dis-respect, but my guess is he would start with other methods of defying you if that's his intention, not tossing his head.

Edited to add that disciplining a horse that's acting out of anxiety may make the problem worse, so I'd definintly give him the benefit of the doubt since his behaviour seems fairly harmless-he's not biting or striking out, kicking or running over you, pulling back. No, it's not ideal to have him toss his head-and watch yours so you don't bump noggins, but for now, work on finding the cause instead of disicpline.
     
    12-08-2007, 06:33 PM
  #8
Foal
He gets turned out at 9 in the morning and comes in around 6. And even when he is out in the pasture he does it. And isnt cribbing when they bite on something?
     
    12-08-2007, 11:47 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaStables
He gets turned out at 9 in the morning and comes in around 6. And even when he is out in the pasture he does it. And isnt cribbing when they bite on something?
Sorry, yes cribbing is done with the teeth. I guess what I meant was that it could be some sort of self stimulations like cribbing. Like when a child will sway or rock back and forth or adults that have some sort of nervous tick, its just self stimulation. Make sense?
     
    12-09-2007, 11:43 AM
  #10
Foal
Haha yeah that makes sence and we just think its a stupid little qwirk he does. But her friends horse died from it because when her horse moved his head like that he swayed back and forth and his joints or something wore away and he couldnt stand anymore and he died =[
     

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0