Head throwing Help - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Question Head throwing Help

My mare has a problem with throwing her head around sometimes. For English, I have a martingale, but i was wondering, is there anything like that for western? anything that will stop her from throwing her head that can connect to her headstall or breastcollar?

Thank you everyone!

Horses are scared of two things. Things that move and things that don't
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 09:19 PM
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The smart alec answer: training. If your hose is head tossing, the solution is to figure out why and fix the problem rather than masking it with gear.

Another answer: some western riders use tie-downs, a strap simply connected from the girth to a halter worn under the bridle. Effective, but be careful since there's no freedom or stretch, so it should not be used if there's a likelyhood of deep mud or water crossings.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 09:25 PM
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Have you checked her teeth to make sure there is no pain? There are devices but I think you will be happier if you figure out why she's doing it. The solution could be simple as changing your rein pressure or even switching bits...

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post #4 of 9 Old 01-24-2013, 09:25 PM
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I would honestly train her to stop rather than masking it. My Arab had a bad problem with jerking his head up to get away from the bit, and it was masked with a tie-down for YEARS by a previous owner and did nothing but make the problem worse. It took a few months and a lot of patience for him to stop, but I'd rather have a happy horse and happy me ;] My Avatar is from last summer before our training, and he would jam his head back even higher than that at times, too...
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! She just had her teeth checked in November so that shouldn't be the issue:) Are there any tips on training her to hold her head down? its not all the time either, just on some days.

Horses are scared of two things. Things that move and things that don't
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MAG1723 View Post
Thanks everyone! She just had her teeth checked in November so that shouldn't be the issue:) Are there any tips on training her to hold her head down? its not all the time either, just on some days.
It really depends on why she's doing it. It could be that she's just throwing a tantrum. Are you holding her back but she wants to go? Are you trying to get her to go but she doesn't want to? It she trying to get back to other horses? What are you asking her to do?

It could be from pain. Does she seem lame in any way? Are you positive her tack fits? Has she put on or lost weight recently? She could have an abscess in one of her hooves. Is she overdue for a trim? Could be other things as well.
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MAG1723 View Post
Thanks everyone! She just had her teeth checked in November so that shouldn't be the issue:) Are there any tips on training her to hold her head down? its not all the time either, just on some days.
My mare when I first got her 8yrs. ago would toss her head, someone pointed out to me that I had the reins tight and was pulling on her mouth.....after that I was very aware of making sure I didn't do that and she never did it again.....

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post #8 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 07:19 PM
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Our newest project mare has a head tossing issue... With her it IS a combination of her never having been floated (had her done 2 weeks ago- she had points and was pretty callousy), AND the fact that her previous owner was VERY timid and would get off of her whenever she would get to tossing that head.. they attempted to fix it by putting a martingale on her (with a mech hack 0.o) and then promptly gave up when she FREAKED OUT.

Since having her teeth done, I have introduced her to a snaffle and I have been tying the reins between her legs and up over her back (no saddle)..NOT tight but enough that she cant get her head way up..essentially I have her teaching herself how to relieve the pressure of the bit... and that head tossing is kind of uncomfortable. I then free lunge her through all of her gaits. She did get mad once and decided throwing herself over was a good idea.. but then got enough sence that that wasnt getting her anywhere...

I don't know if its a good way to go about it, but for my mare it seems like its working.. She will walk, trot and canter now without head tossing.. and she stays off the bit really well now.. SO I am curious for any other suggestions.. for the time being I am limited to ground work (pregnant), and wontbe able to ride the beast till spring time.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-25-2013, 07:23 PM
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I'm all for training to fix the problem but as others have said, there are many different reasons of why she's throwing her head.. Is there any way you can post a video? We may be able to give you better advice is we can actually see what's going on with her.

I am Sparkly Meanie Doodie Head and I approve this message!
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