I am new here and any advice is greatly appreciated. In Sept I got Harley a 7 y.o. Quarter horse and he is ALMOST perfect. He has one major flaw that I can't stand. He throws his head. It starts when you go to cinch up the saddle. As soon as you tighten the cinch his head goes up. People have noticed it and laughed about it. Out on the trail he will be just fine for a while and then he starts throwing his head again. That is when he starts to stumble. I am afraid that he is going to do one of two things with this ... (A) knock some of my teeth out with his big ole head (mane has brushed my nose on more than one occasion) or (B) start throwing his head while we are on some rough trail and stumble and fall and hurt him, me, or both of us. He has been checked by the vet, and chiropractor and there is nothing structurally wrong with him. I am useing a tom thumb snaffle on him which is what he has used all of his life. I have also ridden him with a tie down (bungie type) and he goes right through it just like it isnt there. Any other ideas?? All help is appreciated.
First off, it is rare to find a horse who likes a "tom thumb snaffle" (Not a snaffle by the way, common mistake, often mislabeled.) so the first thing I would do I get out of that bit. Next, check and see if he has any pain. It sounds ot me like he became cinch sour because it hurts when he is ridden (Saddle fit could be a big part of this) or perhaps he is getting sores from the cinch.
Your bit might just be your problem. That bit gives mixed signals and isn't a very well thought out bit. I would consider switching it out trying some other types. Another thing is have you checked his teeth??
I got the vet to saddle him and check everything and he said everything looked good and saw no reason for it. His teeth were floated last spring and he doesnt have any worlf teeth. What type of bit do you recommend??? I found out really quickly that a bar bit isnt going to work with him... man he threw a fit with that one.
And it's not one of those neurological ticks? Because some horses do shake their heads for no apparent reason other than it's just them. But I agree, change the bit to a snaffle type and maybe the KIND of girth has an affect? Some prefer rope, some like nylon, some work in fleece.. I've not seen a leather cinch so can't comment on that. But experiment if you can.
Thanks Sorrel Horse I will try that and see how it works.
Sky I am begining to wonder about that. I have tried every different kind of girth I could find and I try to be super easy with him when saddleing him up. Ya know just barely snug and let the saddle sit for a few mins. And then gently and slowly tighten it up on him. Any my buddies still laugh cause about every inch the cinch strap tightens his goes up accordingly. It really is kinda funny to watch. Just dangerous when riding
I have a gelding who will absolutely pitch a fit like that even though he is perfectly sound. It's like PTSD from his old owner who was...not a lightweight. He associated the saddling with someone heavy puling him over while mounting and then flopping around on his back. Not saying you're doing that, but maybe something to consider if anyone else rides him/has owned him.