Head toss, what does it mean? - The Horse Forum

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 315
• Horses: 0
Head toss, what does it mean?

I've been watching my horse very closely lately, and I've noticed that she often tries to tell me something with a head toss.
I do not mean while we're riding (she never tosses her head then) but rather when she's loose in the pasture. It is definitely a horse-language thing and I want to figure it out. I have noticed several variations of this movement but it always involves flicking the head in some manner. All of the horses seem to do it, and when my horse tosses her head to another horse they respond, so I know that it is used for communication.
My Monty Roberts book briefly mentions that a head toss can mean "I didn't mean to do that" but I cannot imagine that all of the horses I see would be saying that all the time!

I am really curious about this now. I want to know what my horse is trying to tell me when she does this. Does anyone have any clue as to what it means? Or if you don't, could you tell me in what situations you have seen your horse toss his/her head? I've got to get to the bottom of this!

(I'm sure that after watching them in the pasture for long enough I will be able to figure it out, but I thought this might help to speed up the process by giving me something to look for)

Here is a (very dusty and old) picture for reference. Sorry it's so big, I made it smaller but it sill displays in the same size.
WalnutPixie is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:06 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,144
• Horses: 1
As you said it is communication. I think from watching mine it can mean a few different things. Mine will do it in anticipation of feeding, or getting out of the paddock. Maybe excitement? Another will do it to the other horses to make them move or maybe "I'm dominant"? I think it just depends on the situation. I wondered the same thing for awhile but these are the only things I can come up with.
Posted via Mobile Device
mbender is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:08 AM
mls
Trained
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
Posts: 5,464
• Horses: 3
What breed is she? No offense to anyone - but Arabs tend to have more of an attitude and love to do the head flick rather frequently.

That being said - my three year old foundation QH filly has the MOST attitude with her head of any horse I have ever seen. Loose, on the line, under saddle, etc - always expressing her self. Has from day one!
mls is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 315
• Horses: 0
mls, believe it or not she's a paint with mostly halter bred quarter horses in her pedigree, haha. But she looks like an arab. She also has a lot of attitude, and like you said I do think that is part of the reason why she does this so much.

I also agree that it does seem to have a lot to do with excitement, mbender. I have seen her do it when she is not excited too, so I'm confused about that part. It is interesting that you mentioned that your horses shake their heads before being fed. I am never around when my horse is fed so I didn't know about that.
WalnutPixie is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 10:45 AM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 2,808
• Horses: 2
She is very cute
Hunter65 is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 315
• Horses: 0
Thank you :)
WalnutPixie is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 11:38 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 324
• Horses: 1
When my mare does it while out and about in the pasture it is either a: she is excited and fired-up, or b: she is warning someone to get out of her "bubble", haha!
leonalee is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 11:48 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,168
• Horses: 5
Our younger mares toss their heads at each other when they want to play...like "let's go run around" or "chase after me".

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
PaintHorseMares is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 12:11 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,166
• Horses: 5
My standardbred does this primarily to indicate she's mildly pissed off or frustrated about something. Could be that she touched the electric fence by accident, could be that the other horse is going out and she's not, could be that I chatised her for something from a distance, could be that I went outside and didn't visit her. Once she wiped out running around a corner in the field and flipped her head about that. Always seems to be an outlet of negativity for her but not truly angry.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 11-19-2010, 01:38 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 424
• Horses: 1
My mare does this all the time and mostly when she is turned out or during feeding time. Both very exciting times. I think it is just a playful gesture.

The wind of heaven is that which blows between a horse's ears. ~Arabian Proverb
Azale1 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
CALLING ALL FULL SIZE HEAD HORSES!Cribbing/biting muzzle and english head set/w reins Gidget Tack and Equipment Classifieds 0 11-14-2010 02:37 AM
my new bale of T&A hay got soaking wet. I need to toss it, right? dirtymartini Miniature Horses 23 08-16-2010 10:16 AM
Why does she toss her head? Danjones Horse Training 6 07-26-2010 12:13 AM
Getting Rid of a Head Toss? Zeke Horse Training 2 07-25-2010 10:07 PM
Crazy head!!! Help for a horse with 'head raising probs'???? trot-on Horse Training 20 09-17-2008 11:29 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome