Head Tossing

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Head Tossing

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  • 1 Post By Kayty

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    11-26-2012, 04:50 AM
Head Tossing

I have a 7yo OTT thoroughbred mare who I turned out for three months when I first got her.

She has now had about 6-7months of work/re educating, and the only trouble I am having is while working on the flat when she is on the bit she some times out of no where throws her head up (like I have jabbe her in the mouth) and then jiggels her head a bit and the resumes workng like nothing ever happened. I ride her in a loose ring snaffle and always have so I don't know if it's an old racing habbit or what it is.....any suggestions?
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    11-26-2012, 12:37 PM
Do you use a curb chain or a chin strap? If you use a curb chain maybe its too tight on her chin? Or possibly maybe for a moment your hands were too heavy. Another possibility is the bit is pinching her mouth. It's hard to tell without seeing it in person.
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    11-26-2012, 01:47 PM
The head tossing could be any number of things for the horse. Could just be a bit disrespectful, could be pain in the horse's mouth from the bit, could be wrong sized saddle, or could be any other number of pains that the horse may have that is amplified by the fact that you are now riding her and putting more pressure on the horse's system.
    11-26-2012, 06:43 PM
Check saddle fit and her teeth. I dealt with a gelding who would NOT soften his face to the bit. Ever. But, we got him a proper fitting saddle, instantly the softest mouthed horse I'd ever ridden. It just made it painful for him to soften the face. If you are riding her and this happens suddenly, you could be hitting the "sore spot" on the saddle or with the bit in her mouth if she needs her teeth done.

Rule that out first.
    11-26-2012, 06:44 PM
Have you had her teeth done since she came off the track? Have you had her checked for ulcers? A lot of TBs on the track have ulcers. Has the saddle been fitted by a professional? How do you ask her to "be on the bit"?
    11-26-2012, 10:05 PM
She has had her teeth done, saddle fitted and a going over by a chiro.....i wonder if it could be the bit pinching or something. She has a beautiful soft mouth so I was thinking about trying one of those rubber happy mouth bits (think that's what they're called?)
    11-26-2012, 10:11 PM
Definitely rule out pain, tack fit etc.
Ensure that you have 1cm between her lips and bit ring on each side - loose rings can pinch if they're too tight.

You say she does this when 'on the bit'. How are you asking for her to be in this position? If you are putting backwards pressure on the bit, see-sawing, or jiggling the reins - this is a great excuse for head tossing.
How is your seat? If you're coming down hard on her back, gripping your knees/upper legs, moving your hands with your body, etc. again, great excuse for head tossing.

Get the pain/discomfort check out straight away, then come back here for some training assistance.
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    11-26-2012, 10:14 PM
Also neglected to mention that you could try a single jointed snaffle, and a fixed ring. He may just not like the french link.
    11-26-2012, 10:36 PM
I had a 6yr old gelding that I rode in a jr cow bit.. Did wonderful for a little bit.. Then was riding one day and started throwing his head thought he was just in a mood.well when vet came out n did his he had me put my hand in his mouth omy when I took my hand out his teeth had cut my hand.. I would def have teeth checked :) and like also check the saddle :)
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    11-27-2012, 09:17 AM
You could try some bit guards for the loose ring.
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