Head tossing - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Head tossing

When I stop my horse or make her turn she will toss her head or root the rains. Though not hard I do not want this habit to develop further. Please help if you have any experience with head tossing horses. I also know that she is not in pain or irritated by anything.
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 11:17 AM
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What kind of bit are you using? And remember to use soft hands, try only using your index finger and thumb and see if the same problem occurs.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 11:32 AM
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This is a sign of disobedience. My (now) 6yo QH came with this problem as a 3yo. I was blaming it the place he came from, a rescue that let inexperienced hands handle the reins.
I have taught him to lunge, and I've added a tack to it. I use an eggbutt snaffle, tie the ends of the reins to the pommel of the saddle and use a lunging halter and lead over the bridle. I adjust the bridle so that there is soft contact on the bit, and my horse must move while rounding his back and striding under. Sometimes, it's a lack of muscle, but every time I have had this problem with him, and then lunged him under saddle, he listened very well immediately afterwards, when I removed the lunge and rode him under saddle. He reined with soft contact and stopped tossing his head.

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post #4 of 13 Old 12-20-2012, 11:47 PM
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My mare used to toss her head while out riding when I first got her, it wasn't until someone pointed out to me I had the reins not loose and was forever pulling on her.....after I was very conscious about riding with a loose rein and she's stopped the head tossing....
BTW welcome to horse forum!

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post #5 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 08:34 AM
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I would check the bit you are useing its not always disobedience there could be a problem with the bit in her mouth, I have the same prob with my mare and my gelding, I was useing a shanked split bit, they both would toss there head around whenever I stop, back, and turn, when I talked to my 4h leader about it he said to use a plain O ring snaffle, when I changed bits the differences are amasing neither my mare or my gelding toss their heads anymore you might want to try that, or have they had their teeth floated??? The might have wolfe teeth or w.e there called that are bothering htem ik my brothers horse had the same prob and when he changed bits it didnt help him but when he got the horses teeth floated the problem was gone and he continues to show in the shanked bit inwhich he was useing to start off. Hope you find a solution for your horse
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post #6 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the many posts! I am riding her in a loose ring double jointed snaffle and it is quite thick, so is about as hard as a rubber snaffle. I'm pretty sure its disobedience though, because I usually ride with minimal rein contact and very soft aids because she is a very sensitive horse. She also only tosses her head when she's hyped up after a gallop or when she's speeding on the way home or I'm turning her away from home. Please don't tell me I need to work on my leadership, I know I do. But how do I solve the prob? BTW thank you for welcoming me to the forum!
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, I forgot to add that SADLY I have no lunge ring or even a flat place to lunge. Where I live, everything is hilly.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 09:14 PM
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Check her teeth, get her back looked at and get her saddle looked at.
Then make sure you're not coming down hard on her back, not pinching your knees, and not accidentally jabbing her in the mouth. Some people have good intentions with riding on 'light' contact, but don't follow the horse's topline through the elbows which results in a tight, then loopy rein each stride - bumping the horse's mouth every time they take a step.
Ride forward. The head tossers I have ridden and viewed, that have not had any physical problems, were simply not being ridden forward by their riders. I know one pony who tosses his head quite chronically with his regular rider, the times I have got on him he has not tossed his head once. The normal rider is nervous so doesn't ride him forward, and he then tosses his head. I ride very forward, and sure enough, no head toss.
Give it a shot.

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post #9 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 09:29 PM
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You can use a tie down if you ride western
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-21-2012, 09:41 PM
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A tie down simply bandaids a problem.

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