Horse shaking the head - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Horse shaking the head

I'm not very positive it belongs to "training" section, but...

My paint shakes her head when I ride her. Like something bother her ears and she tries to chase away the flies from her head. She doesn't look annoyed by my riding or anything and somehow she mostly does it at walk (not so much at trot).

I suspect something is wrong with bridle, but can't figure out what. She's fine about bit, doesn't chew on it or anything (it's a very mild eggbutt french link), the length of the bridle and overall setup is fine (I checked with trainer last Fall when I was taking lessons). I have nice (expensive :) ) leather western bridle, very light, with browband.
The trainer I talked to said she just picked up the bad habit, but my concert is she does it only with bridle on, so something is wrong.

I was thinking about trying a different bridle with one ear and no throatlatch (spell?) Does it make any sense? Any other ideas?

BTW, her teeth are fine and were done last month, and she does NOT like sidepulls and hackamores (no pressure on nose), so it's not an option.
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post #2 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 09:05 AM
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What bit are you using and can you post a picture of your setup? Has there been a change in equipment or conditioning such as saddle, pad, muscling, weight. Etc?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.


It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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post #3 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 09:08 AM
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The key word here is her. She's a normal mare. Mine does the same thing I spent weeks and dollars trying to find out why she throws her head. It's just her way of showing that little bit of dominance. If you can channel her attitude she will make a better horse.
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post #4 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 09:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iridehorses View Post
What bit are you using and can you post a picture of your setup? Has there been a change in equipment or conditioning such as saddle, pad, muscling, weight. Etc?
No change in setup. Same bridle, saddle, pad. She did it last year too (I blamed it to flies though), and she did it yesterday again (I didn't ride them for while, no flies yet). She just shakes so all mane goes up. May be her mane hair are caught under the bridle, which cause unpleasant feeling? My other horse with the same saddle and bit type doesn't do it.

Here is the link to the bit:
http://www.doversaddlery.com/product...7&ids=70820800

Here is the setup (best pic I could find from last yeat, sorry it's small)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg kiara4.jpg (65.4 KB, 216 views)
File Type: jpg kiara5.jpg (53.8 KB, 219 views)
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post #5 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristina View Post
The key word here is her. She's a normal mare. Mine does the same thing I spent weeks and dollars trying to find out why she throws her head. It's just her way of showing that little bit of dominance. If you can channel her attitude she will make a better horse.
I don't think it's a dominance issue with her. I WISH it would be though, because then I wouldn't care much. From her attitude and the way she generally behaves with me it's not a dominance. She also doesn't pin ears. When she's alert she doesn't do it much, mostly on calm relaxed walk.

My other one starts sometime to shake it on trot, but it's very obvious she just doesn't want to do extra work and shows her annoyance. If I don't care much about her lazy "unhappiness" she stops that right there.
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post #6 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 11:21 AM
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is she okay with her head being touched? She might just be sensitive. A lot of horses bob their heads if the reins are too loose or too tight
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post #7 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 11:24 AM
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can you explain the head shaking a little more? Is she flipping her head up and down? Or sticking her nose out and shaking kind of like a wet dog? Does she scratch her nose a lot or sneeze? Is it more noticeable during different seasons or types of weather?
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post #8 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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She's fine with head being touched meaning, she doesn' mind bridle, and I can pet and brush her all over (although she doesn't like brush around the eyes - I do them with just hands).

Upnover, I know what you are asking. Let me try... She did it last year all the time too whether in ring or on trail (although my feeling was it was less on trail than in ring). She doesn't have any scratches and if I scratch her with fingers she's OK - doesn't shake or move away from me. Again it's mostly happens on calm relaxed walk with loose reins, every 2-5 mins. She suddenly just shakes her head and neck from side to side. Kinda like person does it when the hair gets into the eye. I wouldn't say like a wet dog, because body doesn't move (just head and somewhat neck), but may be like a dog if water gets in ear.
She doesn't have long hair on front though, and the bridle doesn't get into the eye.
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post #9 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 12:44 PM
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have you had her ears checked for mites?
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post #10 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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She does it ONLY with bridle on. So I don't think anything with ears here.
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