Horse shaking the head - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
She does it ONLY with bridle on. So I don't think anything with ears here.
Have you had her looked at by a chiro? She could be out in the pole. That would show up once the bridle was on and putting pressure on that part of the body. Test it, but asking her to lower her head by using pole pressure.......It could still be an ear issue. Everything is so connected in their head......
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post #12 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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She's fine about pressure on pole. One of the ground exercise I do is making her lower the head by using pressure from rope halter on pole. She does just fine - not a single problem. Well, I'll give a try to the other bridle I have - may be it'll fix an issue.
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post #13 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 02:58 PM
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Interesting...... let us know what happens......
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post #14 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 03:10 PM
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Have you tried a fly bonnet on her, or tried clipping her mane so it doesn't touch her ears, and braid up her forelock so it doesn't tickle her ears? Is the browband too tight? Does the saddle fit well?

If you haven't had a chiropractor out, I highly suggest using one. Or even a vet.

Maia did this as well, and I had her teeth done, tried switching bits, had her saddle professionally fitted, had a couple chiropractors out, and she still did it - to this day I don't know why, but it seemed that keeping her mane and forelock away helped.
The only explanation that helped explain it was that Maia was growing a bit. She was 5 or 6, and in her final growth phase, which explained why she "hopped" up into a trot and had trouble keeping together from a canter to trot.
I'm sorry this isn't much help.


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post #15 of 22 Old 04-06-2009, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Interesting. I'll try to remove the mane from around the ears and see what will happen. The bridle doesn't look tight. I'm afraid to loose it, because it'll be hanging in mouth too low. May be will try to put something soft under to see what will happen.

I'll post my attempts later on (we have rain this week, so I can't try).
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post #16 of 22 Old 04-09-2009, 05:21 PM
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wow. You and your mare are going through EXACTLY what my mare and I are working through! I have switched my mare's bridle, saddle, bit, and done her teeth but nothing seemed to help. She still does it when she has the bridle on but her issue is completely behavioral. I have had her checked out by many many vets and no one can find an explanation for this strange behavior except for she is barn sour and it is an evasion. Each time she shook her head, I would stop. So she learned that she could evade work if she did that. I know it seems like there might be bugs in your mare's ears but I'm pretty positive it's behavioral.

I would get it checked out anyway but just thought I would share my experience!

Good Luck!

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post #17 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you, eventerdrew!

OK, just an update... (no good news though ).

I tried different bridle with different bit yesterday. It was one-ear western bridle. The bit was Korsteel eggbutt french link. Same shaking, plus she looked pretty unpleased with this bit. And she shakes the head when I'm on ground, not on saddle, as well as saddle wasn't even tight. I also noticed when I was walking her in just a halter, she throw her head and mane too exactly the same way. So to me it looks like that strap going behind the ears somehow bothers her. The only time she doesn't care is when she is grazing. Lol! I have no idea what can be done else. May be shave her mane down there. But I kinda afraid to spoil her look. :)
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post #18 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 09:45 AM
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In your pics you have a halter on underneath her bridle... I wonder if that could be bothering her. Maybe it is causing the bridle to rub funny. I really don't know if that would be an issue but it is just a thought that crossed my mind. I hope you figure something out soon!!


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post #19 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val View Post
Thank you, eventerdrew!

OK, just an update... (no good news though ).

I tried different bridle with different bit yesterday. It was one-ear western bridle. The bit was Korsteel eggbutt french link. Same shaking, plus she looked pretty unpleased with this bit. And she shakes the head when I'm on ground, not on saddle, as well as saddle wasn't even tight. I also noticed when I was walking her in just a halter, she throw her head and mane too exactly the same way. So to me it looks like that strap going behind the ears somehow bothers her. The only time she doesn't care is when she is grazing. Lol! I have no idea what can be done else. May be shave her mane down there. But I kinda afraid to spoil her look. :)


There was an article in Practical Horseman that was pretty interesting about head shaking syndrome. It's more common in geldings than in mares, but it does happen in mares. What you described is what they talked about in the article. They say that studies show that it could be nerve related, and that wearing a nose bonnet seemed to help.

Treatments for Headshaking Syndrome
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post #20 of 22 Old 04-10-2009, 10:24 AM
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Val, sometimes there is noting you can do. A mare I had last year did the same thing and no change in equipment would make a difference. She would do it with a halter on as well - BUT only when I rode her - must be her back, right? However, when we went on trail rides with other horses, she didn't do it at all. For her I chalk it up to attitude.

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