ive exhausted my ideas...i need some of yours

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ive exhausted my ideas...i need some of yours

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  • Why does a horse throw its head around while being ridden

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    12-29-2007, 06:19 AM
ive exhausted my ideas...i need some of yours

I had a new student today who has a qh x appy who is having some issues. I've thought of a couple of things but I would like some more opinions if I could

Ill start at the beginning. He is 8 years old. Was only broken in by my student about 18 months ago. He was doing brilliantly at pony club and starting to jump really really well. He went through a barbed wire fence about 9 months ago and cut his leg pretty bad but not as bad as it could have been. It looks to have healed up well.

About 6 months ago, the girl got a job and until 3 weeks ago, hadnt ridden him for about 5 months. When she started riding him again, he was throwing his head around really bad. This was basically the reason she called me out as she thought it was bad behaviour and that he needed more training for herself and him.

We had our first lesson today and it was evident pretty quickly that he had some issues. In the walk he is fine. As soon as you ask him to trot, he starts throwing his head around so much that he gets all off balance and trips and stumbles.

First thing I did was take his drop nose band off and he seemed a little better. In the canter, he still did it but near as bad. I hopped on him for a little bit and my instincts say he is in pain somewhere but I don't think its tack related. Everything was fine in that area.

I stopped the riding there and suggested that we unsaddle and check him for any sore spots. He had no sensitivity along his backbone or hip area.

I've suggested to her that we discontinue lessons on this horse until she gets a chiropractor out which she is going to do.

Does anyone else have any ideas on a problem? I think I've put as much info as I can but im really tired and I may have skipped some things
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    12-29-2007, 08:14 AM
The head throwing my first thought was a mouth/teeth issue. When was the last time he was floated? Any sores in the mouth? How do his joints look any soreness in the legs or hips? If he checks out physically My guess would be he is just being a snot from not being ridden in awhile.
    12-29-2007, 09:27 AM
Originally Posted by Vidaloco
The head throwing my first thought was a mouth/teeth issue. When was the last time he was floated? Any sores in the mouth? How do his joints look any soreness in the legs or hips? If he checks out physically My guess would be he is just being a snot from not being ridden in awhile.
i asked her about teeth and she said its been about 7 months. I couldnt see anything in his mouth and all joints seemed ok. He seemed a little stiff on his back offside but nothing that should cause his behaviour.

If he is being a snot then we can deal with that :) I just thought it best not to continue the lesson if he was in pain and getting that checked would leave us knowing where we are at.
    12-29-2007, 11:21 AM
In my experiences, I am sure he just doesn't want to go back to work. You have checked for teeth and soreness so that rules those out. My feeling is that this horse needs to be worked on the ground, lung or round pen him and get that respect and then work at trot and canter on the ground. I had a Morgan who went through the head tossing and we flipped over one day because he threw us off balance.and we went over. My mistake. I had not done the ground work with him that day. Be safe, work from the ground for a better ride.
Just worked with standardbred mare who was angry to go back to work. I would not even think riding this mare that day. Lunged, and worked on ground. She was angry she sweat from everypore and she did not even work hard!
    12-29-2007, 11:22 AM
It's good you took the drop noseband off. :) I would have done the same thing lol.

What kind of bit is she using?

If he was stiff on that hind offside, then the diagonal could have some issues. Usually the horse will show signs of stiffness or soreness in the diagonal when something is going on, so she might want to consider getting an equine massage therapist out to see him in addition to the chiro.
    12-29-2007, 03:15 PM
Green Broke
I use to ride this horse where I use to take lessons that sounds just like this. We had the vet come out and float his teeth but that didnt seem to help so the owners of it had another vet come out a check his teeth again..the previous vet hadnot floated his teeth properly he missed alot...but another option is that he may just not want to be ridden sice its been awhile may have to just work him out of his stubbornes
    12-29-2007, 03:33 PM
I agree with a chiro, and also an equine dentist. He's at the right age for wolf teeth, so I'd have those removed if he has them still. I'd also have his inner ear checked, as the poll of the bridle could be pressing painfully on something up there.

Also, keep in mind that while he is 8yrs old, he's still very green. He's likely not well balanced or well developed muscle-wise (no matter what he might look like). Once you get the head tossing thing figured out and rectified, I would work consistently on getting him back in shape and better balanced, using trot poles and caveletties, and lots of trail riding if you have trail access. We often forget that even mature horses can be unbalanced and weak (in the muscle groups needed to be ridden) due to inactivity or lack of proper riding/training.
    12-29-2007, 07:01 PM
Thanks guys for all the suggestions. Its been a big help

If there wasnt a physical issue, I was going to start off the next lesson we have with a whole bunch of groundwork etc I wanted to get some trot poles going initially but was concerned about pain so I thought it best to leave it until we knew for sure what was going on.

Hopefully soon we will know for sure and we can start getting things sorted :)

Thanks again
    12-30-2007, 11:51 PM
Green Broke
Anytime Jazzy :)

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