The Notorious Head Tosser
 
 

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The Notorious Head Tosser

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  • Horse head tosser
  • Head tosser horses

 
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    12-23-2012, 05:13 PM
  #1
Weanling
The Notorious Head Tosser

I love my horse to death and want to do things that make him happy on days when I'm not focusing on training in the arena. One of the things he absolutely loves is trail riding. I often ride with some other girls whose horses are super reliable and awesome on trails, they can canter no problem & be fine, etc. However, my boy has some issues. We've had good days where I've been able to canter him through trails and in open fields, etc. and he's been fine. But more often than not when I get him cantering, he starts lowering and tossing his head. He never does this in the arena, only on trails. I figure it's from excitement. I try my best to ride through it & limit the movement of his head until he stops and then continue on, but it doesn't always work & I just have to bring him back down to a trot or walk.

Also, when we do get a canter going, and even a trot at times, I feel like I really have to hold him back or he'll take off.

Anyone can offer any tips on correcting these two issues?
     
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    12-24-2012, 09:10 PM
  #2
Yearling
Is he in pain? If not, could just be excitement/ not wanting to work so he shakes his head to get out of it.

I ride a horse who is a notorious head shaker too. He's got this build where he can pop you in the face too, if you aren't careful. When he starts shaking his head, I put him to a tight circle then ask for the desired gait again.

If he continues, spins in a circle the other direction. This has given me success with the gelding I ride. Most of the time he shakes when he hasn't been ridden for a while or prissy from the cold. He's mostly ridden in a tie down but I've been working on him without as of late.
     
    12-24-2012, 09:21 PM
  #3
Weanling
No, I don't believe it's pain. He never does it in the arena, just on trails. And it's not that he lifts his head when he does it, he puts his head down and shakes, almost like he's going to buck, but he doesn't.

I'll try what you suggested sometime soon!
     
    12-24-2012, 10:54 PM
  #4
Yearling
Probably doing it out of excitement, how old is he?
My mare who is coming 11 would always boot it when I cantered with anyone, it was like she was racing for her life! It's only been the last 3 or 4 yrs. Where I can canter her without her thinking we were racing, it's taken lots of cantering but now she has finally figured out that she is wasting so much energy than if she just went at a nice pace......
     
    12-24-2012, 11:00 PM
  #5
Weanling
He's 7, going on 8 next year, so he's still pretty much a youngin'. Haha. And as far as I know, he doesn't have much experience with anything. I was told he trail rode before I got him, but an older man owned him so I highly doubt he was cantering him through the woods. I've done most of his training that I can tell, I have no clue the extent of it before I got him. Which is why I think it's excitement. I'm just looking for tips on how to get him to calm down. :)
     
    12-24-2012, 11:10 PM
  #6
Showing
It may be bit evasion as horses will "pig root" when doing this. Are you taking a tighter hold of the reins? Try giving him a little more rein and if he speeds up make him circle or do serpentines until he slows down again. You will likely have to do this three or four times before he figures out that speeding up means extra work.
     
    12-24-2012, 11:11 PM
  #7
Yearling
I found cantering with just one person on a calm horse really helped my mare, this year was the first time in 8yrs. That I've owned her that I felt like in control cantering her! Also my friend and I would play around in fields, I would get my mare to stand still while I video taped my friend cantering around us LOL at first she was dancing around but now she will stand and wait until I say to go......you can also do exercises with a friend, where one is leading and then switch off.....that will help them realize they don't need to get so excited that the other one isn't running off. While cantering with just one if he's still wanting to act up, try turning him down into a circle to slow him down......if he puts his head down try a one rein stop with him.....just stay safe and have fun!
     
    12-25-2012, 12:35 PM
  #8
Weanling
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll definitely have to plan on getting someone to ride out with me and work on this.
     
    12-25-2012, 03:52 PM
  #9
Foal
My mare would do the same on trails only or on cattle. She loves the freedom and it took riding alone with just her and I to get through it. She wasn't real confident on the trail in me that is. Def. In the pen she was but all her training was conducive to arena environment and on the trail, boundaries changed and thresholds disappeared. Casual riding was not something she knew. So excitement overwhelmed her and she became emotionally disconnected from what she knew well.....me and training for a purpose. Not sure this helps or makes sense. It came down to equally preparing my mare for casual expectations and trail trust not just work loads. I rode alone and built the same expectations on the trail by training and stretching, side passing etc. letting her know that at anytime, we could go to work.
     

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