Pony yanking his head up when ridden
   

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Pony yanking his head up when ridden

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    • 1 Post By DraftyAiresMum
    • 1 Post By DraftyAiresMum

     
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        08-18-2013, 02:26 PM
      #1
    Banned
    Angry Pony yanking his head up when ridden

    Hey all,

    My friend's bay 148 pony Teddy has a habit of yanking his head up when he is ridden. We've had the dentist out, chiropractor (Equine) and the vet to help diagnose this. They could not define the problem's origin. Teddy does not have any optical disease causing him to see dots in the sun; this has been checked. My friend blames it on 'the sweat and the flies' but this is a misdiagnosis. I began riding him today as my friend is on holidays, and give him a good sharp slap with the whip each time he does this. He uses a rubber happy mouth bit and all tack fits perfectly. Any suggestions on how he began this habit? My friend is not firm with him and has let him do this for two years; that is a contributing factor.
         
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        08-18-2013, 02:49 PM
      #2
    Trained
    Are you sure the bit fits and that he is actually going as well in it as you think?

    Many times, head tossing is a sign of evading the bit due to the bit being painful (either the wrong size or just doesn't like it).

    I would suggest trying him in a different bit and see if he does any better.
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        08-19-2013, 05:45 AM
      #3
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DraftyAiresMum    
    Are you sure the bit fits and that he is actually going as well in it as you think?

    Many times, head tossing is a sign of evading the bit due to the bit being painful (either the wrong size or just doesn't like it).

    I would suggest trying him in a different bit and see if he does any better.
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    I second trying a different bit, and make sure it fits correctly.
         
        08-19-2013, 05:54 AM
      #4
    Green Broke
    Does the pony UNDERSTAND that you want him to come round and not yank his head up?

    Horses do not automatically drop their heads, and if they have been previously pulled in the mouth will be prone to pulling their heads up in anticipation of pain or discomfort.

    Whacking him with a whip will do very little to help the situation; if anything he will probably continue.

    My advice would be to lunge him in side reins and see how he goes. Do not tie the side reins down tight, but make sure that they are on firm enough that he gets to idea of relaxing in to a frame.
         
        08-19-2013, 02:45 PM
      #5
    Banned
    Yes, we had tack checked too. A rubber Happy Mouth is the softest bit on the market! He even does this when being lead. I will mention side reins to her, but we don't have them at home. Though, that is a very good idea!:) Actually, giving him a slap when he does it seems to be helping so far!:) He did it very little, and this is only day 2! When he keeps his head still for about 15 seconds or more, I give him a good pat:)
         
        08-19-2013, 02:52 PM
      #6
    Trained
    Just because it's the softest bit on the market doesn't mean he actually likes it.

    My friend rides her Arab gelding in a (American) Tom Thumb because that is what he goes best in. Put him in a regular snaffle (single or double jointed) and he's a mess and doesn't listen. Put him in the Tom Thumb and he listens to the slightest cues with no fuss.

    Put my gelding in a single joint snaffle and he fights you all day long. Put him in a double jointed (French link) snaffle and he's moderately better. Put him in a Little S mechanical hackamore and he's an absolute angel and listens to even the slightest cues.

    The point is, just because a certain bit is considered the softest or mildest bit, doesn't mean it works for every horse.
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        08-19-2013, 02:58 PM
      #7
    Banned
    I see what you mean:) Teddy isn't my own pony though, so I can't change his tack. We had him in snaffles, French links and a Dutch gag once. He goes best with the snaffle, as he can have quite a soft mouth and the link was very hard and he was shaking more than ever!!;)
         
        08-19-2013, 07:16 PM
      #8
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ponyhorse1516    
    I see what you mean:) Teddy isn't my own pony though, so I can't change his tack. We had him in snaffles, French links and a Dutch gag once. He goes best with the snaffle, as he can have quite a soft mouth and the link was very hard and he was shaking more than ever!!;)
    Make sure the bit truly fits. And that the rider isn't yanking this horse around by leaning on their hands or having bumpy/hard hands.

    Are you able to provide video?
         
        08-19-2013, 10:51 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    One other thing I will mention is saddle fit. If his saddle does not fit properly when he DOES try and move out more it could be pinching and so he hollows his back and throws his head up. I also agree with the bit. Many horses do not go well in a happy mouth because they are so thick and they are dry and prone to rub a horse.

    Next is forget the head! Forget any gadgets to put his head in a position etc.

    When a horse is moving properly the head will come down as a result. I'm guessing his muscles are under developed in the proper areas and thus he will not be able to go correctly for very long at once.

    Pay attention to the riders hands, often times when a rider thinks they have light hands the contact is very 'fluttery' meaning it's inconsistent. Too light of contact will cause a fluttering of the reins and this will be irritating to the horse. You want light elastic content that goes with the horse and doesn't try to force a frame.

    You also need to make sure the pony is relaxed. An anxious horse will not carry their head in a nice position. Getting anxious will cause the back to tense, hollow and then the head to come up.

    What you want to do is ride him correctly back to front and the head will follow.
         
        08-21-2013, 03:00 PM
      #10
    Banned
    Sorry, can't put up a video:(. We tried Teddy in a roller today and he was going much better! Thanks so much guys:) xxxx
         

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