Shaking the head

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Shaking the head

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  • Why is my mare shaking her head at me
  • Horses how to keep them from shaking theur heads when trying to slow down

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    01-12-2011, 05:33 PM
Shaking the head

My mare lately developed a very unpleasant habit of shaking her head (pretty violently) when she's mad/unhappy about something. Which she does in field pretty often (for example when my other horse invites her to play and she's not in mood), but now tries it out when taken out too. Like when I walk her to the ring and she's not in mood to work she keeps trying it. And when I'm taking her back (and she doesn't want to go back to the field too ) she does it. It doesn't look like she's trying to avoid the work, but she's definitely showing her frustration with weather, snow, wind, whatever else she can find.

I tried backing her up and moving her rear, but as long as I stop and go forward - she does it again. Last time I took a dressage whip with me and when she started all this fuss just smacked slightly on upper leg. She quit I should say. The problem is I usually don't keep the whip when I just walk them from/to the field/ring. So curious if there are any other ways to deal with this behavior?
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    01-12-2011, 05:51 PM
Super Moderator
If you reprimand her with the whip, as you did, AND use your harsh voice, "ah, ah ah!" Soon all you will have to use is your voice.
    01-12-2011, 05:52 PM
Super Moderator
I just remembered something else; I sometimes slap my own thigh to get their attention and say "Not that!" It is abrupt and makes a good , sharp sound. Hurts, too!
    01-12-2011, 06:32 PM
Green Broke
You always have the end of your rope! You can get some good ones with little leather "poppers" on the end that are meant for that sort of use & longeing.
My mare tosses her head when she gets impatient. What I do is either jerk on her halter or slap her on the rump with the rope & make her do circles (or something she doesn't really find pleasant).
It alright for her to disrespect her pasture mates but she should not pull that sort of behavior with her handler.
    01-13-2011, 06:32 AM
Thanks, folks!

Tiny, slapping with my own body part usually hurts me more than her...
    01-13-2011, 07:28 PM
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
Thanks, folks!

Tiny, slapping with my own body part usually hurts me more than her...
Better than accidentally hitting yourself with a leather popper while lunging. I think my horse thinks that 'OW, ****!' is a command by now.
    01-13-2011, 09:33 PM
Super Moderator
I know, my trainer does it so well, she just lifts her boot and whacks it one and it makes a big scary sound that says, "I mean business". I do it and end up with a welt. But, I do smack my own thigh at times, not hard enough to raise a welt, just a little cracking sound. I do it inthe saddle, too. If that doesnt' get Mac to smarten up, the next step is the crop on his butt.

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