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This is a discussion on SWISHING TAIL within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse swishing tail jumping
  • Horse tail swishing when jumping

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    10-07-2007, 06:38 AM

I understand some dressage judges mark horses down for swishing their tails, as it is a sign of resistance. As a judge I don't. Because I have one of my own, to put your leg on him he swishes his tail. AND before the pain question comes out, he has been checked all over, from teeth to tail! He is in tip top condition according to the vet and chiropractor.

So when my daughter asks for a simple change, or flying change along both the diagnol and up the long sides he swishes his tail. She has only been judged down once, that costing her a place in the QLD Equestrian team.

It is really annoying and I haven't owned a horse like that in my life.

Is there a way to get him out of it? Or just let it be? What else is there to do?
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    10-07-2007, 07:15 AM
Sorry I don't have an answer just a big I know nothing about dressage, They mark them down if they swish their tail? That just seems a little too snickity to me. I always thought the horse swished the tail for flys, when their ticked off or just because they felt like it. It just seems wrong to judge them on tail swishing :P
    10-07-2007, 07:29 AM

Of course they are allowed to swish away flys ect. But my problem is when I ask (my daughter) asks him to canta, or walk. By closing her hands and asking him to flex he still swishes his tail. It is a sign of resistance, and so are the ears. Although the tail sticks out more. Espicually, when he has a super thick tail!! Lol
But thanks anyway Vidaloco!!
    10-07-2007, 08:16 AM
Even in a lot of western classes they will mark you down for it, and it's not just the fly swishing it's when they really start swishing, you can tell when it's at a fly and when there mad.
    10-07-2007, 04:09 PM
Some horses do seem to swish a lot...alas, I don't have an answer for you. Never heard of any trick to stopping it. I mean, you've got horses like Blue Hors Matine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw) ...obviously talented, obviously performing her heart out...and her tail's going like a whirlygig:P
    10-07-2007, 06:55 PM
Yes, I watched that video. He does exactly that!! She is so high up though. My daughter couldn't even get in to Medium dressage. He has perfect straight movemnet otherwise.

    10-07-2007, 07:07 PM
Maybe your saddle is too far forward. If it is, he could be swishing his taill due to aggravation or frustration because his shoulders could be trapped. I posted this on another thread, and this is how I place a saddle on a horse.

"Have someone else hold him. With a piece of chalk, mark the back of his scapula (shoulder). Lightly press on his shoulder until you feel it drop off, like the edge of a cliff. A lot of people are told to place the saddle directly behind THIS mark, but it's incorrect. Some horse's scapulas can move 6 inches further back from the resting position! So now, ask him to pick up his leg, bring it to your hip and stretch his leg out in front on him. With your other hand, lightly press around his shoulder until you feel it drop off again. Mark that with the chalk. This second mark is where his scapula moves at maximum extension. You want to place the first weight-bearing part of your saddle directly behind THIS mark. That way the saddle bars do not interfere with his shoulder movement. It gives him maximum freedom of his shoulder.

Now, when you place your saddle in this new position, you will notice that your saddle looks very 'downhill.' This is where SHIMMING comes into play. You will need to shim the saddle up so that it is level. Do you ride western or english?

For shimming material, get some felt that has some 'give' to it. That way when you shim the saddle, his shoulder will be able to press into a soft material, yet still be able to move. You will want to place the shims under the first screw, either on a western or english saddle. It's where the bars start."

Maybe it's possible that your aids to get him to do a flying change, etc. are too much for him. Even if you a soft with your leg, he may need you to be even softer. Try to see how little it takes to get him to do something.
    10-07-2007, 07:13 PM
DEADEND. Sorry couldn't be the saddle, he even does it when you ride bareback. As soon as you touch his side with your calf or heel, there goes the tail!! :P
    10-07-2007, 10:15 PM
Originally Posted by Sara
Some horses do seem to swish a lot...alas, I don't have an answer for you. Never heard of any trick to stopping it. I mean, you've got horses like Blue Hors Matine (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKQgTiqhPbw) ...obviously talented, obviously performing her heart out...and her tail's going like a whirlygig:P
O god!! I've got to blame you for getting me hooked with watching the clips of horse dressages!! DANG!!! I need to take some lessons for dressage! I've always wanted to learn how to do it. This is NOT something I want to get into without lessons. *DROOL*
    10-08-2007, 01:42 AM
Yes Dressage is amazing, it looks simple but infact it is the definsion of difficult!! I love it, and have been doing it since I was 21yr. And im 44yr now..... jeez that sounds real old...lol
But im part of the audience now! Im a Cheerleader for my daughters lol. An imbarresing one at that, but I love there faces when they watch me jumping around!

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