Whats your oppinion on twitches. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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Whats your oppinion on twitches.

I've never personally used a twitch, I'm not sure where I stand in the matter. I had a friend who used an ear twitch and it never sat to well with me. My trainer sometimes uses a lip twitch on her stallion during sheath cleaning or body clipping when he's really restless and or misbehaving. I've heard that ear twitches are more harsh, where neck and lip twitches tend to be more humane? I've never used one personally, just heard stories so I wanted to know what everyones oppinions are. We had a horse at the ranch who used to be ear twitched and he was EXTREMELY head shy. If anything makes a horse like that, then it must not be that great.


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post #2 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 04:19 PM
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I don't like ear twitching (unless you are in a dangerous situation and need control, like stuck in a stall with a dangerous animal pinning you, then ears make good control handles, lol)

But lip twitching I have no problem. Some people think it works by pain, but that's not true. It's like scruffing a kitten, ever notice how they go limp when grabbed by the scruff?. It releases endorphines (I think that's it) and helps them to relax, a natural sedative.

I've seen horses with a lip twitch fall asleep, or at least just stand there, eyes half closed and calm.
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post #3 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 04:21 PM
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Ear twitching ruined my sweet gelding. He still can not stand to have his ears touched. We're working with him.

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post #4 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 04:24 PM
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Oh, I would like to add two things.

1) definateky ear twitching can make a horse head shy, I've seen this with horses coming into the barn. I've never seen a horse head shy from lip twitching though

2) Lip twitching should not replace training. If your horse is being twitched for everything, you have a problem. But, using it for a young/green horse to give the farrier or vet an easier time for a long visit or for clipping around the face is fine. Some people say you should use the ferrier visit as an oppurtunity to train, but how fair is that to him? If your horse can't stand, work on that when he's not in danger of getting stepped on or kicked
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post #5 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 04:31 PM
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Amen to that. As someone who sometimes shoes for other people I will say that if I show up and you want to train on your horse or worse want me to do it I will load up my tools and leave probably never to return. I have no problem with a twitch or a lip chain if used properly.
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post #6 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents View Post
Lip twitching should not replace training. If your horse is being twitched for everything, you have a problem. But, using it for a young/green horse to give the farrier or vet an easier time for a long visit or for clipping around the face is fine. Some people say you should use the ferrier visit as an oppurtunity to train, but how fair is that to him? If your horse can't stand, work on that when he's not in danger of getting stepped on or kicked
I wholeheartedly agree. I've never heard of ear twitching, but I have no problem whatsoever with lip twitching. My horse came to me with almost no experience of having his feet handled. He never kicks or is outright dangerous, but acts confused or impatient. My farrier also dealt with the same gelding for other owners, and they apparently saw the farrier visit as a training opportunity (apparently farrier = trainer. Farrier commented to me on what a world of difference having someone do a decent job of holding the horse made). He's only had a trim/shoe once with me, and to do the hinds I had to grab on to his lip and hold to keep him still (I don't own a twitch, never needed one before, lol), but it worked like a charm. I do pick his hooves daily and go through the motions of banging on his shoes and holding his feet up, and he does better every time. I hope that by the next farrier visit I won't need to "twitch" him.

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post #7 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 06:06 PM
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I'm okay with a lip twitch, and I usually do it by hand. You just grab the lip and twist, haha. Twitches do not replace training. If I'm hosing my horse's face off and she gets all stupid about it, I'll grab her lip as a reminder. Like, "Hey! You know what I expect and I better get it!" and she usually quits being a goof. However, if you had a horse that doesn't like his bridle path to be clipped, training is in order, not a lip twitch.

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post #8 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 06:14 PM
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I don't like ear twitching.
Lip twitching is good, so long as you dont use an inhumane twitch, the new ones out are good, or use your hand.

i also heard if you grab a part of the neck and twist thats the same as the lip twitching releasing the endorphines, but i dont know much there.
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post #9 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 06:20 PM
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Ear twitching need to be illegal. I HATE when people use them. Its actually made my gelding scared of a lot due to when he was so young they'd twitch his ear so many times to make it painful.

Lip twitches do wonders, when its in a humane one/your hand!
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post #10 of 60 Old 08-18-2009, 06:28 PM
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I have no problems with lip twitching as long as it's done with the humane one.

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