Putting head down after jump

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Putting head down after jump

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  • How to stop pony putting its head down after jumping
  • What do you do when a horse puts its head down after jumping

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    09-03-2011, 12:11 AM
Putting head down after jump

I ride a paint, about 16 years old, completely sound and a pretty good boy. Today, I was jumping him at about 2 ft. I have done this plenty of times in the past with no problems. I've taken him to jumping shows, etc, and he's always been great. So today, after the jumps, he kept putting his head way down almost to the ground and he seemed like he was either going to buck or fall down on his front feet. I pulled his head up really fast and stopped him, but was very odd. It happens about a stride or two after the fence. He's never done that before. Here are a couple of factors I'm considering, and I'd love to hear your opinions as well as what I could do to remedy this:
First, I was using a new saddle today. I'd used it once before for jumping, but had no problem. I am wondering if that is pinching him. However, he did not seem sore on the flat at all.
Second, I used to ride him a lot more in the past. Recently, I've only been riding him once or twice a month, and mostly trail rides. Could he be stretching his neck? It didn't seem like bucking cause he is usually an excellent mount and has never bucked before.
Oh, and another consideration (I have no idea if this matters). In the past, he's had shoes on. Right now he's barefoot. Not sore or lame, just barefoot.
Let me know your thoughts!
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    09-07-2011, 10:03 PM
Could be sore from the saddle or weak from lack of riding....or could be both...
Hard to tell, be he is telling you something, I would A) get a saddler fitter out to check the saddle B) get a bowen theropist out to see if he's sore.

My young horse has been taking off in canter throwing his head around so when I lunged him in a roller and running reins he did the same, so I got bowen done on him and he was REALLY sore. Rode him about 1 week after and no head tossing in canter or any other gait. Got him done again after a few rides and he was perfect!

Maybe lunge him over jumps to see what he does, if he's fine without a rider then the rider (you) could be contributing, like weight shifting in the saddle creating it to pinch or unbalance him.

Good luck
    09-07-2011, 11:13 PM
Super Moderator
It could very well be the saddle. Or, the horse could just be having some fun. I often get some "joy bucks" when jumping a horse who really enjoys it.

Have the saddle checked out by someone who really knows about saddle fit.
    09-08-2011, 08:58 AM
I would be a little concerned. Before purchasing my 19 year old gelding, I watched his previous owner jump him, on a very small jump. But when they landed his head went wayy down. The owner stated that he was being a punk and trying to get out of work. I had him vet checked and he was not sound to jump. I still bought him as I only hack him at home or on the trails, no jumping. But its something to be aware of. Maybe he needs more warm up, or a joint supplement. But if he wasnt being naughty, I wouldnt assume it was a buck. He may have been in pain and felt like he was going to fall.
    09-08-2011, 09:11 AM
From your short description it sounds like he is doing happy not quite bucks after the jump.

I would be sure to make sure the saddle does fit properly and rule out any pain issues.

head down, jumping

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