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starlightgrace 05-20-2011 01:53 AM

Need help with my horse and her headstall
I need some help figuring out why my mare has suddenly started to toss her head when riding with her headstall. Starlight is an 11 year old rescue with a history of headstall/halter related abuse.
Starlight did well with the headstall and bit we used during lessons, but when I put her in the new one she started acting up but not becoming uncontrollable. The bit is a dog-bone snaffle nearly identical the one we used in lessons, and she still accepts the bit wonderfully. But when I go to direct her she starts pulling and tossing her head around.
My trainer suggested putting the headstall on sans reins and just leaving her be in the corral to soften up to the bit.
And yes I know I need to have her teeth checked, which I will as soon as I have all her records and can get the vet out.
-- I'm an intermediate rider who is new to horse training and ownership but have been told I have a natural talent for the rescues. Starlight was at the rescue for just over a year before she went home with the trainer for a month of training for the both of us. She's very well mannered and though still a bit anxious and spooky when alone she no longer throws a fit when startled, only flinches as long as I'm around.
She has no problems when doing groundwork at liberty or on a line, and for having been ridden bareback for the first time 2 weeks ago she does very well.
Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

bubba13 05-20-2011 01:59 AM

Did she have any trouble at the trainer's with her bit? Does the bit fit properly?

You really do need to start by checking her teeth.

SissyGoBob 05-20-2011 04:12 PM

Have you checked her ears for ticks? I had a mare do the exact same (not a rescue). She only threw her head with her competition bridle on and we checked her teeth and just about anything else we could think of and it ended up being this tiny tick deep in her ear and tada! she was back to the same horse she was before.

Good Luck

starlightgrace 05-20-2011 05:45 PM

Yes, she did have these problems with my bit while at the trainers ranch, but not the bit I borrowed until my own tack was delivered.
I have checked her for ticks and haven't found any but I will have my dad take a better look.

starlightgrace 05-20-2011 11:05 PM

Update: I switched from a curb chain to a curb strap that is much smaller. There is some improvement already. *fingers crossed*

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