A twitching tail when performing - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 03-19-2013, 07:54 PM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: British Columbia
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Jackson is a tail swisher when he gets particularly excited. I noticed in a couple videos of us competing, he has a very distinctive snort / head toss / annoyed ears when he's angry or uncomfortable and the tail swishing has never been correlated with any of that. Just when he's being pushed to be competitive, or when he's using his body properly. He's got a very active tail while 'playing' too, so with him it isn't something I associate with 'upset'- one of our other ponies, on the other hand, usually expresses her distaste through her tail.
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post #22 of 25 Old 03-21-2013, 09:57 AM
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Two things: the tail is an extension of the spine, so when the spine is used differently the tail moves. That is what I see for the most part here, but when he touches with the whip the tail does switch and that is a reaction to the touch of the skin. In the blu hors Matinee (RIP) vid from Aachen, that mare is reacting to the spurs in the belly. It is interesting that she did not do this in warm up when she was more relaxed, but touches on the belly frequently cause this (esp in mares). She was trained very quickly up the levels and died very young.

And no, it is the voice which makes the sound in the vid.
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post #23 of 25 Old 03-29-2013, 03:11 AM
Join Date: May 2008
Location: New Zealand
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My mare is known for tail swishing... Leg on tail swish, pretty much anything tail swish - everyone comments on it - and its a classic Kazz pose if theres a swishing tail in the pic... shes not in pain (Trust me its been checked) its just her.... shes expressive in everything she does...

she also pulls faces, does a cute dance on the spot when shes excited (At liberty) and squeals if excited.. its part of what I love about her...
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post #24 of 25 Old 03-29-2013, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Originally Posted by Muppetgirl View Post
My horse was/is a tail swisher! It can actually be rather annoying! However the trainer (a personal friend of mine for 10yrs and well proven, also a long time riding friend, so I know how she trains) said he's always thrown his tail around. He does it more in a spin (he's a reiner) however. I had the chiro to him about two months ago.....the swishing has decreased 10 fold. He still does it when I get after him, which is rare......it's better than bucking or rearing!

Also, some horses are genetically wired to be more 'expressive' with their tails;)
Which is just ONE reason why I am SO against cutting them so they can't swish, which happens in "our" discipline.

It can mean many things and is difficult to interpret when taken out of context, IMO. Depends on the horse and the situation.
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post #25 of 25 Old 03-29-2013, 10:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Don't have much of my own experience to share here, but I recently read this in a book:

"When a riding horse is working with his back properly engaged, his dock should be carried horizontally to the ground and the tail itself should hang slightly arched and swing freely in rhythm with the movement of his hind limbs. A clamped down or motionless tail that does not swing at the bottom indicates a stiff horse with a tense back. A limp tail which seems to hang with no tone in the dock, indicates very slack back muscles. Asymmetrical muscling along the horses back will result in the tail being carried to one side."

Just thought I'd share the authors thoughts

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