bad habit or is he telling me something. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 05:42 AM Thread Starter
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bad habit or is he telling me something.

hi there i have a four yr old standardbred gelding who of late has taken to dropping his head while being ridden and scratching his lower leg this happens every ten min or so of riding,i let it go the first time he did it but now its every ride.could it be his bit? its a plain snaffle nothing drastic at all.im at a loss as too why hes doing it.
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 08:30 AM
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Are you using a fly repellant on his legs? He can be using his face to scratch his legs or he can be using his legs to try to rub the bit out of his mouth. You just need to decide which it is.

You just have to decide how 'picky' you want to be as a rider. If you are preparing him to show -- well, you must be very picky and not allow him to move his head above or below the acceptable place for a performance horse to carry his head when being judged or performing.

If you are trail-riding on a loose rein, it is not a big deal to most trail riders if their horse scratches his nose on his leg.

If you do not want to confuse a horse, you must be consistent. You cannot allow something one day and then get after him for doing the same thing the next day. If he is a show horse, then you cannot allow it at all.
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 09:01 AM
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I personally am not a fan of allowing horses to rub their noses on their legs when I am in the saddle.

I have seen two unfortunate instances when a rider has allowed this. One horse caught himself on his front boot and freaked, the other managed to stand through his rein and bolted through the barn doors and on to concrete.

If I've finished, I undo the flash if there is one and tuck it out of the way and remove the front boots before I let them rub.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 09:51 AM
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Could be flies like Cherie suggested or it could be sweet itch or something similar. I have one who just has "Itchy face" constantly during the hottest summer months, but like Cherie also suggested I do trails so it isn't a big deal if he needs to scratch once in a while.

Two things I have been doing simply because he is so uncomfortable is making sure to wash down his face every day or two with water and occasionally an oatmeal based mild soap to get the itchy sweat and dust off, clean gently around his eyes and even wipe out his nostrils with a wet cloth. Then I use a moisturizing lotion approved for use on the horse face. He seems to appreciate the itch relief and begins to relax as it sooths his skin. This way he doesn't do so much scratching when we are riding.
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 10:11 AM
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When my barrel horse gets nervous he never fails to try and rub his face on his left leg. I usually can pull him up though before anything bad could happen. For him it is just a nervous habit. Is there a certain thing you are doing when he goes to do this?

I could never imagine having a day go by without looking into my horse's eyes and seeing the honesty, power, and strength that is within him.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 10:16 AM
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I agree with Reining. The easiest way to eliminate the action is to eliminate the horse's need for the action.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-27-2015, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hi thank you for replys.he doesn't hv fly I looked for that first it would be ok but he is constantly at his face so I will start eliminating .im going to change his bit first I think and washing his face sounds logical too.fingers crossed I find a solution for him .we only ride trail and farm but very hilly property not a good look sliding down his neck haha.
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