Arabs and the head twisty thing

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by LNT, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. Ren

    Ren Well-known Member

    my part bred arab does it when hes hooning around paddock or if hes in hand and wants to go he will throw around his head, my purebred doesnt do it hehehe
  2. Yorkie

    Yorkie Well-known Member

    a stb i leased from a friend did this


    silly one he was
  3. Diana

    Diana Gold Member

    Was just at the stables...QH mare did it when I was talking to her :p she's a character :D
  4. Go the Distance

    Go the Distance Well-known Member

    It can just be a dominance thing. I would ignore it. If he does it when your riding him it could be dangerous but they rarely do it when your on them and if the do just put a set of rings on him (the only reason I ever put rings on is this habit). Poppy does it all the time in the paddock but doesn't do it when I am on her.... I guess it is a horses way of saying. 'Get Stuffed!'. Only I reckon Poppy would use stronger language:lol: I wish she could talk.... I would love to know what goes on in her head sometimes:D.
  5. HowClever

    HowClever Active Member

    I have one of these too, he only ever does it when he's worked up over something out in the paddock...makes for hilarious photos.



  6. LNT

    LNT Well-known Member

    omg HowClever that just made my night......hilarious!! **)
  7. NLEC

    NLEC Well-known Member

    I have worked with three horses whom did this under saddle, 2 did it in the paddock at rest.

    2 fresh backed Crabbet Arabians, one whom did it at a stand still, when NO contact was on the bit at all. She would start to shake the bit in her mouth, then do the head twist.

    The other was a 4 year old freshly backed Stallion whom was running with a small her until he was separated and brought in for training. He would do it at any time of heightened emotion, under saddle or in the paddock - but never when he was given a job to do, only when he was stimulated without a job. eg. no contact, or aid was being cued.. The owner resolved to only ride him in an Irish martingale to prevent the moment of having the reins flipped onto the same side of the neck.

    The third was a freshly backed STB. He would do this alot, the split second after he had become distracted - mid question or cue, or at rest.

    In his case - I believe it was a comfort response learnt from coming back to a center point of balance with previous use of a lifter. He would continue the behavior after he realized their was no expected 'crutch' of the lifter to lean on.

    All it took was a re diversion of the undesired head flicking behavior, and they soon learnt that the head flicking response to whatever they were reacting to was no longer the most satisfactory way to response.

    What the brain does more of - the brain does more of :D

    Always rule out the possibility of a neck/shoulder problem, but also, if the behavior is causing possible physiological problems, it needs to stop in aid to prevent, or heal any damage.

    Chicken or egg? sometimes doesn't matter. Sometimes if both are a problem, removing one can break the cycle.
  8. ChatahnETC

    ChatahnETC New Member

    I've had a couple of breakies come to me that have done this, I find it really quite dangerous, as in these cases they wouldn't just do it once, it was a continual head flick/roll/twist, and I'd be going around the round yard, trying to push them really really forward out of it, but they're too busy flicking their heads around to listen to my forward cues half the time! It becomes very much a battle of wits, just gotta keep pushing till you get what you're asking for; enough forward so that they don't have time to do it, then when they stop, releive the pressure, making it a 'paradise' and reward.. Most of the time when they're doing it they become so unbalanced that they just fall around without knowing where they're going. One of them was a pretty easy fix, just teaching her to really come off pressure and work on a contact ("I OWN THAT HEAD, it doesn't move unless I tell it to!" :p). Others have been more difficult to resolve this problem... The amount of times I have almost been knocked out by a lovely head flick...:rolleyes:*#)

    Last edited: Feb 13, 2013
  9. LNT

    LNT Well-known Member

    he seems to be doing it less as he settles into his new home so hopefully it might be a habit he forgets over time as my other two dont do it.

    you'd think it would give him a headache all that twisting and tossing.....makes me dizzy just watching him :unsure:
  10. manocaaron

    manocaaron Well-known Member

    Was thinking about this thread....
    Ive owned, 6 Arabs, 2 Standy's, 2 Shetlands, 1 Dales, 3 Higland Ponies,1 New Forrest, 1 Connemarra, 1 Mini, 1 QTR Horse, 2 x TB's, 1x WelshPony.........
    The ONLY ones who did this were the two standy's!:)*
  11. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Standardbreds are "known" for this quirky head action. It's something us owners/breeders see all the time. It's at feed time or those other exciting times.
  12. beaudacious

    beaudacious Well-known Member

    My standy and arab cross both do this. The standy does it when he's impatient, bored, stressed or standing around doing nothing under saddle. I dont mind it too much as if i ask him to stop it he does and its a very good indication of when he needs to see a bodyworker as he doesnt do it much when he is sore.

    The arab cross does it as an avoidance under saddle, when she's upset at something the world has done to her and when we turn up to feed her. It a pain in the bum.

    Both horses had the habit before i bought them. They have very different personalities as well.
  13. dpjg

    dpjg Active Member

    The only two horses I have owned who did this were the Arabians and it was definitely an expressive thing in the paddock, not under saddle thank goodness!
  14. Pferdmann

    Pferdmann New Member

    I used to work at an Arab stud and i found only the progeny of a certain stallion they used used to do this. I actually named it "Wobbly Head" and used to find it funny as it was only usually exhibited in the paddock when they were excited.

    I actually unofficially re-named my favorite filly here "Princess Wobbly Head" :D
  15. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    Princess Wobbly Head can come stay in my paddocks anytime!
  16. Pferdmann

    Pferdmann New Member

    Shes for sale actually! i would love to buy her and put her in my paddock
    although i am pretty sure she was a $100,000+ filly :blink: so maybe she might have more of her own room in the house :lol:

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