Horse tossing it's head in defiance

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Tblover, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. Tblover

    Tblover New Member

    Hi all, the current horse I'm riding has a habit of tossing his head and reefing the reins when you ask for some contact on the reins. If you collect up your reins into a decent riding contact , he will lift his whole head up and flick his head a few times and then come back and continue on. He really does it when you ask him to collect. He also does it when he wants to trot but you are making him walk.

    It seems more a defiance thing. Basically him saying "no you cant make me". His previous owner said he did when he got annoyed and that you cant stop it so she just let him toss his head. Problem is , I don't like it, nor will I tolerate it , if he is being naughty. So yesterday I put one of those safety bars on the saddle and as soon as he did it , I braced my hands and the reins on it and would not let the pressure go , until he stopped head tossing, as soon as he did I released. He eventually got the message and he became much nicer to ride, which makes me think it just him being lazy and not wanting to collect his head or carry himself, as he can do that without the head tossing. If he is ridden on a slack rein , he is fine but as soon as you ask anymore of him , he head tosses. Not always but maybe 50% of the time.

    He teeth are up to date and is ridden in a myler bit. I'm also getting him a massage , to see if he is sore. If everything is fine , how do I get him to accept the contact ?
  2. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    i would say to keep going as you are?
  3. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    Yup, keep going. My gelding tends to do this when starting to come into work again after a holiday, or when learning something new, for him it's a muscle weakness thing so I make sure I do lots of long and low walks interspersed in our work.
  4. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Horses reef the reins because riders hang off their face. Horses don't like annoying niggly constant rein contact. Ride on a loose rein as much as possible and ask for contact correctly so the horse engages its hind quarters, not just bends its neck. A professional instructor will be able to help you with this. **)
  5. standielover

    standielover New Member

    We have a Standardbred at home who is always trying to pull the reins out of ur hand when ever you ride him, he does it to try and get the reins out of your hand and control himself. He was also doing it when we asked him to do something he didn't want to. We gave him a softer bit and everytime he does it pull up his head and tell him no in a strong voice. Once he realises that he isn't gonna get away with it, he stops for that ride. So maybe try a softer bit. hope this helps! :) also make him do what you want him to do, do not let him get away with it. also try before getting to work into his bridle try just getting him to pull his head in while wou are not mounted and when he flicks up his head scold him but when he brings it down reward him. If you want anymore information or dont understand please dont hesitate to email me.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

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