Interesting, nose net? head shaking?

lucky7

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15 May 2011
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598
My 6yr old welsh D has always done a bit of head shaking - well its more of throwing his head up alot but only whilst being ridden. I have wathed him in the field and he never does it, i have left him with his bridle on and again never does it only whilst being ridden. He has been in work off and on and had periods of rest for up to 6 months due to my pregnancies. He has been in full work now since around march time. He has had wolf teeth removed a few years back,last had his teeth done around 9 months ago but is due again in 3 weeks, (but stll head shaked after teeth where done last time) he is ridden in a neue schule team up bit with a lozenge and has a cavesson noseband , his bridle fits correctly and is not pinching him etc. His saddle is always checked by a qualified saddler, he is due to be checked again next week. He has always been sound, (apart from when he has a foot abcess) he wears front shoes and is shod regular, he is forward going but can be spooky and sharp. His head tossing is worse some days then other days he wont really do it much, he mainly does it when hes out hacking, sometimes he will do it in the school for the first 25 mins then when he settles he goes lovely and really stretchy reaching for the contact and feels amazing. When he is having a head shaking session he is tight, tense, choppy and will sometimes over bend and go behind the contact then violently throw his head up several times. I have tried him on a loose rein and a firm contact and it makes no difference. I have tried pushing him on everytime he does it but makes no difference. Last night took him for a pootle around the block and after 5 mins he just kept doing it, even managing to pull the reins out my hands.
The last thing i want to do is strap him down with a standing martingale, not sure if this is habit now, training issue or just a thing he does when hes stressy and not concentrating or whether its pain related? I was having lessons around 18 months ago and trainer told me to push him on when he did it, the trainer is a much stronger rider than myself so when he started it with him my trainer pushed him on and it seemed to work. Its a horrible thing and annoying and just want to get to the bottom of whats causing it!
Ideas please?
Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/foru...ossing-when-ridden-stress#ZZCQtHGPgvGBsVwG.99

Interesting update! He has had this last week off due to me being very busy. Anyway i rode him last night, the weather was overcast and it had been raining all day. Went out with a friend for an hour and did some cantering across fields and he didnt headshake once. Then i thought back to the last time he went beautifully in the school, it was over cast and rainy and again no head shaking. I think this could be weather related. Not monitored him over winter as he had most of it off. Not seen him do it in the field but thinking it maybe worth trying a nose net? Opinions please!
 

be positive

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9 July 2011
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It would be worth trying a nosenet, headshaking has numerous causes and often the weather is one key factor, many stop completely in the winter, it may be pollen, the light, the midges or flies around their head or even the sugars in the grass that sets it off, if he doesn't respond well to a nosenet try a full mask that covers his whole face and ears.

My current horse headshakes slightly, never in winter and better on dull or wet summer days, he never does it in the field, stable or when competing indoors and is worse when riding near hedges or under trees, a nosenet helps but doesn't stop it totally, I also use a Micklem now which he seems to like.
 

Holzdweaver

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18 September 2011
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Derbyshire
I have an 'off and on' headnodder who also has nerve damage in his face and what started out as once every so often after he had yet another, bang to the head. It just got worse and after a lot of trying different things to try and work out why exactly, it turned out sunlight and stress/excitement was the trigger. He doesnt tend to do it in the field but he will on the yard every so often on a bright day, for example, i had a new farrier out so he was tense and he was headnodding while being shod. But when being groomed he doesnt unless i mess with his mane which he hates and he stresses about it and then nods. When being ridden he only nods when the sun is out and only every so often, not constant. If i pop a face mask on him with UV protection he doesnt do it at all. It was his Craniosacral Therapist that recommended i try it when i told her of my concerns and voila, comfortable horse :)
 

Kaylum

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If you go to #Horsehour and download their podcast about headshaking it is a very informative one about equilibrium products. Their podcasts are always very good btw.
 

lucky7

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15 May 2011
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598
I took him out today, the sun was out and lots of flies around. I have a show coming up so wanted to try him in his show pelham, he was much more settled when i took up a contact, no headshaking, interestingly when i gave him a long rein he instanty started throwing his head about, took up the contact and he didnt do it. Now, in a snaffle he still headshakes on a loose rein or when you take up the contact. Hes usually ridden in a NS join up bit with a lozenge and loose ring. Today he was in a show peham with a small port and he seemed alot better in it. Thinking it maybe to do with his bit, thinking of trying an eggbut snaffle with a low port, something like this?
http://www.thehorsebitshop.co.uk/product.php?xProd=87
 

wench

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Head shaking can be caused by many different factors. The first step would be a simple change if bit, then to try a different bridle. If that didn't work I'd then be thinking about trying a nose net or hiring/buying a micklem bridle.

If none of these work, the next step is more complicated. I have come across a firm called old style horse remedies that have a massage oil that's meant to help with head shaking. It's not the expensive and I'd probably give it a go.

However, it could be advisable to get a dentist/a different dentist in too see if any problem with teeth. I'd also be thinking about a craniosacral or equine touch/Bowen person. Or before you try those two, you could try getting a thermal imaging person out to take some photos of head and neck to see if there appears to be a problem.

Then of course there could be a problem somewhere else, like saddle fit. It really is trial and error until you (hopefully) find what's wrong
 

Makemineacob

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I'd be tempted to get a nose net to try as they're not expensive and then you will know for certain if it makes a difference. One of my ex liveries had a headshaker and she spent a fortune on him trying everything and ended up with a nose net and he now does not headshake, he wears it in winter also as when she tried him without it in winter he started head shaking again. He's worn his nose net for being ridden for a good few years and hasn't had any Further incidents.
 

lucky7

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15 May 2011
Messages
598
Head shaking can be caused by many different factors. The first step would be a simple change if bit, then to try a different bridle. If that didn't work I'd then be thinking about trying a nose net or hiring/buying a micklem bridle.


Then of course there could be a problem somewhere else, like saddle fit. It really is trial and error until you (hopefully) find what's wrong
Yes, i posted this last night above: I took him out today, the sun was out and lots of flies around. I have a show coming up so wanted to try him in his show pelham, he was much more settled when i took up a contact, no headshaking, interestingly when i gave him a long rein he instanty started throwing his head about, took up the contact and he didnt do it. Now, in a snaffle he still headshakes on a loose rein or when you take up the contact. Hes usually ridden in a NS join up bit with a lozenge and loose ring. Today he was in a show peham with a small port and he seemed alot better in it. Thinking it maybe to do with his bit, thinking of trying an eggbut snaffle with a low port, something like this?
http://www.thehorsebitshop.co.uk/product.php?xProd=87
Read more at http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/foru...ing-nose-net-head-shaking#Q7Ji2lkkbkPYzQsJ.99

I'd be tempted to get a nose net to try as they're not expensive and then you will know for certain if it makes a difference. One of my ex liveries had a headshaker and she spent a fortune on him trying everything and ended up with a nose net and he now does not headshake, he wears it in winter also as when she tried him without it in winter he started head shaking again. He's worn his nose net for being ridden for a good few years and hasn't had any Further incidents.
Schooling him this evening in the pelham again so will see how he gets on. Seemed better yesterday. A nosenet is net on the list (Y)
 

Lintel

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Scotland
A bit of a stab in the dark but I know of a horse who headshakes when she's itchy/sweaty around the head. My boy also headshakes more in the summer due to sweat and flies etc but it isn't constant.
 
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