hoping that my mom doesnt take the horse im training away.. i have a lil problem.... i can bridle him just fine and he likes the snaffle im using but when i get on him and aske him to go, he will walk a few steps and start throwing his head up and down or side to side. i wont even have two fingers on the reins, so i know i am not pulling on the bit causing this. just to rule it out i had my mom clip a lead to the halter and i let go of the reins and asked him to walk, again a few steps then he started throwing his head. he will do it one time each direction then hes fine. what in the world is he doing or is there a problem me and my mom are over looking. i am using a full ring snaffle. could the bit be pinching him or its not sitting in his mouth right. we just had his teeth floated in april so i know he cant have sharp points. any advice, help, or suggestions would be wonderful.

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Comment by Meghan Rainey on September 10, 2010 at 5:52pm
thanks jackie and marlene for the help. i talked wit my mom and i am goin to try to find a bit he likes and see if its the bit. if not my ex fiance told me a couple things to try. i ahve had this guy since he was 10 1/2 months old and he is now 6. i am goin to try a tom thumb snaffle and if that dont work i am goin to try my moms full cheek snaffle. if that dont work i dont know wat i will try.. hoppin to find one before to much longer... need to get him goin for show season next year...
Comment by Marlene Thoms on September 8, 2010 at 5:54pm
All previous suggestions by Jackie are excellent. One other possibility (I don't know if this horse is new to you or if this is just a new problem), perhaps this horse has learned by habit that a quick toss of the head back and forth will pull the reins away from your control. Some horses have been taught to work without the rider using the reins, or that just picking up the reins is a signal to spring into action. They are not used to the idea of English rein handling of continuous light contact. So you might find out something from a previousl owner if he's new to you. Or just work with him gradually to get used to your way of handling the reins. Be patient till you find out what works for both of you. Work in an area of no distractions till you get this straightened out. Also be aware of other signals, weight shift, leg aids that may be conflicting with your rein signals and possibly confusing him.
Comment by Jackie Cochran on September 8, 2010 at 11:20am
This was happening to a horse my riding teacher got in for training for the same problems. She looked at the bridle and found out that the snaffle had been put on BACKWARDS (front to back) and it was irritating the horse. I'm not saying this is the cause, just something to check.
If you have a Kimberwick (with a port mouth, not jointed mouth) it may be helpful to try it out. I had a mare that did not really like any snaffle I put in her mouth, and the head shaking stopped when I switched her to the Kimberwick with a port.
Loose ring snaffle bits can pinch the horse's lips unless they are made properly. With a loose ring bit you want to use one that is at least a 1/4" wider than the eggbut or full cheek snaffles.
Some horses HATE it when people insist on having several wrinkles at the corner of the mouth. If there are wrinkles at the corner of the mouth, try making the cheek pieces a hole longer, or even two holes longer, so that there are no wrinkles at the corner of the mouth. On the other hand there are horses who HATE having a loose bit in their mouths and will settle down when the bridle is tightened, it all depends on the horse.
Another possibility, unless the horse is over 6 years old, he might have teeth erupting, with the permanent teeth pushing the baby teeth out. This can make the horse really resistant to the bit, and it settles down when the teeth get through the eruption process.
Also, have you or your vet checked out his ears? Even if nothing is in the ear lots of horses will shake their heads every time a gnat get in the ear. Ear nets are great for this problem. If nothing else works I would consider getting the vet to check the ear canals out thoroughly.

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