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Re: head tossing

Hi, Campers,

Regarding head tossing........have the vet check that horse's teeth!!!

When I bought Jordan, he was always tossing his head, and rooting, too. No matter what bit he'd ever been in, I was told, be it a curb or a nice fat snaffle, he was constantly doing anything he could do to avoid the bit. 
The owners figured it was heavy handed people, but I'm not heavy handed at all.

After buying him, I boarded him, and my barnlord June (Knows All About Horses and YOU Don't) told me to "put that horse in a tie down NOW!! He's just being a brat!"  She even offered me a steel cable tie down to use on him. It looked strong enough to tie down a aircraft carrier.

But I couldn't believe that he was being a brat. I went the other way. Removed the bit from the picture completely. 

I put him in a hackamore and that ended the head tossing RIGHT NOW. Suddenly I had a nice, quiet headed horse. The look on Jordan's face the first time I rode him in a hackamore was priceless. He kept opening his mouth, blubbing his lips as if to say, hey!!!!!! No pain!! No bit!! I don't think he'd ever been in a hackamore before, but he right away figured out how it worked.

He'd always been very protective of his mouth. When taking the bit, Jordan would open his mouth just wide enough to accept the bit, and NO YOU MAY NOT STICK YOUR HANDS IN MY MOUTH. 
A look in his mouth showed just why Jordan was so anxious. Some time in his life his left tush had been literally torn out of his jaw. You can see the scars on his gum and jaw. The tush is missing, of course, and the scar goes clear to the bottom of his jaw. I don't know what happened, but it's clear it had to have been traumatic. He's still pretty wary of anybody noodling with his mouth, even me, his mom.

The point being, before you go to something like a martingale, make sure your horse's head tossing isn't being caused by pain or the fear of it. Make sure the head tossing isn't being caused by a problem with his mouth or his teeth.

Michelle and Jordan (I'll do anything you ask, just don't ask it with a bit.)

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