<% appTitle="Ridecamp Archives" %> Ridecamp: [RC] Head flipping

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  • - Steven Proe
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  • - MtnRondi

    [RC] Head flipping - BetnDez

    She's showing you annoyance or discomfort which could come from a number of things.   Neither do I buy that it's an Arab thing.  She's trying to tell you that something isn't right.
    In my experience young or green trail horses nearly always have a little discomfort or trouble learning to balance and carry a rider down steep hills.  On some hills I'll dismount and lead down.  Have you tried this and if so, did her head flipping continue when led?
    After the ride very carefully lift off the saddle and check her back and girth area.  What does her coat look like?  Has the hair been pushed into strange patterns or twisted?  I don't know where you live but probably your mare has put on a good winter coat by now and that can cause discomfort under the saddle.  Even my older experienced horses get twitchy on the downhills if they have a heavy winter coat.  (Yep, my saddle is not a perfect fit either).  Also carefully check the pad for anything unusual looking.  And check the bit fit or try another bit for a ride or two and see if there is a difference.
    Also try riding with good contact which will help her balance herself and discourage head  flipping.  Pay attention to your seat position.  Does she do this when you are slightly forward?  or slightly back? or when you are perfectly centered and balanced?
    Lots of things to look at and perhaps adjust before assuming it's in the legs or feet.
    Betty Edgar