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Re: [RC] Head dipping - aka IDWTGTS - Diane Trefethen


This "malady" is sometimes called the "I Don't Want To Go This Slowly (and I bet if I can get the reins out of your hands I'll be able to run)" syndrome. It is commonly observed in more competitive equines although even those more laid back have been known to "catch" this disease when being challenged by another horse or just a mile or two from the finish. What worked for my first Endurance horse, who except for this problem did very well in a snaffle, was switching to a mechanical hackamore. The first few times he tried to get the reins away, I snapped the reins hard and then immediately released. After that, no problems. With a mechanical hackamore, you ride with the shanks straight down and only use it to correct. You NEVER hang on it like keeping contact with a snaffle. And when you correct, you don't pussyfoot around with it. You want the horse to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if he doesn't cut out the garbage, you have the wherewithal to rip his face off.

You said you "switched to a hackamore". What kind? Does it have a leather chin strap (next to useless) or a curb chain? Is the chain tight enough so when you pull just a little on the reins the hackamore immediately becomes very uncomfortable to the horse? My guess is even if you have a strong hackamore, you haven't "hit" your horse with it because you've been thinking that the problem is physical rather than mental. We don't punish our horses for being ill.

I am sure others have other cures for IDWTGTS but the important thing is that it is not a physical ailment. It is a misbehaviour.


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[RC] Head dipping, sshorses