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Head shaking; bit pulling...
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RedHead84
Reg. Dec 2014
Posted 2017-03-20 9:01 AM (#7334340)
Subject: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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I bought this mare in January and was told her teeth had been done in December. I had the vet/chiropractor out in February who seemed to think either her teeth didn't get done or they did a shoddy job because she had no lateral jaw movement. The past couple times I've rode her she's been an awful head shaker and bit puller (she's a broke, finished barrel horse)...and she's set back when tied up a few times. I even tried her in a hackamore, which she was better with. So, the vet is coming back tomorrow to look at/do her teeth...but she seems to eat fine. If it turns out to not be her teeth, any suggestions where to look next??
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Katielovestbs
Reg. Dec 2014
Posted 2017-03-20 9:54 AM (#7334362 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...



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I think thats a good place to start! My gelding that I have now, had a lot of the same issues right off the track. We originally thought he had EPM because of how UNflexible has was with his head. Turns out he had extremely stiff jaw and tmj muscles. So we had a massage done on his TMJ's and that just about 100% cured it. I'm not really one for massages...but his TMJ's were just stiff as a board. I've heard you can inject that too? I would try looking there next =]
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turnedout
Reg. Dec 2013
Posted 2017-03-20 8:24 PM (#7334544 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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If teeth are good, then definitely look into the TMJ. I have a gelding that would flip his head for no reason. It was not a training problem. He acted like he was stung on the nose by a bee. It would happen every single ride and drove me insane! Bone scan showed him light up in his tmj...xrays showed arthritic changes so we decided to inject. He isn't perfect, but significantly better! I also agree with the massages. I had my therapist teach me some basic maneuvers to help loosen him up. Its something I do everyday now.
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Bibliafarm
Reg. Jul 2008
Posted 2017-03-20 8:49 PM (#7334546 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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Does she rattle the bit in her mouth to.. TMJ was one of my mares issues.... also check her poll , if its out she can be in pain from that and shake her head..
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mtcanchazer
Reg. Apr 2012
Posted 2017-03-20 11:00 PM (#7334568 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...



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 I'm interested in reading the answers. My 3 y/o just started doing this (like Saturday), I have been checking into all possibilities because it is only one direction and I'm pretty sure it is her head/mouth. She has had a lot of time off over winter...I wwas just wondering the same question today!
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RedHead84
Reg. Dec 2014
Posted 2017-03-21 8:47 AM (#7334611 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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No bit rattling per say just a lot of head shaking...and her mouth seems to be a panic button for her...you can bridle her fine but if you approach her to look at her teeth, watch out...I really think she's had a bad dental experience. But vet comes today to check her out and then the chiropractor...I'll update with what we find out!
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turtleaut
Reg. Nov 2008
Posted 2017-03-21 9:07 AM (#7334618 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...



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I would also suggest having an equine dentist check her mouth versus just your vet.  I have a great vet but would only want my dentist working on my horses.  
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sam.kappen
Reg. Jun 2011
Posted 2017-03-21 10:28 AM (#7334644 - in reply to #7334340)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...



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I had one who acted similar, just had her TMJ injected and it made a world of difference. Of course we started with getting the teeth done, then the Chiro which both made small differences. The biggest difference was after we injected.  
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flyhperformancehorse
Reg. Mar 2007
Posted 2017-03-21 12:36 PM (#7334681 - in reply to #7334644)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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Get a certified well known equine dentist out to check your horse. If she is unbalanced in her mouth, her TMJ will have unessacary pressure. Some horses are more sensative then others and when their mouth is extremely unbalanced they will react to headshaking, tossing their head, rooting on your hands, hard to bridle, etc... I'd get her checked out ASAP and go from there.  
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BamaCanChaser
Reg. Nov 2012
Posted 2017-03-21 12:46 PM (#7334686 - in reply to #7334568)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...



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mtcanchazer - 2017-03-20 11:00 PM

 I'm interested in reading the answers. My 3 y/o just started doing this (like Saturday), I have been checking into all possibilities because it is only one direction and I'm pretty sure it is her head/mouth. She has had a lot of time off over winter...I wwas just wondering the same question today!

The OP didn't say how old her horse is, but with a 3yo it is very likely her teeth. Their mouths change SO quickly. They are constantly shedding caps. Often times if I wait 6 months between floats for my 3yo's they're already getting fussy. They stay a lot more comfortable if I can keep them done every 4 months until they are about 5-6.
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flyhperformancehorse
Reg. Mar 2007
Posted 2017-03-21 12:54 PM (#7334690 - in reply to #7334686)
Subject: RE: Head shaking; bit pulling...


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BamaCanChaser - 2017-03-21 10:46 AM
mtcanchazer - 2017-03-20 11:00 PM  I'm interested in reading the answers. My 3 y/o just started doing this (like Saturday), I have been checking into all possibilities because it is only one direction and I'm pretty sure it is her head/mouth. She has had a lot of time off over winter...I wwas just wondering the same question today!
The OP didn't say how old her horse is, but with a 3yo it is very likely her teeth. Their mouths change SO quickly. They are constantly shedding caps. Often times if I wait 6 months between floats for my 3yo's they're already getting fussy. They stay a lot more comfortable if I can keep them done every 4 months until they are about 5-6.

 THIS!!! Thank you!! Finally someone who knows how young horses mouths work!! I, too, get my colts from 2 1/2 until they are 5 years old done every 6 months to PREVENT issues while training! Then my performance horses get done yearly, but checked every 6 months when my equine dentist is here. IF they need done WE DO THEM. I am all about preventing issues and keeping my training moving forward then having to go back and solve issues that arised because of pain. 
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