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Discuss Serious Head slinging at the Horse Training forum - Horse Forums.

I have a 21 year old Arabian gelding who slings his head all the time. ...
  1. #1
    Junior Member LeaderStorm's Avatar
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    Serious Head slinging

    I have a 21 year old Arabian gelding who slings his head all the time. It really makes for an uncomfortable ride. He slings really bad while riding English especially because that is when I focus more on his headset then in western or bareback riding.

    We think that it is caused by pain in his back, teeth(this is the least likely) or his eyes. We also think he may have head shaking syndrome. We are going to see about getting a chiropractor to adjust his back/neck and see if that helps at all but even in the past he has done it. His eyes also might be bothering him. They are strange. They look like like the brown color is gloopy and running into his pupils. He has strange gloopy stuff in it. Nobody really knows why(even the vet) but we think that whatever it is might make his eyes sensitive to sunlight(though that doesn't explain why he slings his head in the barn or the indoor arena.

    I can get pictures and I have a video of his headslinging in the last show I went to(he was really bad then). It's just really annoying and I'd like to get it stopped.
    I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
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    -Legend of the Arabian

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    Senior Member+ Nevada_Silk's Avatar
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    Two questions: Is it only when you are riding him? What kind of bit do you use?
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    CJ
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    It sounds to me like a type of evasion. When my horse was green he was a Bad head flinger- it was like sitting to close to a brick on a rope. I can tell you how many times I ducked or connected. Putting him in a rollermouth full cheek bit made a big difference, in the frequency and trajectory. Eventually he stopped all together, as we cliqued better.
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    Senior Member FriesianSH's Avatar
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    have his eyes checked

    my TB (21 years old now) started doing this 3 years ago. At first my trainer and I thought it was behavior problems, but come to find out he was developing corpora nigra (cysts) in his eyes.
    they are not huge but my vet said his vision is like he is looking at things thru balled up saran wrap.

    I retired him from eventing because of this, jumps were too shadowy to him.
    "Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."

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    Senior Member+ Shoney's Avatar
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    Do you ride him with a tie down/martingale of any sort? Once you've ruled out pain and sight, take it off and deal with them flipping their head horrendusly for a few days. My horse was terrible about it from day 1 and as soon as I took the martingale off, she stopped altogether

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    Junior Member LeaderStorm's Avatar
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    @Nevada Silk
    No, he does it when everyone rides him. When my mom first bought him(like eight years ago) she almost sold him because of it. We use a D-ring french snaffle on him. It shouldn't be hurting him though because it's a pinchless.

    @CJ
    Hmmmm, maybe. My mom said he looked like he was ignoring me. His bit right now is a french snaffle. We are thinking of switching to a kimberwick.

    @FriesianSH
    Okay. I'll ask my mom about that. Do you know what the cysts looked like? If you can tell me maybe I can see if that's what the gloopy stuff in his eyes look like. He does trip and rub his eyes a lot.

    @Shoney
    I don't use a martingale.
    I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
    I give thee flight without wings.
    -Legend of the Arabian

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    Senior Member FriesianSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaderStorm View Post
    @Nevada Silk
    No, he does it when everyone rides him. When my mom first bought him(like eight years ago) she almost sold him because of it. We use a D-ring french snaffle on him. It shouldn't be hurting him though because it's a pinchless.

    @CJ
    Hmmmm, maybe. My mom said he looked like he was ignoring me. His bit right now is a french snaffle. We are thinking of switching to a kimberwick.

    @FriesianSH
    Okay. I'll ask my mom about that. Do you know what the cysts looked like? If you can tell me maybe I can see if that's what the gloopy stuff in his eyes look like. He does trip and rub his eyes a lot.

    @Shoney
    I don't use a martingale.
    if you look into his eyes, do you see round places that are a brownish color that are almost in the center of his eyes or center top? Sort of like round floaters in the eye? hard to explain.

    I would get the vet out though or an equine opthamologist.

    here is what I could find when I googled (although my geldings are much worse)

    "Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."

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    Junior Member LeaderStorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FriesianSH View Post
    if you look into his eyes, do you see round places that are a brownish color that are almost in the center of his eyes or center top? Sort of like round floaters in the eye? hard to explain.

    I would get the vet out though or an equine opthamologist.

    here is what I could find when I googled (although my geldings are much worse)


    That is exactly what my horse's eyes look like. Is this a serious thing? Like can it make the horse go blind?
    I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
    I give thee flight without wings.
    -Legend of the Arabian

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    Senior Member FriesianSH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeaderStorm View Post
    That is exactly what my horse's eyes look like. Is this a serious thing? Like can it make the horse go blind?
    yes it can over time, they continue to get larger/change/more show up.

    My vet said that it was like my gelding was viewing the world thru tightly balled up saran wrap. I stopped eventing him when he started striking at poles on the ground at home, like they were snakes, and he would start to shake all over like he was terrified of the jumps.

    As of yesterday (after being retried for 3 years and his eyes not showing of getting any worse) he has gone to a place called Hope Reins of Raleigh. I donated him to them so he can help children since he is still usable but my stallion is keeping me from giving Maverick the time he needs. My vet said he should be fine toting little kids around with the vision issue especially since there are handlers and he has a good personality.

    Call your vet or equine ophthalmologist to come out and look at your horses eyes. There are some drops they can put in the horses eyes (when its dark out) and get a really good look in there with a light if you want to do that.
    "Because right now, this is a job. If I advance any higher, this would be my career. And if this were my career, I'd have to throw myself in front of a train."

  10. #10
    Junior Member LeaderStorm's Avatar
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    Alright. I'll see what I can do about it. Thank you very much for the help. I'll ask my mom if I can see about getting a vet or a ophthalmologist out to see his eyes.
    I also heard there was a surgery you could get to remove it. I dunno how good it is. I didn't read about it.
    I establish thee as one of the Glories of the Earth...
    I give thee flight without wings.
    -Legend of the Arabian

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