|Missouri, 2 year old TWH, just started him
to saddle, ridden in single twisted bit and English saddle in pasture,
ring by experienced rider.
Question: Would like to know how to get more head shake. Is it in the
From Panelist Nancy
Your horse is just a baby. Be pleased that he is coming along
so nicely. I don't understand why so many people are worrying so
much about the head nod. As long as he is relaxed and doing the correct
gait you should be pleased. A lot of head nod is looked for by the
Big Lick judges, but I hope that you don't want your horse to go like that!
Those horses have a lot of head nod because they have to work so hard just
to pick their feet up and walk. (I guess you can tell my thoughts
on BL!) Also, your horse doesn't need a twisted bit. Use a
mild bit, such as a plain ring snaffle (no leverage).
From Panelist Jonathan
No , it's not in the bit . It's in the genes . He is either a heavy nodder or not , he is young and time will tell .
Of course the same can be said for a quality gait as well .
But people have come up with all kinds of artificial ways of circumventing genetic predispositin for that , so manufacturing a little head nod contrary to his natural way of going shouldn't be all the dificult . You just won't get any suggestions along those lines from me .
Good luck to your horse
From Panelist Liz
This is such a young horse that if he has the structure to develop more head shake it will come with time. He still as not finished growing and will not for a couple more years. He could be in height but he still has bones to fuse and filling to do at this age. So the muscular support is still not in place to get every thing in the support or strength for the skeletal structure yet. Give him time and let the head shake develop with lots of flat walking.
I personally do not use any twisted mouth piece bits in my training.
At this age I would still have him in a snaffle bit (no shank, No curb)
for a long time yet. If you feel you need a twisted mouth piece for control
the I would go back to getting the ground work more solid
From Panelist Bob
A two year old is too young to ride! Give your horse a chance to grow up and develop before you start riding him. Headshake comes from the whole body working in a relaxed manner, not from any specific bit. A twisted wire bit is excessive! I start my 3 yr olds in a D ring, or full cheek snaffle.
From Panelists Theresa
First I would change the bit if this horse were mine. I would go to a straight snaffle or a wonder bit. I have seen many horses who would love to shake, but are tired of being punished for doing so.
The twisted snaffles are good for horses who are further along in training
for other reasons, but not necessary for starting a colt. To achieve a
shakier head, the gait must be a true walk. If he is "gaiting" and his
head is stationary, stiff and high with a bend in the poll hes
If your horse is racking, to break the rack you must work your way to
a lateral gait. Longer hind toe, heavier toe on back, and pacing out your
horse for a period of several months will help your horse to achieve this.
Then from the lateral gait, you will want to square up the horse slowly.
Start with a pace, and slow him down to a shaking walk. Alow him to shake
for a good period of time daily, with only a slight amount of contact on
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