Shaking our heads over horse head shaking

Horse head shaking can have multiple causes, and some of them can be serious medical issues. It can point to allergies, muscle spasms, respiratory issues, neurological problems, vision conditions, insect or parasite disturbances, and more.

But sometimes, a horse shakes his head for very simple reasons.

Take Paulette’s Quarter Horse, for example.

Cam suddenly became a head shaker, and it was downright scary for a while.

Just yesterday, this sweet nine-year-old Palomino gelding stood in the cross ties in the barn aisle and shook his head, while his owner gave him a thorough grooming.

After currying off huge clumps of winter hair and mud, Paulette tacked up her horse and led him into the indoor riding arena. Paulette and Cam stood in the center of the ring for a while, waiting for lesson traffic to subside a bit.

And Cam started the head shaking thing again.

Paulette asked a few horsey pals to take a look at her horse. They looked in his eyes. They peeked into his ears. They fiddled with his bridle, checking for proper fit. They examined the bit.

A fellow boarder piped up that it might be EPM. (“Thanks for playing. Not really helpful this time.”)

The devoted horse owner considered calling her equine veterinarian. But she decided to give it a day or two and see if the situation resolved itself.

The next morning, Paulette went to the stables to check on Cam. A resident trainer pointed out how the barn roof was dripping, right over the aisle cross ties, as the snow on the roof melted. He showed Paulette a big puddle on the floor.

Together, they stepped into the arena and examined the spot where Paulette and Cam had stood on the previous day. Sure enough, the sand footing was soupy in that exact spot. They looked up and saw the drip-drip-drip from the ceiling too.

Another vet call averted!

Sure, horse head shaking can be a weighty matter. But this time, it wasn’t.

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Chief questions for conscientious horse owners

Horse owners don’t have to have all the answers, even when it comes to caring for their horses. Sometimes we simply have to ask the right questions.

Here are a few examples.

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How might I go about identifying possible equine boarding facilities in my area?

Take a look at these practical pointers: 7 ways to find a new horse boarding barn

How can I pick the right stable for boarding my horse?

How can I be a better boarder at the barn?

Think about these helpful suggestions: 10 ways to be an active and attentive horse boarding client

Why is a Coggins Test required of my horse?

While we’re on the subject of equine veterinarians, is there a proper protocol for vet barn calls?

What if I am considering donating my horse to an equine therapy group?

Perhaps these key questions will spur additional ideas and questions you might choose to consider, as you seek to care most effectively for your own horse.

After all, sometimes the most helpful information is readily available, if we will but ask.

You are invited to bookmark, follow, or subscribe to The Mane Point: A Haven for Horse Lovers. Watch for additional key questions for horse owners and additional practical helps in future posts.

Chief questions for conscientious horse owners
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