Why do horses jerk their heads?

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By Rachel

Quick Peek:

Is your horse tossing and shaking its head? Don’t worry, it could be for a variety of reasons. Maybe they’re trying to get rid of pesky insects or they’re just excited for mealtime. But it could also be a sign of an underlying issue like an ear infection or arthritis. To help your horse feel more comfortable, try using fly masks, fly spray, or fans to keep insects away. And if the problem persists, take them to the vet for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Keep an eye on your horse’s behavior and address any issues to keep them happy and healthy.

Horses Frequently Toss and Shake Their Heads: Understanding the Reasons Behind It

If you’re a horse enthusiast, you may have noticed that horses frequently toss and shake their heads. But what causes this behavior? Is it something to worry about? In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons why horses jerk their heads and what you can do to address it.

Reasons Behind Head Tossing and Shaking

Horses may toss and shake their heads for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is to shoo away irritating insects. If you’ve ever been bitten by a mosquito or a horsefly, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Horses feel the same way and will often toss their heads to get rid of these pesky insects.

Another reason why horses jerk their heads is because they’re anticipating a meal. Horses are creatures of habit and they know when it’s time to eat. If they’re hungry and they see their food coming, they may start tossing their heads in excitement.

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However, sometimes head tossing can be a sign of a physical problem. For example, horses with ear infections may shake their heads to try and alleviate the discomfort. Arthritis can also cause head tossing as the horse tries to find a comfortable position.

What Can You Do About It?

If your horse is head tossing because of insects, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure your horse is wearing a fly mask and fly spray. You can also try using a fan to keep the insects away.

If your horse is head tossing because of a physical problem, it’s important to address the underlying issue. Take your horse to the vet to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. In some cases, medication or supplements may be necessary to alleviate the discomfort.


In conclusion, head tossing and shaking is a common behavior among horses. While it’s usually nothing to worry about, it’s important to pay attention to your horse’s behavior and address any underlying issues. Whether it’s pesky insects or a physical problem, there are things you can do to help your horse feel more comfortable. So, keep an eye on your horse and don’t hesitate to seek help if you notice any unusual behavior.

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