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Image by Omar Prestwich

Symptoms can vary

Typically after a warm-up of about ten minutes:

  • Rigorous shaking of the nose

  • Vertical flicking of the nose

  • Rubbing of the nose on the ground, legs, or objects

  • Excitement

  • Jerking head movements

  • Pullin on the rein

  • Tripping

  • Disorientation that can lead to falls

Further information

Despite extensive research no single cause has been identified in relation to headshaking.  This makes it important to rule out mechanical irritants such as awns that can stick inside the nostrils or dental issues. 


Sensitivity to insects is another reason. The Nose Net provides relief for this as well since horses quickly realize that they are protected and insects are unable to get into the nostrils.

External Links

Equine Fact Sheet (UK)

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