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The Definition of Twitch


Definition: A twitch is a device to control a horse. There are several types of twitches. A chain twitch is made of a short handle, usually wood, with a short loop of heavy chain on the end. A rope twitch will be similarly made and in either case, the horse's upper lip is pulled through the rope or chain and the handled twisted, tightening the rope or chain around the lip. It's thought that this releases endorphins that calm the horse, although it may only be avoiding more pain be staying still.

Twitches are used around an ear (or tongue) too, but this is painful and can cause the horse to be head shy. Some people feel that any use of a twitch is inhumane and a poor substitute for training good ground manners.

To make the horse stand still when examining the horse's injury, the veterinarian put a twitch on the horse.

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