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pixie
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:03 AM
This is an imported Dutch horse that does not salivate at all. I have tried many different bits including ones with copper inlays and all copper, different mouth pieces, side pieces, shapes. He has been in a Mikmar, a Mylar, snaffles, french links, 2 ring, etc...nothing seems to be the right one. In general his mouth is very dead. He needs to be resoftened EVERY time he gets ridden. In many of the bits he visibly looks uncomfortable as he opens his mouth and kinda chomps it a bit. He is the most responsive in the 2 ring but we can not show with that. He is a Hunter/Equitation horse. He is never strong or heavy just kinda dead mouthed in anything I have tried except the 2 ring.
Could this dry mouth be an imbalance of something in his diet? When he eats hay he constantly dunks it in water. He has had his teeth floated by an expert 2 months ago.
Thanks in advance!

Eclectic Horseman
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:06 AM
Maybe he's just a "mouth breather." ;)

Have you tried Gum Bits?

http://www.horsesdaily.com/market/finds/gumbits/kane-1.html

http://www.gambitatlanta.com/

Valentina_32926
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:10 AM
No idea - sorry. I've heard of dead mouthed horses from riders yanking on them all the time - just had nothing to do with lack of saliva. (As a hunter/jumper all sorts of bits could have been placed in his mouth.)

Perhaps Probiotics would help? That's grasping at straws but if he's imported his tummy could have gotten screwed up during import and the probiotic powder is VERY inexpensive for a one-shot deal. Plus I'd have to phone in a question about the saliva to my vet. In the interim try to ride him in a loose ring/D-ring snaffle to see if selecting a softer bit and being VERY quiet in your hands helps the situation.

pixie
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:12 AM
That sounds interesting but there is no picture on the website. What do the side pieces look like?.....oops, ok I see , its not a bit but a candy to help them salivate!

Tiffani B
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:12 AM
I had a horse like that. Very tense on the bits, no saliva, acted like they were all uncomfortable. The trainer she came from had a bit of a reputation for being rough, and this was a sensitive mare with no confidence, but a huge ego. (Try that for a combo!) :eek:

I switched her to a fat rubber bar bit (temporarily) and fed her peppermints before and during all work. She learned to stay soft on the bit because it couldn't hurt her, and the peppermints made her salivate. After a few weeks I moved her back to a smooth snaffle and never had the problem again. Every once in awhile I'd work her in the bar bit just to reinforce the notion that bits don't hurt.

ThreeFigs
Jul. 27, 2009, 12:32 PM
Dittos on feeding peppermints, sugar cubes, apple slices -- experiment to find the substance that triggers some salivation.

The other suggestions regarding rubber mullens or other "soft" bits with VERY quiet hands are spot-on. I like French links. You might even try a Waterford to see if the bumpiness triggers salivation. My coach used one briefly during jumping lessons on her dressage horse and it did a lot to soften him up. His problem is not salivation, but getting bully with her in the bridle. (Big horse, tiny rider)

Hay dunking seems to be a habit/preference for soaked hay. My gelding does it and has no problem salivating. Although when I first got him, he was quite dry-mouthed. (Ex-jumper)

I have a student with a rescued Arab who was probably badly used (he has a deep scar across his tongue) and while he has a very sensitive mouth, he does not salivate. We get all excited if we see even a skim of spit around his lips after a ride. Apple slices help a little, but he's in his 20's now. This may be as good as it gets.

BeaSting
Jul. 27, 2009, 12:41 PM
You could try dropping the bit down a hole.

FLeckenAwesome
Jul. 27, 2009, 06:15 PM
my horse tends to be dry too. One day before I rode, I gave him some Tums cause he had eaten his grain a little closer to the ride than I like.... and lo and behold.. he drooled pretty well!
He also likes to drool more with the soft peppermint candies too.

Though I keep telling myself that it's not from the treats, it's cause we're working more effectively now ;)

slc2
Jul. 27, 2009, 06:25 PM
My suggestion is stop changing bits, let him settle in to one bit. Put the horse in an ordinary loose ring snaffle and take lessons from a good person.

Give the horse some chopped alfalfa before you ride or some apples if it bothers you.

I think you're assigning way more importance to it than it deserves. If the horse is going correctly and is comfortable don't worry about it. Being comfortable and correct has a lot more to do with correctly fitted bits and correctly adjusted bridle, and correct riding, than whether you see spit on the horse's lips or not.

IrishDeclan
Jul. 27, 2009, 07:22 PM
My suggestion is stop changing bits, let him settle in to one bit. Put the horse in an ordinary loose ring snaffle and take lessons from a good person.

Give the horse some chopped alfalfa before you ride or some apples if it bothers you.

I think you're assigning way more importance to it than it deserves. If the horse is going correctly and is comfortable don't worry about it. Being comfortable and correct has a lot more to do with correctly fitted bits and correctly adjusted bridle, and correct riding, than whether you see spit on the horse's lips or not.

I totally agree with this. I read an article somewhere recently that was talking about why horse's get "lipstick" while being ridden. It had something to do with the salivary glands being stimulated when a horse was working correctly on the bit. The article also said that every horse is different though. Some drown themselves in their own spit, and some don't foam up at all.

PennyChrome
Jul. 27, 2009, 08:37 PM
:no:FOAMING AT THE MOUTH IS NOT PRIMARILY FROM THE BIT. Foam in the mouth comes yes, partially from your horse chewing the bit, but is primarily a result of activating the PAROTID GLANDS which are located in the horses gullet where there head ties into their neck (their throat, where the throatlatch goes). This is why you see more foam when horses are arched and bending and giving in their poll, the throatlatch area is relaxed and the change in head and neck carriage activates the PAROTID GLANDS and voila; foam. Copper bits, apples, etc will help make foamy mouth just like chewing the bit, but most slobber is from those parotids relaxing. This is also why you don't see slobber when people try to ride dressage movements on a tense, unrelaxed horse, that is probably bending in his 2nd or 3rd or 4th neck vertebrae instead of his poll. The tension the horse carries in his underneck does not allow the relaxation in the gullet that activates the Parotids.

slc2
Jul. 27, 2009, 08:41 PM
I wouldn't go so far as to say that a very dead mouth with no flexible supple connection with the hand is good, but I would try to deal with that by training, and don't feel it is caused by how much saliva you see on the horse's lips.

In many cases, froth around the mouth is actually a sign for concern. Horses that are tense can tend to immediately show froth around the mouth, because they are behind the bit and tense; that compresses the salivary glands and the tense chewing makes the froth.

Ideally, if a horse shows some froth, it is because it has a flexible connection and is quietly, slowly chewing the bit in a relaxed way.

Because a horse shows no froth does not mean there is a problem - some horses work their jaw and throat very correctly, but swallow. Some horses don't like froth on their lips and don't let it come out of their mouth. Some horse's mouths are shaped so that the froth doesn't come out.

Like over reach at the walk, it has assumed far, far too much significance or black and whiteness in many people's minds.

"You could drop the bit down a hole"

(pictures the eager disciple rushing out to his backyard, eagerly digging a small hole with a trowel and with unrestrained joy, dropping the bit into it, and then posting, 'OK, what do I do next?').

Snoball 1
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:23 PM
ROFL :lol:

PnkPanthr
Jul. 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
hahahahhaha slc2, thank you. you have truly made my night.

nuts4cowboybutts
Jul. 28, 2009, 07:34 AM
Well, we just use fruit rollups when we need to. Just wrap one around the bit.

Now you people who don't believe in sugar or shoes won't like the idea, but it works when you need to do it.

slc2
Jul. 28, 2009, 07:49 AM
So wait.

Your horse has a dead, inflexible contact, pulls like an effing train, and you...you put a fruit rollup on his bit?

Let me see, I'm getting a picture of this....horsey is running around the show ring, head down around his knees, pulling like a steam locomotive, while the desperate rider is clinging to his ears, shouting, 'GIVE ME A FRUIT ROLLUP! SOMEONE QUICK!'

ThreeFigs
Jul. 28, 2009, 09:36 AM
I don't think OP's horse is a puller, just dead-mouthed and produces no saliva.

I dunno, maybe more positive drive from the legs into the bit? Without photos or video, it's hard to know what else might be going on.

slc2
Jul. 28, 2009, 07:03 PM
most 'dead' is from not suppling horse sufficiently. usually answer is not making more froth or spit, and not a different bit.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Jul. 28, 2009, 07:08 PM
Peeps. Really.

warmbloodguy
Jul. 28, 2009, 08:07 PM
So wait.

Your horse has a dead, inflexible contact, pulls like an effing train, and you...you put a fruit rollup on his bit?

Let me see, I'm getting a picture of this....horsey is running around the show ring, head down around his knees, pulling like a steam locomotive, while the desperate rider is clinging to his ears, shouting, 'GIVE ME A FRUIT ROLLUP! SOMEONE QUICK!'

Hey, you never know! Maybe the "3-feet of fun" rainbow power sequestered in the Fruil Rollup will make my horse light and collected enough to do a canter pirouette! :lol:

BeaSting
Jul. 28, 2009, 08:34 PM
"You could drop the bit down a hole"

(pictures the eager disciple rushing out to his backyard, eagerly digging a small hole with a trowel and with unrestrained joy, dropping the bit into it, and then posting, 'OK, what do I do next?').

Didn't expect to be taken literally. Shoulda known better. :o OP mentioned that horse sometimes seemed uncomfortable. A small adjustment of the bridle can make a difference.

ThreeFigs
Jul. 28, 2009, 09:15 PM
Hey, it was worth a laugh!

Great mental image...

nuts4cowboybutts
Jul. 28, 2009, 09:52 PM
So wait.

Your horse has a dead, inflexible contact, pulls like an effing train, and you...you put a fruit rollup on his bit?

Let me see, I'm getting a picture of this....horsey is running around the show ring, head down around his knees, pulling like a steam locomotive, while the desperate rider is clinging to his ears, shouting, 'GIVE ME A FRUIT ROLLUP! SOMEONE QUICK!'

Man, do you ever have an active imagination, making up stuff like that. I just guess you're trying to be funny.

Don't you know things to do way before it ever gets to that stage? Who would have ever thought I was talking about in a show ring?. I'm talking at beginning stages. You knew that.

slc2
Jul. 28, 2009, 10:11 PM
Yeah, actually, i think it is funny.

for me, it has never actually gotten to the point where I put a fruit rollup on a horse's bit. I prefer to correct contact issues with training.

But there are also a great many misconceptions about how the contact should feel. There should be an accepted amount of contact; often people are trying to correct something that isn't wrong.

goeslikestink
Jul. 29, 2009, 03:45 AM
op--please read my 1st page in helpful link thread here
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=178116

please read all of the links on the 1st page
its all relevent -- there is a working diagram of each bit and what it does and how it should be fitted

sometimes you may have to alter the head peice brow peice or even cheek peices as sometimes a horse is between sizes of bridles ie pony to cob and cob to full depending on there head shape which in turn holds the bit
if the horse for arguement sake is chomping at the bit most likely it hanging to low in the horse mouth so you wont get slavia all you getting is the bit constantlymoving unessarily in the horse mouth which in turn cuases him pain - then he isnt and less likely to understand the signal contact from the hands to the bit so therefore relluctant to move forwards
etc

then the hands can do either one or 2 things ie bad hand by supporting your bodyweight into the bridle -- as in heavy hands or hands set
or supporting the horse on the reins -------- as in keeping the horse up which can also be leaning towards rein lame - as the conection and contact is false
and no clear signals of direction or contact

so a well fitted bridle plays an important part in keeping your horse ballanced
l

goeslikestink
Jul. 29, 2009, 04:32 AM
[QUOTE=goeslikestink;4269283]op--please read my 1st page in helpful link thread here
http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=178116

please read all of the links on the 1st page
its all relevent -- there is a working diagram of each bit and what it does and how it should be fitted

sometimes you may have to alter the head peice brow peice or even cheek peices as sometimes a horse is between sizes of bridles ie pony to cob and cob to full depending on there head shape which in turn holds the bit
if the horse for arguement sake is chomping at the bit most likely it hanging to low in the horse mouth so you wont get slavia all you getting is the bit constantlymoving unessarily in the horse mouth which in turn cuases him pain - then he isnt and less likely to understand the signal contact from the hands to the bit so therefore relluctant to move forwards
etc

then the hands can do either one or 2 things ie bad hand by supporting your bodyweight into the bridle -- as in heavy hands or hands set
or supporting the horse on the reins -------- as in keeping the horse up which can also be leaning towards rein lame - as the conection and contact is false
and no clear signals of direction or contact

so a well fitted bridle plays an important part in keeping your horse ballanced
and finally not all horses and ponies salvia some have a lot some have abit and some have nothing depends

PennyChrome
Jul. 29, 2009, 08:22 PM
My horse foams like she's rabid, but I might try the fruit rollup just for fun! It'd be interesting to see what happens. She loves fruit snacks! Maybe she'll be really good. But then, what if she got bad when the rollup was gone????

RogersChapelFarm
Jul. 31, 2009, 07:42 AM
Recently I attended a ride a test where several people who came rode in bitless bridles. It was an interesting moment when I saw foam and what would appear to be "chewing the bit" when there was no bit! It was a nice 3rd level horse and the instructor-a judge going for an S- got the most out of all of the horses and this one came through and all of a sudden there appeared a nice white foam at the corner of the mouth....I thought well so much for all those bits that are supposed to do that!

I just give a handful of sugar cubes!

By the way...at some point in FL (where all kinds of bizaare things can happen)...my horses-several mares....all began to drool and foam huge amounts....it was WIERD....noone ever could say why-They (vets and locals)assumed it was a weed or something....but literally they would stand around and drool or foam. It went away eventually.

slc2
Jul. 31, 2009, 08:41 AM
Alfalfa or clover gets a beetle in it that causes foam. Or it could have been any number of weeds, probably harmless.

The bitless bridle causes foam by compressing the salivary glands/bending the neck. Most of them have far more leverage than a bit and are far more severe action on the head, neck, poll, nose, and that's not really a good thing.

CatOnLap
Jul. 31, 2009, 09:11 AM
what GLS says has merit. Many bridles do not fit many horses. I bought a cob size bridle for a dainty mare I am riding. She was not happy in it, pinned her ears, shook her head and clamped her mouth shut with no saliva ( this mare IS a drama queen BTW). I checked all the fit- everything seemed oK, but the browband seemed a little tight. I took the browband off and the horse immediately relaxed and opened her taps- the drool was copious and she played with the bit. She has such a broad forehead, that I had to add 2 inches to the browband, to make it a 17 inch, so she would be comfortable and not pinch her ears.

But if everything fits, I'd say your best bets are to temporarily use the double ring bit that you like for a few months and then try switching to a competition legal bit, or else try a soft mouth gum or plastic bit, which are legal to begin with. And feed treats before during and after your ride to help the horse relax. Chewing softly, as is seen in the round pen or in a bitless rig, is a sign of relaxation and submission and produces saliva. The quickest way to get that is through the feeding of treats. I prefer colourless treats like peppermints, sugar or apple slices, as things like alfalfa leave large green stains on everything.

With mouth issues too, I am surprised how often it turns out to be something in the hind end or back that is too tight and NQR and once the horse starts to relax his back and the pain is gone, the whole horse relaxes and engages.

Velvet
Aug. 2, 2009, 11:52 AM
Other than the hands and a ruined mouth, I'd have to wonder if he has a blocked salivary (sp?) gland. Or there's the other issue I've had personal experience with. If you have a horse that has a fat tongue and no room in his mouth, often they swallow instead of drooling. Especially if they are not super flexible in the jaw area and can overbend like a devil. They just tend to swallow their saliva. Often they'll get lipstick foam on their lips, but you won't see drooling. If you do stuff them with sugar cubes you'll get some drool early on, but later that will be gone.

Doesn't happen with too many horses, and if you're not getting the foam lipstick, look to problems with contact and work through it with your training. That's the only TRUE cure for that. If he's not drooling due to the aforementioned fat tongue, etc., don't worry about it as long as he's responsive and soft, and through.

CatOnLap
Aug. 2, 2009, 12:18 PM
Welcome back Velvet, you were missed.

eventer_mi
Aug. 2, 2009, 04:07 PM
Don't know if this helps, but I have a gelding that can be very tight in the back and pelvic area. He is a very good faker, but the knowledgeable can see that he's not truly coming through. He was also very dry mouthed.

When I used a Back on Track pad, I noticed that he had lovely, soft foam - a first! I had never had foam from him before. Now, even though I use other pads under his saddle, I can always tell when I've had him working through by the amount of foam he does/does not produce. No foam - didn't have him through. Foam - had his back.

Velvet
Aug. 2, 2009, 04:19 PM
Not sure how much time I can spend out here, but I thought I'd try to drop in once in a while. :D