View Full Version : Would You Buy A "Parrot Mouthed" Horse?

Apr. 30, 2010, 12:53 PM
Assuming the horse fit the bill for your other requirements, would you pass on it simply because it was parrot mouthed?

Trying to get an idea of what problems a parrot mouth might be to deal with - (beyond the extra important dental upkeep), And how scared off potential buyers might or might not be when the time comes.

FWIW, I don't own one, but am looking at one. This is not expected to be an 'A' level show hunter and will never compete in any class where conformation is specifically judged.

Apr. 30, 2010, 12:59 PM
I personally owned one that was BAD.. actually got better with upkeep (dentist every 6 months), and the fact that she was fed strictly on the ground (in ground feeder and hay on ground- no hay bags), she did very good!
Took a long time to find something she liked bit wise.. she had a really really low pallet and I ended up riding her in a happy mouth with a "double jointed mouth piece" and it worked perfectly (http://www.doversaddlery.com/happy-mouth-king-dee-pro-double-jointed-snaffle-bit/p/X1-01114/cn/1464/).

Rode her in the jumpers and she was super talented...
so to answer your questions, personally- no it wouldn't stop me.

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:03 PM
Sure. I'd even buy one for AA level if it could do the job. There have been a number of them over the years and still are. It's not a big deal unless you show Conformation.

BUT not one of those extreme deals where you can see it from 50 yards. Those also have trouble chewing food and can colic beside I just cannot stand the look.

If it's not too bad and/or you are on a budget. Go for it. A good place to compromise on conformation versus price. Long as it doesn't look like an anteater or something;).

Oh, parrot mouth is a big fault in the AQHA, Arabs, Appys and other breeds so if you are doing breed shows, that will ding you pretty good. Obviously, they should not pass that trait on via use as breeding animals.

But in the Hunters, it's the canter and the jump. Everything else is just minor details.

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:04 PM
There is an extremely parrot mouthed gelding in my barn that wins at the A shows in the Hunters (not conformation though ;)) I don't think it affects his pinning at all, he still wins when he has the best trip. His dental routine is about average compared to the others in my barn - sometimes floated at 6 months, other times one year, as needed. Unless it drastically affected the horse's eating/bitting, it wouldn't put me off. However, if we were talking about a mare or a stallion rather than a gelding, I'd certainly take it into consideration re: breeding value.

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:06 PM
Oh, parrot mouth is a big fault in the AQHA, Arabs, Appys and other breeds so if you are doing breed shows, that will ding you pretty good.
Interestingly, the horse in my previous post was Reserve Champion Hunter at Appaloosa Worlds before he came to my barn. However, I don't think that's a very competitive division, and the horse has a great jump. He certainly wouldn't have made an App halter horse ;)

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:22 PM
Interestingly, the horse in my previous post was Reserve Champion Hunter at Appaloosa Worlds before he came to my barn. However, I don't think that's a very competitive division, and the horse has a great jump. He certainly wouldn't have made an App halter horse ;)

You'd need to see what he beat performance wise. Even in the breed shows, they do need to get around the course well before any nit picking to split them out can start.

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:27 PM
You need to know the degree of the parrot mouth. If it's an older horse, 8+ , and has been doing well despite it, it would be different from a youngster, or one who clearly has already developed problems maintaining weight and condition.

see u at x
Apr. 30, 2010, 01:35 PM
Yes, I would. Especially if the horse was as lovely as this one is:



Like someone else said, if you're not breeding it, I don't see the big deal.

Apr. 30, 2010, 01:55 PM
If it fits all your needs and you were planning on keeping it, then I would say go for it! If this is a horse that you are looking to resell, I would be a little cautious. While in my opinion it is not a big deal, it could be a big turn off to some buyers. I have seen some VERY talented, pricey parrot mouthed hunters. They had no problems being sold (they may have been slightly discounted but were still $$$). But when it comes down to an average horse, suitable for its job but maybe not fancy, you may have trouble selling it (if that was what you are planning).

When in doubt I always talk to my vet about potential problems. Your vet should be able to evaluate the severity of the deformity, whether or not it can be corrected (or at least made better), and whether it will affect the health of the horse. I would much rather have a horse that needs special management of the diet or dental maintenance than a horse that has leg issues!

Apr. 30, 2010, 02:18 PM
I've owned a parrot mouther before. The only thing I did different with him was extra dental. I never had a problem with it, so it wouldn't turn me off of a horse if it fit my expectations.


Here was mine. He wasn't a terrible case, but still parrot mouthed!

May. 1, 2010, 12:35 AM
A friend of mine has one, and his isn't slight, believe me. LOL. He's at least 8 now, and she's never had any trouble with him. In fact, he's usually on the porked-out side. She's a bigger girl, too, also with an overbite, so they actually make a cute pair. Even she laughs about their profiles. :lol:

May. 1, 2010, 12:39 AM
I sold my Seattle Slew grandbaby last year at age 14 after years of him championing at AA and A shows on the West Coast. We had to do dental 2 times a year, but nothing else. He was sound, sound, sound and we won the hack at most shows. You don't ride the head and other than conformation classes, you aren't going to be marked down. It's the second parrot mouth horse I've owned and they were both lovely.

May. 1, 2010, 01:01 AM
Both my horses are parrot mouthed.. as a matter of fact so am I..... Ha ha....

So I guess my answer would be yes.. as long as it didn't affect anything in particular.

May. 2, 2010, 09:24 AM
I swear by my parrot mouth he's the best! Though the dentist bills can get a bit expensive if the teeth themselves are screwed. :)



May. 2, 2010, 09:41 AM
we have a parrot mouth horse. It's not a big deal at all really. He is a HUGE TB and is our most athletic and talented horses- he would be a great show horse but that's not his job. He is 17 now and his parrot mouth has actually gotten way better.
As for feeding, we really haven't had much issue with it. He is a sloppy grain spiller anyway, but we don't do anything special with him.

May. 2, 2010, 03:10 PM
I had one in my barn that was a mess and always, always hard to keep weight on. It didn't help that the his owners were totally snowed by the crook they had previously boarded with who billed them for the dentist, but never actually had the dentist do the horse. :no: He got much better, weight wise, once we got his mouth in a little more respectable condition, but he was going to need VERY consistent, VERY good care to stay that way. However, he was extreme. Bad, bad parrot mouth, but his teeth didn't line up left to right, either (they got snowed when they bought him, too....they were crook magnets for some reason).

Anyway, since I typically look at green horses for myself, I probably wouldn't be wild about a parrot mouth baby. I wouldn't say I'd completely rule it out, but I would have to be giddy with joy otherwise over the horse to over look it. If I was looking for something going, though, for a client or whatever, and it fit the bill otherwise, I probably wouldn't worry too much (unless its mouth looked like the one I mentioned!).

May. 2, 2010, 08:17 PM
If it is significant enough to be noted on your prepurchase/vet exam, it may put restrictions on insurance coverage for colic and other issues. This may not be a problem for you, but it was an unexpected surprise to me. Having said that, never had any problems with my horse.

May. 2, 2010, 08:37 PM
Sure. Just as long as I know how to feed him...

Going Bananas
May. 2, 2010, 10:29 PM
with horses, pretty is as pretty does. if that horse does everytrhing or enough of what you're looking for in a horse, buy it. We had one that showed in children's hunters and won about every time he walked in the ring.