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Mtn trails
Jun. 8, 2011, 12:08 AM
My little mare has a truly poor work ethic; it's like everything you ask her to do she gives you attitude, except jumping, she loves jumping.

What she does constantly and continually is "clacking" her incisors together while riding. I cannot for the life of me figure out what can be bothering her other than she just doesn't want to work. Her tack fits, she has no chiro issues that I can see, I've tried soft hands and giving her the rein to no avail. When I trail ride under western tack, I give her a draped rein and no bit pressure at all but she still will clack her teeth together.

Has anyone had a horse like this and what did you do to correct?

deltawave
Jun. 8, 2011, 12:24 AM
Bonnie does this often, but it seems to be an entirely different set of circumstances: she does it only when she's genuinely relaxed and comfortable. When the heat gets turned up mentally or physically, the clicking stops. When we go back to something she loves or she's feeling very pleased with herself . . . click-click-click. It's soft, it's rhythmical with her stride, it's decidedly NOT grinding, and I am forced to conclude it's her way of playing a little.

She is and always has been busy with the bit and certainly will sometimes fuss and fiddle, but that's entirely different from this rhythmical teeth-clicking.

My trainer told me she read somewhere that the Spanish Riding School considered it an asset in a horse, and that it should not be stifled. However, that's a third-hand anecdote at best. I do know that no amount of cranking on a flash will stop it, and it usually comes with a nice wet, slobbery mouth, for what THAT'S worth. *shrug*

Probably not even remotely helpful, sorry, but I will be interested to hear what others have to say.

ClassNTime
Jun. 8, 2011, 12:59 AM
My little mare has a truly poor work ethic; it's like everything you ask her to do she gives you attitude, except jumping, she loves jumping.

What she does constantly and continually is "clacking" her incisors together while riding. I cannot for the life of me figure out what can be bothering her other than she just doesn't want to work. Her tack fits, she has no chiro issues that I can see, I've tried soft hands and giving her the rein to no avail. When I trail ride under western tack, I give her a draped rein and no bit pressure at all but she still will clack her teeth together.

Has anyone had a horse like this and what did you do to correct?

I have a 14 year old QH/Andalusian cross who does this as well!!! Fits your description to a "T"! Her work ethic when it comes to jumping is wonderful - life could not be better... but anything else you ask of her is a totally different story.

I have had 2 different chiro's to look at her, 3 saddle fitters, a hand full of trainers, opinions from 6 different vets and 2 equine dentist... NONE of which have been able to fix the clacking or find a cause for it and it drives me CRAZY! One vet did suggest having her scoped to see if she has ulcers... That may be the next option to explore and see.

Wish I had a better answer for you, but I am glad to see I am not the only one with a horse who is clacking her teeth...

gallopinggram
Jun. 28, 2011, 09:02 PM
Just came upon this thread, after a ride yesterday where my mare was constantly clacking her teeth. This is not normal for her. She was very distracted and spooky (there was a lot of noisy activity at the barn), and seems to have slobbers now to boot. I was wondering if it was a sign of nerves or that she disliked all the saliva in her mouth. We have been at this farm for almost 20 years and never had a problem with slobbers from clover before. I was actually thinking about calling the vet out to check out her mouth, as she is still doing it a day later.

Soo, just wondering if anyone out there has a horse that does this out of nervousness, or possibly being in season? Is it nothing to worry about, or should I call a vet? She seems normal in every other way - no problems with eating or drinking. I have checked out her mouth as much as I could, and haven't seen anything wrong. Should I be concerned?

kkindley
Jun. 28, 2011, 10:20 PM
Had a horse that also clicked while he was happy. Joked it was his happy noise!

KC058
Jun. 28, 2011, 11:23 PM
was watching a wild horse documentary (one of the Cloud series) and according to commentary youngsters were 'teeth clacking' to show submission...

my friends orphan foal was teeth clacking when walking past unknown horses and we were correcting him- until I realized he was just being polite :)

frugalannie
Jun. 29, 2011, 09:49 AM
If she's doing it in time with her strides, she's just providing a little "rhythm section" for her personal radio.;)

Hilary
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:09 AM
My mare does that when she's being asked to do hard or new dressage work. For her it's definitely tension related. It stops when I ease up, and also once she learns the new task she can do it without clacking.

I use it as a gauge to see how tense she is in her work - I know I'm pushing her and it reminds me that this is new/hard work for her.

Does she ever stop?

deltawave
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:18 AM
If she's doing it in time with her strides, she's just providing a little "rhythm section" for her personal radio

Yep. Or the voices in her head. :D

merrygoround
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:23 AM
My experience has been the same as deltwaves, a happy horse.

OTTB FTW
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:37 AM
Mine does something more of an "incessant chomping". Its NOT grinding. Not sure if its the same as clacking because there isn't noise.
She uses it to express her opinions. She is VERY oral, always has been. She does it when bored, excited to go, annoyed with the dressage work, wants something from me, and tense. Does it when not being ridden as well. She doesn't do it when jumping because she is concentrating on the job and much more focused. The exact way she "chomps", and the positions of her lips, show which mood she is in. :lol:
With a flash she does it, but the mouth is more closed, and therefore it looks like she is just chomping the bit. Haven't had problems with dressage score. Definitely no teeth or physical discomfort or problems - has all been checked out.
Dressage instructor says ignore it, as does my eventing trainer. They don't encourage use of the flash because they feel it may have her change it and fight the flash.
Again, don't know if its the same, but sounds of similar roots. (no tooth pun intended) Sorry yours make noise, seems that would be quite a bit more annoying.

GingerJumper
Jun. 29, 2011, 10:59 AM
My TB clicks. He grinds his teeth when he's nervous, and when he's relaxed he lets them click and gets incredibly foamy and drooling. *shrug* horses, always a quirk!

Mtn trails
Jun. 29, 2011, 02:31 PM
My mare does that when she's being asked to do hard or new dressage work. For her it's definitely tension related. It stops when I ease up, and also once she learns the new task she can do it without clacking.

I use it as a gauge to see how tense she is in her work - I know I'm pushing her and it reminds me that this is new/hard work for her.

Does she ever stop?

No, she never stops until I dismount. Generally it starts when I pick up a contact and ask her to start bending and working from the hind end, then she swings into clacking mode with her ears back but not pinned so I don't think it's a happy noise. She's very opinionated and it almost makes her not fun to ride because you have to push for every step. Drives me nuts. I'm hoping the Micklem bridile I ordered will hep some if the bridle has something to do with it (she's a serious head rubber too).

Heinz 57
Jun. 29, 2011, 02:55 PM
Did you buy my old mare? :lol:

It sounds like everyone else is describing a rhythmic, click-click-click in time with the horse's steps... but it sounds like you're describing more of a nervous habit, maybe?

I had a mare that did this, coupled with twisting at the poll and a lot of neck/body tension. Never could get her to settle and quit, though - I have a lot of photos of her with her mouth open (caught mid-clack). IMO it was a problem with submission/acceptance/steadiness in the contact.

I worked a lot on relaxation with her. She was happy jumping, trail riding, whatever...but bring out the flatwork and try to really put her together and she'd go back to it. Eventually sold her because she drove me half insane, between the clacking/chomping, head twisting, and just being a crazy witch.

jenm
Jun. 29, 2011, 07:23 PM
My mare does that when she's being asked to do hard or new dressage work. For her it's definitely tension related. It stops when I ease up, and also once she learns the new task she can do it without clacking.

I use it as a gauge to see how tense she is in her work - I know I'm pushing her and it reminds me that this is new/hard work for her.


This is similar to how my mare behaves as well. She seems to do it when asked to do something she deems "difficult" but to me it appears she is really focused. She has never done it for an entire ride though.

Ibex
Jun. 30, 2011, 12:58 AM
Hmm. My mare does it as well, but like a couple of others mentioned, only when she's really relaxed and happy while working. Or when I scritch the right spot on her neck :lol: