"Lipstick" foam - opinions
Could we have a discussion about "lipstick" foam that seems to be a desired physical response in dressage? I was always led to believe that it was a good thing, but I'm starting to wonder...
My mustang varies in his mouth foaminess. He goes in a Myler comfort snaffle and Micklem bridle and there's nothing unusual about his mouth anatomy.
In my observations over the past few months about my mustang's foaminess, he gets foamy when he's fussy with the bit and not supple. His "working the bit" that produces the foam isn't chewing in a soft manner, but from tension. When his mouth is quiet and he is light and supple, there's minimal foam. Lately I have been riding him with a different approach (from reading the French Method thread) - higher, forward, lighter contact than I had been instructed in lessons where the contact was low, wide, and heavier. For him the lighter contact = less foam. The rides where he produces less foam are the rides where he feels softer and more supple.
This topic has come up in my head when for some reason I put something in my mouth to hold it there when I'll need it soon but don't have an extra hand. If I don't swallow, I start drooling. Obviously my human mouth is different from a horse's, but the drooling (which I would imagine would lead to foaminess in a horse) is a byproduct of NOT being relaxed and not swallowing.
I think that Dr. Cook (of bitless bridle fame) had an opinion on foamy mouths - that they were a sign of tension, maybe? I'd have to look up his website to be sure.
To be fair, I am not giving him cookies anymore after I mount, so I suppose that also could have something to do with it.
Anyway, I thought it might be an interesting discussion.