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  1. #1
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    Default Tongue tales - spinoff about tongue issues

    All this tongue talk made me wonder about my own horse. She actually licks her lips sometimes while I ride. She's also foamy and seems happy, but I wonder if the lip licking is an issue at all? This is not a tongue hanging out thing, it just pops out, licks, then pops back in.

    Obviously I don't crank the noseband and rarely use a flash, so she can easily do it. Maybe I should use the flash? Or is it a good thing, because I've heard that when they lick their lips they're thinking.

    Does anybody have thoughts on my mare's occasional lip licking? Any other tongue tales of their own?



  2. #2
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    I dont think that is negative at all. does she do it when she is working or just at the walk? If she is just licking i cant see the problem.
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  3. #3
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    Lots of times it's when we drop down to a walk or a free walk, but the other day I saw her do it a couple of times at the trot. Hmmm…



  4. #4
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    Licking is good. That is different from tongue hanging out or tongue over the bit. You have a happy mare so don't change anything, don't crank the nose band and no flash.



  5. #5
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    I think people worry too much about a horse's tongue. Some horses are just mouthy and play with their tongues. Rico sticks the tip of his out the side of his mouth when he's stressed, bored, or concentrating. There are some people who do the same thing. I just ignore it.

    I think worse problems are caused by trying to force them to keep it in their mouthes by tying it down or cranking their mouth shut.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
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  6. #6
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    That's what I've always figured and why I leave off the flash and keep the noseband just snug enough to not be loose. The "ruined" Scandic talk with his history of hanging out his tongue just go me thinking though…



  7. #7
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    Not a dressage horse, but when I was riding hunters, I had a TB gelding who would go around with his head cocked way sideways and his tongue sticking out the bottom. Generally only at the first show of the season each year, so I'm pretty sure it was a nervous/excited sort of habit.

    In his case, he was a very reliable sort, so I just gave him a long rein, stayed calm, and didn't fuss at him. He looked completely ridiculous, but he could still find a great spot and make clean changes like that

    Sure it put us out of the ribbons unless someone really messed something up for one show a year, but that seemed like a really small sacrifice for a horse that was awesome the whole rest of the season.

    Not the case for all horses, certainly, but for him, it seemed to work best if I just didn't get excited about it.



  8. #8
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    Licking and chewing the bit are good - acceptance, relaxation. When I get this I know I'm not getting in my horse's way!
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  9. #9
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    So out of curiosity... exactly which experts at what point in time decided that a visible tongue was horrific? I get the point that in some cases it may indicate the horse is not accepting the bit, but to me, shouldn't an experienced eye (which is what a judge should have) be able to tell the difference, instead of just marking a horse down when they see a tongue?
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  10. #10
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    I think it's the tongue staying visible that is the issue!
    www.specialhorses.org
    a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues




  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
    I get the point that in some cases it may indicate the horse is not accepting the bit, but to me, shouldn't an experienced eye (which is what a judge should have) be able to tell the difference, instead of just marking a horse down when they see a tongue?
    I have had comments on tests that my horse was "sticking out tongue" occasionally and when I asked people who were ringside if it was hanging out or licking, they said yep, just occasional licking. I don't know if those comments are good, just observations or if I'm (gasp!) being penalized for it. I guess I could bring it up to my instructor, just don't think about it all that much aside from when I read posts like the tongue drama on these boards now

    If she's happy and it's relaxed, "I'm in a good place" slobbery licking, I'd hate to do anything to make her stop… AND it would be a shame if I was being penalized in tests for it.
    Last edited by esdressage; Oct. 27, 2009 at 05:54 PM.



  12. #12
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    I have a problem with the generalized tongue out issue, we have a horse in the barn who lost nerve feeling in some portions of the tongue and hangs it out of her mouth all of the time, when she is being ridden, hanging out in the pasture etc. 1/2 the judges see nothing but the tongue 1/2 realize she is coming through and the tongue isnt a resistant tongue.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevelyan96 View Post
    I think people worry too much about a horse's tongue. Some horses are just mouthy and play with their tongues. Rico sticks the tip of his out the side of his mouth when he's stressed, bored, or concentrating. There are some people who do the same thing. I just ignore it.

    I think worse problems are caused by trying to force them to keep it in their mouthes by tying it down or cranking their mouth shut.
    I too have a horse with tongue "issues." He likes to put his tongue out to one particlar side, particularly when he's working hard, or concentrating. I liken it to him sucking his thumb. He does it when I ride him bareback, with nothing but a halter on too, so I'm fairly confident its nothing contact wise. It really is just a habit for him. Apparently he was very mouthy when they broke him in and the habit was never kicked. Lots of people tried LOTS of things with him but it never worked. I don't actually care though, as I love him for what he is, and he has taught me more than I could ever hope for.

    I have found riding him in a KK Ultra has helped a bit (having the roller part) and don't ride with a flash when I ride him in his usual snaffle. I find him better in a simple snaffle than a double, but until the FEI tell me I'm allowed to ride in a snaffle, he still has to get worked in the double at least once a week...

    A photo of him (not interested in critique thanks, this was our 2nd Advanced start so a while ago, but shows his tongue quite clearly )

    The pic is aptly captioned :driving whilst drunk. I'm flustered, he's got his eyes closed, and his tongue out while we fly across the arena in medium canter, lol
    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/296...03742406adHFAj
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surviving the Dramas View Post

    The pic is aptly captioned :driving whilst drunk. I'm flustered, he's got his eyes closed, and his tongue out while we fly across the arena in medium canter, lol
    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/296...03742406adHFAj
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surviving the Dramas View Post
    The pic is aptly captioned :driving whilst drunk. I'm flustered, he's got his eyes closed, and his tongue out while we fly across the arena in medium canter, lol
    http://sports.webshots.com/photo/296...03742406adHFAj
    That pic IS cute! He looks like he's concentrating really hard on his canter



  16. #16
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    fwiw, as i understand, the goal is a moist, soft, softly chewing closed mouth. no tongue showing.

    if a judge sees it they have to mark down for it.

    as a rider things like tongues are useful information. so i feel it is better to not stifle the info (ie no tight cranks etc)...

    also, on many tongue sticker outers, it can be a tooth problem, a tmj problem, an ill fittin bit, hard hands, etc etc.

    i have found that making sure the horse is softy chewing will keep the tongue in.... so i work on keeping the connection, flexion and soft back/jaw/mouth.

    same for teeth grinders etc.


    ps - i liked the pic too... too cute!



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