How do you stop the droopy lip? Silly question I know....
So my weirdo horse is a bit um...well, "mentally challenged" but I love him. We are starting our training now and I haven't started using a figure 8 on him yet because I haven't really needed to. He sets his head nicely, doesn't gape his mouth or even do that weird snarling grimace face but what he does do is droop his bottom lip.
The other day we were scholling over some cavelettis on the lunge and Mr. Shortbus had the lip flapping away with every stride and every bounce. Flap flap flap it went. I have expected it to swing up and smack him in his face
So what do you do with a lip that wants to swing in the wind? Like I said, he isn't opening his mouth so I haven't seen a reason to put on the figure 8- it's just the lip hanging low, wobblin' too and fro
I threatened yesterday to superglue it to his teeth but since I know the relaxed bottom lip is a sign of relaxation I'm glad he is relaxed enough to do it. I would think it would hurt or at least bit annoying having it flap around like that. There is no tongue action either, just the lip.
Not sure if it means anything but he is one of those "special" horses that have the Scelera condition, where the whites of his eyes are almost always seen, so I think the old wives tale about horses with Scelera being mentally challenged is a bit true!
So what do I do with the lip? Will it be an issue for us later in the ring or can he just hang low like that?
If it's really just loose and flopping, like in a drugged or sleepy horse, enjoy it because it means he's relaxed and unstressed, and enjoying his workout. (Unless it's a result of a past injury, like getting his head wedged somewhere & damaging facial nerves? But if that's the case the lip would always flop and never be able to tighten up.)
I've seen horses who deliberately pop their lower lip when they are being ridden or asked to do something that requires attention and concentration. I don't think there's any way to correct it, and personally I wouldn't worry about it. I find it an endearing habit, and far better that than letting their tongue flap in the breeze!
My gelding also has a droopy lip and the whites of his eyes often show. And I've joked on many, many, many occasions that he only has 2 brain cells rattling around in his head. He's sweet, but not-so-bright.
I haven't worried much about his lip as we are just getting started with his show career and if he never is a rockstar in dressage, I won't be heartbroken as long as he'll march around SJ/XC. But maybe there is something to his shortbus-ness and this lip. Thanks for the food for thought.
My mare has the great big sagging lip all the time... poor thing just can't close it. No nose band helps... Only she flaps and flops it when she's getting annoyed, so I take it as a sign that if I can hear a sound like a kid walking around on Romper Stompers (remember those things???), I know I'm doing something wrong and need ot adjust. Thankfully, she's never done it during an actual dressage test.
Proud Momma of *Capital Kiss* and Bottle Rocket!