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Mare keeps wanting to stop and wipe/rub mouth on legs while being ridden ??

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  • Mare keeps wanting to stop and wipe/rub mouth on legs while being ridden ??

    My little mare just started doing this....even when there is really no slobber on her mouth (i.e., beginning of ride) She has always wanted to do it at the END of a ride, once I dismount....but she has hardly ever tried to do it while I was riding her....unless I was at a halt. Last three rides, she has stopped even out of a trot to stop and wipe her muzzle/lips on her lower legs. I made an appointment for vet to come out and float/check teeth since it's been a year since they've been done. Same tack, same eggbutt bit....only thing different is I switched to ThinLine reins, that was the first ride she started doing it. Has anyone known a horse to do this from a tooth/mouth problem, or could something else be going on with her?

  • #2
    It could be an itchy face, it could be some irritation in the mouth, but it could also be an evasion. By all means check the face/mouth/teeth, but IMO a horse should NEVER stop working in order to rub their face or do any such thing. It's rude.
    Click here before you buy.

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    • #3
      Has she been vaccinated recently?
      McDowell Racing Stables

      Home Away From Home

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Deltawave, the first couple times she did this, I was taken by surprise, and she ended up being able to do it. But after that, I got after her right away to go forward. But it does seem like something is bothering her. I'll feel better after the vet checks her mouth/teeth.......I looked as much as I could but did not see anything suspect. I would feel bad making her go forward on the bit if something really was hurting/bothering her. Laurierace, she has not been vaccinated since May 2012 when I did spring vaccinations.

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        • #5
          Ok, just wondering as vaccines can sometimes trigger headshaking which is what your mare seems to be doing in my opinion.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

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          • #6
            Our one mare turned out to have multiple allergies which resulted in hives which would erupt on her gums and tongue. Sometimes she could have a normal looking mouth, but as she began exercising the little red pimples would appear. Seemed worse with a bit vs hackamore so probably a metal allergy, but she also has food allergies... Worth taking a look.

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            • #7
              Is it her mouth or her nose? My gelding has allergies and his nose will run during the ride and he wants to stop and wipe his face on his legs. At home, I let him. He doesn't tend to do it at shows. Whatever he's allergic to is a plant on turnout and once he's been in the trailer/show ring he's been away from it long enough to no longer have the runny nose.
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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              • #8
                Make sure there's nothing poke-y or sticking out on her bridle too. Just in case.

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                • #9
                  Also wouldn't hurt to vigorously clean her face with a soft curry and hot towel, just in case winter funk is building up. Keebler used to want to rub his face ALL the time, and switching bridles and really cleaning his face seemed to help the most.
                  Click here before you buy.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks, everyone. Allergies did not even occur to me. I will check all my tack, and deltawave, that's a good idea to take a warm towel and really clean off her muzzle. I'm not sure what might be bothering her......her mouth or her muzzle. But, she is only doing it under saddle with a bit in her mouth.....I have longed her with just a halter and no problems.

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                    • #11
                      My first horse used to do this pretty often, usually after going back down to the walk. He will stop with one leg forward and rub his mouth/face on his leg.

                      He has been in multiple bits, and have made no difference. I think it is a nervous thing for him, but also potentially evasion or possible bridle pain (although multiple bridles on him as well). If he were still being ridden frequently and/or shown, I would probably try a comfort bridle with a monocrown or something.

                      Only once did it interrupt a lesson. He stopped dead in his tracks from trotting or cantering to rub his face multiple times, and I ended that lesson early. That was probably 6 years ago, and never acted that irritated again.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by autumn50 View Post
                        ....only thing different is I switched to ThinLine reins
                        Her teeth are also different. Everyday since her last float they have been sharpening. Since she's at a year since her last float her teeth are likely to be sharp and if she's young or has a poor mouth they could be very sharp. Maybe it's that fundamental.
                        http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

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                        • #13
                          My horse used to do it everytime I am asking him to really really work. At first I gave him the benefit of the doubt and let him scratch but once I checked everything and figured out he only did it when I started to collect him and ask him to work then I didn't let him do it and kept him moving forward and paying attention. Eventually he quit trying.

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                          • #14
                            For my horse it is an evasion. After I bring him down to a walk he will rub his sweaty, itchy, foamy, runny nose/mouth/face on his leg. Once or twice he managed to catch me off guard and stopped from a trot to rub his nose. He now knows that it is unnacceptable. If he is all done work and he is not rude in asking, I will let him rub his face.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by salymandar View Post
                              For my horse it is an evasion. After I bring him down to a walk he will rub his sweaty, itchy, foamy, runny nose/mouth/face on his leg. Once or twice he managed to catch me off guard and stopped from a trot to rub his nose. He now knows that it is unnacceptable. If he is all done work and he is not rude in asking, I will let him rub his face.
                              Mine too. She uses it as an excuse to stand still.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Another thought-- check your hay for foxtails.

                                http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/03109.html.

                                http://www.horsejunkiesunited.com/?p=16040

                                The spiky seeds from the seedheads can get lodged in your horse's gums/lips and make them very irritated. Check around your horse's gums and teeth-- you can often see the seeds stuck in the mouth before it gets to the point of ulceration. Many horses won't eat the foxtails, so it's very possible to have a barn of horses all eating the same hay and only one or two horses having a problem with the seeds.

                                On a side note, my mare HATES the feeling of slobber on her mouth. When she's working on the bit and salivating lots, she will start getting irritated until I allow her to wipe it on her legs. Then she goes happily back to work.
                                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by autumn50 View Post
                                  Deltawave, the first couple times she did this, I was taken by surprise, and she ended up being able to do it. But after that, I got after her right away to go forward. But it does seem like something is bothering her. I'll feel better after the vet checks her mouth/teeth.......I looked as much as I could but did not see anything suspect. I would feel bad making her go forward on the bit if something really was hurting/bothering her. Laurierace, she has not been vaccinated since May 2012 when I did spring vaccinations.

                                  Maybe her legs are itchy?? Have the vet check her legs / face for mites or lice. I know goats can get them, not sure about horses. My daughters horse does this too after being lunged and when she is done being ridden, but my daughter only rides Spring thru Fall so bugs are usually present.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My mare does it too.Always starts about 15min into riding. Always the same side of her mouth. My vet thought it was the bit,not the knee. I've neverbeen sure of that though she seems to rub her mouth more with some bits than others. Maybe an allergy to certain metals? I let her rub it. Then usually it's ok.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My gelding did this in the early stages of his headshaking. Be careful that her hoof doesn't get in between the bit and reins. Ask me how I know

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I agree with joozybug, it sounds like early stages of a head shaker.

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