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Sticking his tongue out

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  • Sticking his tongue out

    Hey guys! Question..

    My horse, TJ, is a cute hunter, but he is constantly sticking his tongue out the side of his mouth when I'm riding him. I've tried a variety of different bits on him, but he does it no matter what I do. I've also tried a flash (obviously just to school him in), and that doesn't work. Has anybody had horses like this before.. and any suggestions? Thanks!

  • #2
    Some horses just do it. It is something you should learn to live with. Hasn't your trainer made any suggestions?

    I have heard of people tying the tongue in? Which is not something I would do.

    As far as showing goes, it's a tie breaker. Some judges hate it, for me it doesn't bother so much depending on the division and how well the horse is doing his job. There's a whole thread on this from a month or two ago that you might be interested in reading.

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    • #3
      My friend has a horse who always has his tongue out, he will keep it in for the most part with a thinner bit. I don't know other than keep trying other bits--have his teeth checked too.

      I saw a trainer use thin WIRE to make a flash for a short stirrup horse at a show, they schooled and warmed up at the show in it. They didn't actually show in it but it was horrifying. Poor horse.

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      • #4
        I've been told by some judges that they consider it an evasion of the bit and will deduct points.

        Comment


        • #5
          Although sometimes cute and comical..this is considered a vice in my book. I too would think of this as an evasive matter. I would not go to the extent of tieing the tongue or any other ridiculous "fix" however.
          I personally have had no experience with this issue but would think that riding in a flash at home would possibly wean him away from this habit.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            We were thinking about giving him a mint before he goes in the class? I could try that.. but I don't know how long it would last.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HJPony View Post
              Although sometimes cute and comical..this is considered a vice in my book. I too would think of this as an evasive matter. I would not go to the extent of tieing the tongue or any other ridiculous "fix" however.
              I personally have had no experience with this issue but would think that riding in a flash at home would possibly wean him away from this habit.
              I disagree with it ALWAYS being an evasive matter. I mean really, if a horse is going around mouth closed, ears forward with a happy jr/ammie friendly expression on his face, how is it even remotely evasive? Especially if they do it when the don't have a bit in their mouth. Maybe some just do it-just like some riders go around with their tongue out over the jumps.

              TJ-My horse does the same thing. He's a baby so he doesnt know enough about the bit to be evasive. He's done it since day 1-all the time, its just part of him. We've tried a few different bits and one that seems to work ok (but he doesnt keep it in all of the time) is a key bit. He plays with it and will move his tongue in and out. I refuse to tie his tongue or anything because I think he will just get upset and thats not fair. I won't argue you are going to have some judges that will care and some that won't. Try a mint, I've heard you can do PB or something on the bit too but I would think that would make them more inclined to open their mouth.
              ************************
              "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"

              https://falllinefarmblog.wordpress.com/

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              • #8
                I tried out a horse that did this, after the H/J people passed on him (I am a dressage rider.) What they did that worked was they used a ball bit (I think they are called Waterfords) and tied a peppermint tea bag to it. Not legal for dressage though!
                2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

                A helmet saved my life.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Jersey - he plays with his tongue a lot actually! Not just when I am riding.

                  TheHorse - we actually have a waterford in his mouth now.. but no luck lol... I am thinking the mint thing might help?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sorry it really will cost you in most hunter shows. There are many different things

                    Sorry it really will cost you at almost all rated shows in any hunter classes.

                    There are many things you can try. PB on the roof of the mouth right before you go in the class, Waterford bits but the thing we have found to be the most effective with " our very cute tongue lolling hunter" is a tongue depressor bit.

                    They make the rubber attachment that you can actually put on any snaffle bit ( although it took 3 BNR's to figure out how to put it on a year ago. But they actually make a rubber pelham with the depressor already made into it. It looks kind of like a wide rubber spoon facing to the back of the mouth of the horse. Works great with our guy. Equisport in California ( Brad ) carries the bit, most tack stores can order the attachment.

                    Good Luck

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      We had a horse that did this - consistently out to one side of his mouth. If you go to any tack store you can buy a rubber "toungue" thing - it is probably 3-4" long and 1" wide and attaches to the bit (hooks over it). I guess in theory it pushes down on the toungue so they can't get their tongue over the bit or something. We put it around a thin D-Ring Snaffle on the side where he normally stuck the tongue out and it would keep his tongue in his mouth. We only used it at the shows - not sure if it would be legal in dressage or anything but we used it on a hunter and it worked great - and it only costs a dollar or two - worth a try!
                      We tried the peppermint thing with ours - it sometimes worked for 1/2 the course but then out it came again!
                      Good luck

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My horse does this! He even does it on his own, hangin' in his stall and outside in the pasture. Nothing we've tried fixes it, its not a bit evasion though, doesn't seem to have any impact there. So I just deal haha
                        "Disapproval of the way other people run their businesses and treat their horses is the meat and drink of the hunter-jumper industry."
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                        • #13
                          I must be getting old - tongue depressor was what I was trying to say! It is hard to get on - but the tack store people helped us! Good luck.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jersey Fresh View Post
                            I disagree with it ALWAYS being an evasive matter. I mean really, if a horse is going around mouth closed, ears forward with a happy jr/ammie friendly expression on his face, how is it even remotely evasive? Especially if they do it when the don't have a bit in their mouth. Maybe some just do it-just like some riders go around with their tongue out over the jumps.
                            I somewhat see where you're coming from . However, if a horse is continually playing with his tongue than he clearly has his mind directed towards playing and not his riders direction. It's simply a distraction and not a thing that most people would smile about. In the stall is one thing, but when the horse has a job at hand..not so much.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Rubber tongue depressor works on some.
                              Try slipping some peanut butter on tongue just before he goes in, maple syrup can work too. (we did not use depressor and peanut butter at the same time!)Its not 100% but can help some.

                              We had a nice bay TB that did it and he pinned well at Vermont a couple of years ago& won the M&S Adult hunter classic too.

                              I have to add that it was not out constantly.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I had a great hunter that stuck her tongue out over fences. A very thin bit seemed to help, but since it was only over the fence we didn't fuss with her too much. If she put down a solid round she always placed very well. I am sure sometimes we just got lucky that the judge didn't see it since it was just over the fence, but sometimes the photographers caught it so I know she still did it. Try a thinner bit.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My gelding does this when he's relaxed and happy, not stuck out all the way, just a little bit poking through. I think it's cute. When he is tense or pissed, no tongue in sight....

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Oh, my favorite topic..... I too have a 5 year old who likes to hang his tongue. Like others, it is always out one side of his mouth. He definitely does it more when flatting and less at a show when jumping around - I think because things are a bit new to him for those couple of trips. We have tried a ton of bits, flashes, figure 8's, tying his tongue, the tongue depressor, flavored bit wraps, etc. We have not had a lot of luck with any of them. Can sometimes get good results short term so we will try to save them for shows but even then, they typically only work a short while.

                                    We did just come home from VT though and did talk to a BNT about this and also got the suggestion to try peanut butter just before going into the ring. I also bought one of those bits with the dangling keys hoping that might encourage him to keep that darn tongue in.

                                    He is great when ridden in a hackamore. No tongue and does seem really happy in it.

                                    It is a very frustrating habit for sure. On a positive note, as I said, we did just come back from VT and got some very good ribbons over fences (tongue not out all the time) and actually got a low hack ribbon with that think dangling around the whole time. I guess as others have said, it will clearly depend on the judge and will be the tie breaker all other things equal.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      A horse I used to ride did this all the time. He was sucha nervous nellie and he would hang his tongue out when he was getting upset by something. Almost like how people bite there tounges. What we did was put a Fruit Roll Up around his git to keep him occupied. We used the green ones cause they were apple flavored, and if he started to slime in the middle of a class, it looked like he has eaten grass. We tried the red ones once, looked like he was bleeding from his mouth Worth a try

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by HJPony View Post
                                        I somewhat see where you're coming from . However, if a horse is continually playing with his tongue than he clearly has his mind directed towards playing and not his riders direction. It's simply a distraction and not a thing that most people would smile about. In the stall is one thing, but when the horse has a job at hand..not so much.
                                        Not playing, but just sticking it out. I personally think its just a variation in behavior and in horses that tend to do it both under saddle and on there own, its just a habit or quirk NOT a vice. I think there are a lot worse things that will cost you a class than a bit of tongue poking out. When it is coupled with an open mouth, tense jaw or pinned ears then it is definately an evasive behavior but to me there is a big difference between one that goes around with a their tongue out because they are trying to get it over the bit and one that just sticks it out to show it off.

                                        TJ-your horse sounds like mine. Its out all of the time not matter what he is doing. Maybe he will outgrow it (mine is only 4) but I don't really care-my horse is a great mover, attractive, quiet has tons of personality and a wonderful brain.

                                        SAS-we tried that bit on my horse and he loved it but still stuck his tongue out.

                                        I think the fruit roll up or PB trick is worth a shot!
                                        ************************
                                        "I can't help but wonder,what would Jimmy Buffett do?"

                                        https://falllinefarmblog.wordpress.com/

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