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Baby that plays with tongue occasionally?

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  • Baby that plays with tongue occasionally?

    My almost 6 month old colt sometimes sticks his tongue out the side of his mouth.

    I see him do it on occasion in the stall and sometimes when I am working with him leading and such.

    My friend had a filly that did this I think because of pain when she was young, she ended up having major shoulder OCD and still does it but also sticks her tongue out with the bit. ( she also did it all the time, not occasionally like my guy)

    Have you seen this in foals? Do I need to worry about it? Should I get after him for it when I see it?

    Right now I just flick his tongue when we are working and he will stop.

    He is sound and happy, I don't notice any uncomfort in him at all. In fact he is a very smart happy and big colt, so I dont think he is in pain anywhere. Could it be boredom? I don't notice it in the pasture.

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    It's likely an emotional response. I've seen it in young horses and foals along the lines of "I'd rather be doing something else right now" and a form of processing what you are teaching. It usually goes away with time and understanding of the lesson. JMO.


    • #3
      My 4 year old gelding did NOT grow out of it.....he sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth after he eats and licks all around his bucket and rails.....he doesn't do it while riding or being worked....only when he's finished eating...I just thought he did this because he was born pretty early...and had some sort of oral fixation going on...

      I wouldn't worry about it....but it could turn into a habit...

      Here he is at 3 days http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...sieday4002.jpg



      • #4
        acottongim was telling me about some bloodlines where it seems as if it's a hereditary thing - the boys all do it, apparently. Not under saddle, but when playing around, they just like to play with their tongues and like it if you do, too.

        I had a horse who stuck out his tongue most of the time but not in the show ring. In his case I doubt it was like that, though - I suspect it was due to the pressure of having been stalled/shown his entire life and never having outside stimulation at all.
        Originally posted by Silverbridge
        If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.


        • Original Poster

          Well, I have his full brother. He does not play with his tongue at all, but he is very mouthy.

          This colt isn't mouthy at all.

          Now that I think about it, when I work with him he will do it, more then any other time. In fact, I haven't really seen him do it out and about lately. Maybe like m Rainey says, it's an emotional response?

          Interesting! Well, I will have to see how much he does it at his inspection this weekend!


          • #6
            And then there was Richard Spooner's horse, Robinson, who stuck his tongue out ALL the time, even when jumping. Apparently, Richard Spooner tried every bit he could think of, even a bitless bridle, thinking that perhaps there was discomfort and still his tongue stuck out. Eventually it was decided that this was just the way Robinson liked to go. Maybe he was concentrating really hard....

            The concentration must have worked, considering the horse's winning ways and the impressive resume of $1 million in winnings around the world. I remember watching him at Spruce Meadows. He was a crowd favorite.
            Practice! Patience! Persistence!


            • #7
              My 4 y.o. has stuck his tongue out at random times all his life --- but he was born sick, had ulcers and low immune, too. While his grandmother did the same at times, I would not like to suggest that it had come down the line and skipped a generation. I think it is/was tummy ache...or now a habit since he appears to be very healthy now.
              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


              • Original Poster

                Love Robinson!

                He really stuck his tongue out! Great horse.

                Loved watching him in Indio.


                • #9
                  My colt Palomar began this habit as a (healthy) foal and has continued it into his fourth year. I've never worried about it and he was raised here with tons of turnout (24/7 with access to his stall via pasture into his open paddock) and it seems to be harmless. When under saddle, the tongue stays inside but even with the bit while at rest the tongue will come out. And in. And out!


                  • #10
                    I have a colt(now gelding) that always has his tongue out! I remember when he was 2 days old and I was bringing him in in the eve and I thought a big chunk of lip was ripped open as it was quite dark, but once I got him into the light, nope just his tongue flapping in the breeze! Now he is a huge healthy 17 month old and the tongue still is out! He plays with it and sticks it out of both sides, rolls it a bit, repeat. Of course he can put it away, but he sure likes to play with it. I do know his sire often played with his tongue and liked having it rubbed too! Between my 2 vets and my trainer, they all think it's harmless. I am still hoping he out grows it, but I am losing hope.
                    Check us out on Facebook at EVER AFTER FARM


                    • #11
                      My junior hunter would occasionally stick his tongue out going around the course, then suck it back in over the jumps.


                      • #12
                        My 7 yr old LOVES to stick his tongue out. Like another poster said, he does it mostly after eating. But anytime I mess w/ his mouth he sticks his tongue out, it's hilarious. He likes to fold it together too, like a person...now that's creepy! He rubs it on the bars too

                        I think it's more of an oral fixation kind of thing. Never does it when being ridden, thank goodness


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by netg View Post
                          acottongim was telling me about some bloodlines where it seems as if it's a hereditary thing - the boys all do it, apparently. Not under saddle, but when playing around, they just like to play with their tongues and like it if you do,
                          My stallion has done this since he was a baby and I've caught one of his colts doing it too. It comes from his sure, Onassis, who apparently did the same thing. The boys do it - never the fillies, and mine at least ONLY do it when they are happy/relaxed or proud of themselves (the better Tate's XC round is the more he does it lol). They also have NEVER done it w/a bit in their mouth. Which is good as in the dressage ring the judge generally sees it as a resistance thing.
                          Emerald Acres standing the ATA, Trakehner Verband, sBs, RPSI, and ISR/OLD NA Approved Stallion, Tatendrang. Visit us at our Facebook Farm Page as well!


                          • #14
                            Half siblings...

                            I have 3 foals out of the same mare. First foal (now 6 y.o. mare) by Sandro Hit will occasionally put out her tongue. Both sides of mouth and sometimes does it under saddle. Doesn't seem to hurt anything.

                            Second foal, now a 5 y.o. stallion, by Weltmeyer...Nothing with tongue.

                            Third foal, now a 4 y.o. stallion by Prestige VDL - loves to have people play with his tongue. Scratch his lip to the side of his mouth and he'll stick out his tongue and wants you to grab it or rub it. Sometimes he just sticks it out and tries to catch someone's attention to his tongue. He LOVES to have a bridle on because then he can play with the bit with his tongue or just "love" the bit. Doesn't stick his tongue out while under saddle. Doesn't seem to hurt anything. Very mouthy, in a friendly sort of way.
                            Georgia Langsam
                            Team Gauguin, LLC - www.teamgauguin.com
                            Standing Gauguin du Cheval 9054, Prestige II TG, Gauguin's Impression, Gauguin's Brush and Weltfrieden TG


                            • Original Poster


                              I noticed today out in the pasture playing with buddies he had his tongue out.

                              But this morning when we were practicing getting in and out of the trailer, nothing.

                              So seems he does is more as a play thing. Silly guy.

                              We will see if he does it at the inspection at all.


                              • #16
                                My yearling sucks his tongue. He was orphaned at 2 months and he started doing this at first with peppermints. Now after he eats anything he will suck his tongue with part of it sticking out. Like a child that sucks his thumb. It's not something I am worried about - he is still a baby.