Lip Licking - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-17-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Lip Licking

when a horse licks his lips it means hes relaxed. *well one of the signs that hes relaxed*

But when a cat or dog licks his lips it means hes nervous?

why is it different?
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-17-2012, 10:38 PM
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Because cats and dogs are predators and horses are prey animals, so their minds are different but I'm not sure exactly why lip licking means relaxation.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-17-2012, 10:54 PM
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I have not found that lip licking always means nervousness in my dogs.
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-17-2012, 11:34 PM
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A horse licking it lips means that it is processing what it just learned. You see that mostly when you teach your horse something new or ask it to do something that is not total routine for it. Never heard of it being assosiated with relaxation... Never saw my dog getting nervous when licking it lips either, she mostly does it when she had a drink or ate...
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-17-2012, 11:58 PM
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I don't assign absolutes to most human, bird, dog or cat behaviors. My mare licks me like a dog would, I'm sure other's horses do this too - all their own individual reasons.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
Missy May is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 07-18-2012, 12:28 AM
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Licking and chewing relaxes the jaw muscles of humans and horses. You cannot keep your jaw muscles tight while you lick and chew. Try it some time when you are nervous. It helps you calm down.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-18-2012, 12:36 AM
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Indeed, I take the signs of relaxing as this:

Licking lips
Blinking eyes
lowering head and neck,
cocking a hind leg,
or sighing.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-18-2012, 12:40 AM
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^^ Agreed. A nervous or tense horse will have tight or tense lips. A dog licking their lips can also mean they are anticipating food. .
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