Do you have a horse that likes to lick? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Do you have a horse that likes to lick?

I have known 2 appaloosas that are pretty constant lickers. Is that a trait of the breed? One will lick everything and anything: fences, metal gates (even in the middle of winter), my hands, and clothes, even another horse.

Does anyone else have an OCD horse with the problem of licking? What breed is your horse?

Everyone should be allowed at least one bad habit, and that's NOT owning a horse!

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post #2 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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Mine is a trotteur (racehorse but he wasn't fast enough so didn't take part in any race), probably separated from his mother too early, he licks many things too. Actually he used to, but as years go by he licks less and less things, but he still loves to gently lick my clothes, arms, even my cheeks, and he also used to take everything in his mouth... As he was young, I let him discover things this way, but now when he's supposed to work or focus on me he knows he can't and I just have to say "no" once and that's all. But he has another "habit", that is to suck his own tongue. I explained and showed it to 2 vets who said it had no health consequence, was probably due to a premature weaning, and he does that when he feels comfortable, after being fed, after a long massage, when he's been really afraid and I came to reassure him, after a treat... That won't disappear, contrary to the licking habit which decreases.

The licking habit decreases but I didn't really act to make it disappear, I only said "no" and had him back up when it was bothering me, otherwise I just ignored him. I think it all got better when he took his place in a group of horses, became their leader, and acknowledged me as a leader and someone next to whom it is comfortable to be (safe, strokes, games...).
Oh and he pretty often licks other horses too!
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post #3 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 11:51 AM
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PS: what's "OCD"?
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post #4 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 12:04 PM
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Nelson loves to lick. He'll lick you, the floor, the wall, anything - he just licks. He's a TB.

I do not think it is a breed trait, I believe this is a personal, indavidual horse trait.

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post #5 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 12:27 PM
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Daughter's trainer has an arabian gelding that was hand raised. He seems to think he's a dog, and runs up and licks you all over. Daughters QH mare does the same thing.

My Dancer's filly, Rain, also licks you - but watch out, because it's often a preface to her starting to chew on your clothes, your hair, your fingers... She's being weaned and feeling sorry for herself!

Plain Old Dee, horses Dancer and Rain

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post #6 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 12:30 PM
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Theres a pony at the barn I volunteer at and she likes to lick my hands. Not sure if she will lick anything else she hasn't tried though.

"All we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream..."
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post #7 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 12:52 PM
Green Broke
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I have a Morgan that licks everything. I've never seen him lick another horse (prefers to chase them around) but he's licked practically everything else.

I found my trainer spraying the metal bars of his stall with no-chew, he was ripping off the textured grip that's on the bar that slides to open his stall so he could lick the metal.

When I pick out his right front leg, he snuffles up under my shirt and licks my back. Only the right front and it doesn't matter what order I pick his feet in or how many times I've picked them that day.

If he's nervous/upset, I can calm him down in seconds by offering him my hands to lick.

It's a playful/nervous habit of my horse I think, the nervous portion of it seems to be decreasing as he matures.
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post #8 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 12:55 PM
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My guy licks anything. He cleans between his stall bars, licks my clothes, hands, etc....just a very oral kinda guy. I would agree it is personal, not a breed trait, but would question being related to maybe weaning too early? Mine is a TWH/QH, but he is a PMU, also.

**OCD is obsessive-compulsive disorder. Easiest for you to look it up than me try to explain

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post #9 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 01:01 PM
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Soda mouths things all the time, but that is usually using his teeth. I've seen him lick my old mare's wounds before and he likes to lick me a lot. He usually licks my hands and sometimes my clothes.

Lily will lick you if she thinks you have a treat.
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post #10 of 37 Old 05-04-2011, 03:49 PM
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Location: Northern California
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My QH will like my hand, but no one else's. I haven't really noticed him licking anything else either.
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