Horse can't seem to keep tongue inside mouth - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Horse can't seem to keep tongue inside mouth

Okay so I recently started working at a new barn, and there's this horse there that is about 9, some kind of warmblood breed, and he's a bit goofy. His owner used to event him at prelim level, but he randomly changed (this was all before I got there). The vet and owners think he had some sort of stroke, because his personality is completely different, but he's still rideable, the major thing though is that he doesn't keep his tongue in his mouth; It just kind of flops out the side. This isn't a huge problem, but his owner no longer events him (or even rides him) because he got terrible dressage scores for being "disobedient with his tongue".

Has anyone else has this issue? Are there even any solutions? I've attached a picture so you guys can see how goofy he really looks
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 11:26 AM
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Lol he's actually pretty cute!!
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 12:50 PM
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Disobedient with the tongue: does that make any sense? Maybe the horse was sticking his tongue out at the fine judges of the horse ;).

The horse, barring a physical problem (like it being connected to a stroke), shoves or hangs his tongue out due to discomfort from the bit (due to an uncomfortable bit for that horse's mouth, lack of preparation in his training so that he'd accept the bit, or harsh hands of the rider, or some combination thereof) tight nosebands, or a combination of both, which factors cause him anxiety, as well.

Unless this horse was born this way, something happened to him.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-05-2012, 01:14 PM
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what a cutie!!! really as if stinking out the tongue is disobedient!! I think im going to start riding with my tongue out ;)
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Our Hoofbeats were many, but are Hearts beat as One.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-06-2012, 07:48 AM
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How long ago did this start? Within 6 months? The photo above looks a lot like the experimentally infected EPM horses in studies. Has he ever been tested for EPM? You can find a free full text article in International Journal of Applied Research: "Early Signs of Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis"
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-08-2012, 09:04 PM Thread Starter
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Wow that really does sound like him! I'll have to ask his owner when this started, and mention EPM to her. thanks!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-08-2012, 09:24 PM
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or could be west nile. is he shaking?
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-08-2012, 09:33 PM
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Does he normally stand with such a wide stance? Can he eat normally & put his tongue into his mouth at will?
Most horses after a stroke have some sort of facial paralysis including a floppy ear but he looks symetrical beside the tongue.
I'd look in to other causes also.

You see this on horses & donkeys in 3rd world countries where the tongue has been injured by bad bits (or hands). I'd post some pictures but they are too disturbing.

Last edited by natisha; 01-08-2012 at 09:36 PM.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-09-2012, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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No he doesn't shake at all, and he does not usually stand like that, I had just turned him out so he was excited, only picture I got of him standing still. :) He can put his tongue in his mouth sometimes but it usually hangs out to some degree. And he eats normally, just drools a lot.
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