Strange behavior

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Strange behavior

This is a discussion on Strange behavior within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse opens mouth and turns head sideways when eating

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    05-21-2009, 09:55 PM
Strange behavior

One of my horses does this funny thing with his mouth... he will be standing there and he puts his head down and kind of turns it and then looks like he is grinding his teeth back and forth. He will do it for a little while one way and then turn his head and do it the other way. He had his teeth done last year and I am going to have the vet check again this year, don't know if this started because of his teeth or not, but now it almost seems like it is a habit. Anyone ever had a horse do this???
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    05-21-2009, 09:59 PM
Does he stretch out his neck and "twist" at the poll? My hors does too, plus the teeth grinding. I'm interested what people will say on this
    05-21-2009, 10:04 PM
Yes he does stretch his neck out, it almost reminds me of a person chewing on the inside of their mouth. I have been using a bitless bridle on him, but he still does it while I am working with him.
    05-21-2009, 10:46 PM
My three year old used to do this. What are you feeding him out of? I fed him out of a bucket and he would stretch out his neck, move his head up and down, and chew. I've since started feeding out of a trough for the last few weeks and he has stopped.

He's getting his teeth done soon, it's a weird behavior though >.<
    05-21-2009, 11:05 PM
We have a mare that does this when she's waiting for her hay to be thrown..Maybe its just a habit. I pick/chew my fingernails constantly, for many reasons. When I'm excited, bored, impatient, anxious, mad, etc. Maybe these horses do it for similar reasons.
    05-21-2009, 11:18 PM
My 4 year old does this, and its causing problems, because while he's done it since he was a yearling, he is not doing in undersaddle as well. Teeth have all been done ect. He's even been scoped for ulcers. Nothing. 2 vets actually think its behavioral; kind of like how some people constantly tap things, he constantly opens his mouth.

I'm actually taking him in tomorrow to have his head and jaw xrayed to see if there something that we can pick up.
    05-21-2009, 11:20 PM
A pony I sometime ride does this... but he doesn't grind his teeth, he has his moouth open and makes a grinding action... And he only does it with the bridle on. Very interesting!
    05-21-2009, 11:37 PM
Skyhuntress: I suggest some body work. Sounds like something may be pinching him or causing him discomfort.
    05-22-2009, 03:11 AM
My horse does something like this, or the same thing. She twists her head sideways and "looks" like she is grinding her teeth. It usually only happens when she has been eating, but it's not very consistently, so you'd think her teeth right? But they are fine. She got them done last fall and the time before that was in like '05 [this was before I got her, I got them done as soon as I realized how long it had been since her last floating] and the vet said her teeth actually looked pretty good. So I don't know. ::shrugs::
    05-22-2009, 06:43 AM
My gelding does this when I do up with girth sometimes. :/ I don't know why. He's 100% healthy, teeth recently been done and all. I've given up trying to figure it out since he's not hurting. I think it's just a habit.

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