I have a 6-year-old Thoroughbred gelding that I've owned for about 9 months now. He was bred and trained for the track, but only raced once or twice. (Lousy racer, really- he's a complete puppy by nature and would rather nap than run a race!) The woman who owned him before me bought him right off the track and used him just as a pleasure horse, western, for her and her teenaged daughter. Thus, he is practically bombproof. I use him for jumpers, (suprisingly enough, he DOES run for that- I think the jumps keep his attention) and there's one thing about him that puzzles me.
When he is wearing the bridle, he curls his lip, almost like he;s "flashing his grill". It's just on the left side, and it's not like he does it and then stops- he HOLDS it there. The muscle almost tenses up and just stays like that. I use a flash noseband and that seems to hold it down a little, but he still kind of does it underneath. I use just a regular D-ring snaffle, and I've tried other bits with him and he still does it. He did it with the last owner, too, and although she didn't say anything I can see it in one of his sale pictures. Anyone know why he might do this? It doesn't cause any behavioral problems, and it doesn't seem to bother him- it just puzzles me. I've never seen anything like it before.
Here is the sale picture where, if you look at his mouth, he's doing it.
*ahem* NOT looking for jump critiques, pleaseandthankyou,(we are both still learning) but here are a few more where you can see it:
And I am not pulling on his mouth. As you can see, my reins are often very giving, with a bit of slack.
But only on the left side. Not on the right:
It's not just riding, either. It's as soon as you put on the bridle to until you take it off.
So- have I stumped you all, or does someone know what this may be?