Licking and chewing? - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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Licking and chewing?

So I was grooming this mare at my barn and when I finished I went over to her head and started to rub/massage it gently. She stayed still and seemed to greatly enjoy it. She then lowered her head a few inches, making it easier for me to rub her forehead, and then... she started to lick and chew!
This has happened to me before with another horse while rubbing and massaging her, but this time I was doing it on her neck and near her ears. She actually lowered her head rather low, blew out, did what sounded like a small nicker or something, and a bit later she started to lick and chew...

I know this is a good sign but what does it mean? I am really curious to know! I know when you do join up it's the sign they accept you as a leader and want to come in with you, but I don't think it means quite exactly that in this circumstance.

Thanks!

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 08:18 AM
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Let me tell you that licking and chewing is not a sign of accepting you as leader. Lowering the head is. Licking and chewing is a horses way of thinking and understanding what you want. So, I am not sure what, at that time, she was thinking of. Maybe she is beginning to relax and feel she can trust you.

Still, no matter, its a great feeling when a horse shows signs of accepting you as something she can trust in. This is just my opinion and what I've learned.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 09:47 AM
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I've always been told that licking/lip wiggling/chewing is a sign of contentment or comfort. My mom's horse does that when I scratch his favorite spots.

I'd say your horse really trusts you.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Let me tell you that licking and chewing is not a sign of accepting you as leader. Lowering the head is. Licking and chewing is a horses way of thinking and understanding what you want.
thanks for the clarification! :)

Quote:
I've always been told that licking/lip wiggling/chewing is a sign of contentment or comfort. My mom's horse does that when I scratch his favorite spots.

I'd say your horse really trusts you.
I'm happy to learn that. We also had a really good lesson that day and she listened to me much better then the previous time. :) She is a very relaxed mare and trusts easily. :)

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 02:30 PM
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Chewing, licking, and blowing out like a dragon just mean she's relaxed. If my vet comes out to do acupuncture once in a while, she does it until they start chewing and licking before she moves to the next spot.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 02:52 PM
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That mare was super relaxed, so take that as a compliment. She was licking and chewing in a mutual grooming mode. You know, in the pasture how horses will line up head to tail in a pair and groom each other.? As long as they each keep their mouth moving, it is a signal to the other that they still want to be groomed. If the don't do this mouth movement, it is as much to say, "that's enough, you can stop now."
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-12-2011, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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That mare was super relaxed, so take that as a compliment. She was licking and chewing in a mutual grooming mode. You know, in the pasture how horses will line up head to tail in a pair and groom each other.? As long as they each keep their mouth moving, it is a signal to the other that they still want to be groomed. If the don't do this mouth movement, it is as much to say, "that's enough, you can stop now."
Wow thanks for that great piece of info. That's really interesting. :)

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