Foaming? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Foaming?

I've read before that foaming at the mouth (when not indicative of rabies LMAO) is good when riding. Last night during our dressage lesson, my 4yo was doing really well, and the instructor commented on her being nicely on the bit and had "good foam."

Is that true? Is it a good sign? Or is it bad? Can someone explain it to me? I know it sounds stupid so bear with me.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 10:11 AM
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Yes, it is true. Foaming at the mouth is considered a good thing. Especially in dressage. It shows that the horse is giving to the bit properly. Another good sign of this is soft chewing on the bit.

"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 10:24 AM
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Yes, "foaming up" is considered a good thing. However, not all horses will foam regardless of how relaxed their poll and jaw are, and some will foam up as soon as the bit enters their mouth, so I do have to argue it's not a surefire way to tell if a horse is giving correctly.


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post #4 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 10:28 AM
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You have a good point JDI. It's important to keep in mind that although foaming can be a good way to see if your horse is giving correctly, it would be a bad idea to rely strictly on that to tell.

"The art of riding is keeping a *horse* between you and the ground."
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thank you for the replies and advice! I appreciate it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 10:42 AM
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Yes, it can be a good thing. However, in some cases it's not a good thing....excessive foaming/chewing/chomping on the bit is a displaced behavior of a horse who is under a great deal of stress.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 01:56 PM
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My mare DiDi foams as soon as the bit is put into her mouth. It is not necessarily a mark of anything, except there is a bit in her mouth.

But she also foams profusely when she is in the mood for spooking, So I then take the hint and get ready for a
day of shying. We have taken foaming to be a sign of nervousness.

When it causes a problem is that the horse has to get rid of the foam - then she'll put her head down and shake it all about - that's uncomfortable behaviour.

But in principle the bit should always be moist in the horse's mouth and not dry. But just when is salivation called foaming.

Try to find out when exactly the horse starts to foam
- then you'll get a clue as to why it does it.

Barry G
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post #8 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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It was while we were working on posting trot for about 5 or so minutes. There wasn't a great deal of it.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 02:10 PM
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Foaming is also not neccesarily an indicator that your horse is "on the bit"....certain types of bit metals like sweet iron and copper encourage salivation regardless of how long you've been riding. Excess foam can also be a sign of exhaustion or stress, as BG said. Since you weren't riding for very long, I'd assume you have copper rollers or something in your bit that would encourage salivation that quickly.

I personally hate the look of a foamy-mouthed horse....But I ride Western pleasure/trail, so thats not exactly something thats encouraged either.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-18-2009, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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I ride both my horses in stainless steel French link eggbutts. So that might be something.
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