Horse shows teeth while working?? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Horse shows teeth while working??

Please excuse me if this is the wrong thread, I'm new here. Lol!

I just recently rescued a 2 year old paint stud colt, we have started his training and today he finally conquered lunging. He has not been started under saddle and he has never had a bit put in his mouth. So my question was that while we were lunging, he pulled back the corners of his lips to show his top
Row of teeth. He didn't have his lip curled back or anything, it was sort of like he was smiling. But while he was doing it he was chomping his front teeth pretty quickly. He didn't quit until we were done with excersise.

This is not the first time I've seen this. My cousin used to own a 1d barrel horse who also did this same exact thing. She had no health problems either. It always got me curious on what it meant And why she did it. Is it just a habit? Or does it mean something?
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post #2 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 07:52 PM
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If it was his first time carrying a bit, it would have felt very odd in his mouth. Curling his top lip is probably his way of showing that he was a bit confused about the chunk of metal in his mouth.
I recently put a bit on my two year old for the first time, and he just 'nodded' and flapped his lips together for a minute of so. They all have different traits ;)

I hope though that you were not lunging off the bit?

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post #3 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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If it was his first time carrying a bit, it would have felt very odd in his mouth. Curling his top lip is probably his way of showing that he was a bit confused about the chunk of metal in his mouth.
I recently put a bit on my two year old for the first time, and he just 'nodded' and flapped his lips together for a minute of so. They all have different traits ;)

I hope though that you were not lunging off the bit?
Oh no, he has never had a bit in before. That's why I was curious on what he was doing. We were lunging with just his halter, I'm not going to put a bit in his mouth until we get farther along in his training. He didn't roll or curl his lips, at the crease of his lips he would pull them back as far as possible, kind of resembled smiling :) lol
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post #4 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 08:24 PM
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Whoops sorry, I misread your question!

That IS a bit odd, the only time I've seen them do that has been a pain response when they've been colicing. Will be interested to hear what others have to say

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post #5 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 08:50 PM
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he was not doing the Flemin gesture? The thing that studs do when they scent a mare?

He was clacking his teeth together? Did he seem stressed about the lunging? Ears pinned?
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post #6 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 09:38 PM
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That's what I thought tiny, curling his lip, but it doesn't sound like he's curling it, just pulling the corners of the lips back as lots of horses do as a pain reaction :/ ??

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post #7 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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he was not doing the Flemin gesture? The thing that studs do when they scent a mare?

He was clacking his teeth together? Did he seem stressed about the lunging? Ears pinned?
No it was definitely not the flemin. But yes, clacking his teeth together! He didn't have his ears pinned and he didn't seem uncomfortable or anything, that's why its so weird to me'
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post #8 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Whoops sorry, I misread your question!

That IS a bit odd, the only time I've seen them do that has been a pain response when they've been colicing. Will be interested to hear what others have to say
I know it is rather weird. I've only seen it one other time in my cousins barrel horse, she always did it while she was working. Her horse was perfectly healthy and rode in a softer beetle style hackamore with a chain mouthpiece (can't remember what the bit was)
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post #9 of 38 Old 08-01-2012, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Horse showing teeth | Stock Photo | iStock

It looks very similar to the photo I found on google that's attached above ^^ it's not an identical facial expression, but it's pretty close! But what gets me is he doesn't even have a bit in his mouth?
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post #10 of 38 Old 08-02-2012, 03:39 AM
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Hmm, I see that he's a Paint.. just curious if his face/muzzle/lips are white?

My mare gets sunburned on her lips in the summer and if I don't treat it with A&D cream, she will gape her lips but leave her teeth close, I think like when we sunburn our lips (or have them very chapped).

She does it both with a bit, and without.



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