Teething or training issue?
Hi guys. I have a coming 3 yr old and he's actually been doing really well under saddle. But he chews on anything he can get his mouth on......reins, lead ropes, leather, etc. Everything goes right in his mouth and he wants to get it back to his molars and chew it.
I *think* he is teething, because a while back he lost some of his incisor baby teeth and he quit chewing on things for about a week. It was wonderful! Now he is back to chewing again. I am even riding him in a hackamore (which he does wonderful in) because he was so distracted with the snaffle in his mouth he wasn't paying attention. I went from a horse that would hardly steer with a bit to a horse that is neck-reining with a hackamore. So I was thrilled with that.
However, I went to the feed store today and mentioned that my 3 yr old chewed up a saddle string and I had to replace it and he told me it was all a training issue and that it isn't natural for a horse to put things in it's mouth. I kind of joked if off like "it's normal for my horse" but it really got me down. Yes, he is terribly mouthy with everything, but he's been doing so well under saddle that I was hoping trying to chew everything in site was something he would outgrow.
This was a horse, who when he was little, I could barely lead, pony, etc. So I know he's not a perfect horse. But he's been doing so darn good under saddle, I was almost ready to post on here with photos. We've had 4 awesome trail rides this month. Now I am discouraged again because of what this guy said.
Will he ever outgrow putting things in his mouth or is he just a horrible horse? Yesterday I was so proud of him and now I am thinking he will never be a good horse.
I guess I am wondering, should I be popping him when he grabs anything, or is he actually teething? Is this a physical issue or a behavioral one?
Yesterday we rode for 3 1/2 hours and I packed out deer antlers. He can't be that horrible, right?