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MaggiStar 12-09-2010 12:08 PM

I just read in Katyt thread that a horse sticking there tongue out can be a sign of crookedness.
My eventer whilst schooling always has her tongue poking to the left its not hanging out barely visible like. However when doing any other work she is a mouther not frantic or in an anxious way more like she is softly playing with her bit.
She is currently in a rubber french link and is very very sensititve to rein aids i have her in a running martingale at home as i ride in the fields and she can get a bit hot and ready to go. She is your typical mare you do not tell her anything you must ask her and she might oblige if she feels like it!

So my question is is it my riding that could be making her crooked or could she be weak behind making schooling slightly more difficult?
I do ride bareback alot in summer and i noticed when on a circle and asking for canter she tends to throw me in to the circle just a shift in weight inwards.

Im quite sure this is all my riding as i havent had a steady instucter or lessons since the beginging of alst summer but id like to be sure

dressagebelle 12-09-2010 12:43 PM

I actually have been told that the tongue out is a sign of evading the bit, not crookedness. Obviously each horse is different, but thats what several trainers have told me. But on that note, my Thoroughbred stuck her tongue out the side of her mouth for as long as I had her, because it was a habit. I got marked down for it in dressage, they said she was on the bit, and moving quite nicely. She just had a bad habit, and no amount of bit changing, different people on her, lessons, or gadgets could get her to keep her tongue in, so I just lived with it.

~*~anebel~*~ 12-09-2010 05:59 PM

It is a sign of tension.
Whether this is due to crookedness, heavy handedness or whatever else, the underlying issue is almost always tension.

MaggiStar 12-09-2010 06:47 PM

Tension as in the work load is to much for her or incorrect framing etc?
I have been told i can be slightly more heavy handed then i think (not woah so but say a 3.5 rather then a 3) so that could be an issue

Kayty 12-10-2010 05:49 PM

It's not just crookedness that will cause the horse to stick it's tongue out, it can be from a number of factors. Dressagebelle, yes they can evade the bit by sticking the tongue out, but often you will see it accompanied by a twisted poll and tense back.

MaggiStar, tension is not really about work load being too much for a horse, it is more about how it is being ridden/trained. If the horse is stressed, anxious etc. that will create tension. If the rider is applying too much of an aid and the horse is quite sensitive, that will result in tension. If the rider is allowing the horse to plow around on the forehand, there will be tension in the back. If the horse is a 'leg mover' and does not swing the back, obviously there is going to be tension in the back. Most tension exists from the back or neck, so in most cases, once the back begins to swing and the horse comes 'through' to the bridle, the tension will ease.
If you are being too forceful with your rein aids, yes a horse may stick its tongue out to avoid the pressure. If your position is slightly one sided, the horse may compensate by twisting its body - becoming crooked, tilting at the poll and sticking its tongue out.

It is impossible to tell the cause of a tongue sticking out unless video is seen.

dressagebelle 12-10-2010 10:09 PM

Hm well thanks kayty, I guess I've never really had it explained that way. I know for my mare it was only a habit, but she still moved correctly, and was nice and relaxed, but I guess I do associate it with discomfort/tension of some sort, just not as thoroughly explained to me as you've just done. I learn something every day. :)

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