My horse is grinding his teeth. Is this a problem? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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My horse is grinding his teeth. Is this a problem?

The horse I ride is constantly grinding his teeth. Even at a walk trot and canter. I'm not sure what bit i'm using on him. It's just been recently that he's doing this. He's also frothing at the mouth. Is this an issue? Should I be worried? Any tips on how to stop him from doing this. Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 06:56 PM
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 07:38 PM
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Have a vet do a thorough check over for any pain. That is the most common reason for horses grinding their teeth. Does he/she have any pain in her/his back? It may be a good idea to see a chiropractor also.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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He saw a chiropractor about 6 months ago and an equine dentist worked on him in Novermber. I'll take the tip on calling the vet. He doesn't seem to be back sore or anything. Thanks for the advice!
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 11:24 PM
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If it's a recent development I'd sure suspect a pain or dental issue. Could even be something like ulcers.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-26-2012, 11:29 PM
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If not dental issues or pain related (also looking at fit of the bit and what type of bit you are using)- look at how you're riding. If you are accidentally jabbing the horse in the mouth, or coming down hard on its back, gripping your upper legs etc. you can really start to irritate a horse and cause tension - and teeth grinding is a very common side effect of a tense horse.

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post #7 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to be honest I could work on having quieter hands. He has a very jerky canter and I probably catch him in the mouth too much. I've been trying to work on that. That's probably the source of the problem. Thanks for the advice everyone.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-27-2012, 06:12 PM
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Well in that case, I would certainly work on your hands and see if that helps. As you can imagine, being jerked in mouth constantly while you're trying to concentrate is going to get old very quickly for a horse. Teeth grinding a very common sign of this - you see it in a s lot of dressage tests, when the rider is either bracing against the bridle, see-sawing on the bit, or if their is tension somewhere in their body that is blocking the horse.

Are you able to get some lessons on the lunge on a nice quiet school horse? I am a huge believer that every rider should be able to ride without reins and stirrups at least on the lunge. This teaches you to rely purely on your seat for balance, and once you take your reins back, you won't feel the need to grab at them and jerk. In canter, you can rest your hands at the top of the wither and simply allow the hands to move with the movement of the topline as it stretches and contracts.
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-28-2012, 01:09 AM
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Sometimes stomach ulcers cause horses to grind their teeth. If teeth problems and all else is eliminated as a cause, try a course of something to treat stomach ulcers and see if that works. There are lots of other symptoms of ulcers, but that one is a common symptom (the pain causes the teeth grinding which stimulates saliva which helps relieve the pain, so it becomes a habit).
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