Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
When a horse grinds their teeth, it is more than likely the cause of tension, stress and frustration. Grinding teeth can be signs of holes in your horse and your training.
On that note, Grinding can also be signs of pain, ulcurs, muscle issues.
When I started riding Nelson, he was a tooth grinder - he ground so loudly, my coach would even beable to hear it during our lessons. I would ask her why, and she just passed it off as he is frustrated.
So I ignored it until I got help from a friend who is very involved in the Dressage World - she told me right from the start that it is a sign that things are going badly in his training. So why would that be ok at all? Lots and lots of relaxation back at square one and work him back up again.
Grinding is his way of stressing out when he can't do it any other way if he is trapped between the bit and the spur/whip. He has no other way out.
Relaxation is a huge step to accomplish and all training is worthless if it is built on top of tension.
Some horses are higher strung than others and will get tight and tense very fast vs some that can go around and never get upset. If that is the horse you pick to be your partner, you have to give him as long as he needs to stop grinding at walk, trot and canter before you move on. Back to square one.
Here is a great article to read about the Training Scale - even though you aren't using a flash, Jim Woffords words are very educational.