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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was working with a TB mare and the owner told me she sticks her tongue out when you ride her because when she raced, they tied her tongue down. I thought that was strange, but sure enough, I rode her in a loose-ring single jointed snaffle and her tongue was working the bit half the time and sticking straight out to the side the other half of the time. She also would flip her nose in the air, even with me having no contact on the reins. I rode her in a french link as well and she didn't do it as much. Her owner said she usually rides her in draw reins, but I didn't that day.

I'm thinking low palate, but I haven't been out since last week since I totaled my car so I can't check. What else could cause this strange tongue habit?

-- Also -- she does not get her tongue over the bit. I thought maybe that was it, but her tongue is under the bit.
 
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I was working with a TB mare and the owner told me she sticks her tongue out when you ride her because when she raced, they tied her tongue down. I thought that was strange, but sure enough, I rode her in a loose-ring single jointed snaffle and her tongue was working the bit half the time and sticking straight out to the side the other half of the time. She also would flip her nose in the air, even with me having no contact on the reins. I rode her in a french link as well and she didn't do it as much. Her owner said she usually rides her in draw reins, but I didn't that day.

I'm thinking low palate, but I haven't been out since last week since I totaled my car so I can't check. What else could cause this strange tongue habit?

-- Also -- she does not get her tongue over the bit. I thought maybe that was it, but her tongue is under the bit.

If she doesn't do it at any other time, have you ever considered it might be her disliking the bit altogether? Have you tried riding her without the bit?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If she doesn't do it at any other time, have you ever considered it might be her disliking the bit altogether? Have you tried riding her without the bit?
I rode her in a rope halter and of course she didn't do it then.

Firstly, what age is the TB, and how thick is the bit?
When was the last time she saw a dentist?
She is six. I don't know the last time she had her teeth done. She is not my horse. I did inspect her myself and found no grooves or sharp edges, but I am not a vet and couldn't say for sure that isn't the problem. The bit is a standard 5" loose ring snaffle, single jointed in the middle. It's Korsteel.
 

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I would suggest you suggest to the owners she gets her teeth checked. The vet.. preferably equine dentist, will let you know if she has any bruising to her gum line, hence using the tongue to protect it, and or avoiding the bit.
 

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The lesson barn I ride at has a mare that sticks her tongue out.

Her teeth are perfectly fine, and the bit fits her mouth. It is just something she does. The mare does go better with a more advanced student, who can get her moving forward with impulsion, and working onto the bit... (Not saying anything about your riding ability, just how the mare reacts)

Get her checked out, but this could just be her thing.
 

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If not a medical or bitting issue, the most common cause of a horse sticking it's tongue out, is riding issue. Either the contact is not steady and the horse will stick its tongue out to relieve the discomfort, or the horse is not being ridden straight and forward.
As VelvetsAB said above with the mare at her lesson barn, as soon as a more advanced rider gets on her, the problem goes.
 

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I would switch her to a double jointed snaffle. The single joint has a nutcracker action in the mouth and with her raising her head to avoid the bit and sticking her tongue out are signs that she is struggling with it and it's causing her discomfort. Too often people look at the fit of the bit but not the action of it. With the fact you rode her in a halter and she was fine I imagine you will see a vast difference as soon as she is switched into a double jointed snaffle.
 
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