Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foaming: Myth or Truth?



I've been told a few times that a horse foams at the mouth when the rider has soft hands and the horse is relaxed...question is, is this true? Do any of you out there know (have proof?)? I just wondered...Daisy's been foaming a lot lately, particularly today when we worked on flying lead changes...at one point, so much foam was dripping from her mouth that it flew up and hit her in the face :P.

I'm using a stainless steel bit in the photos above (Doesn't copper make horses foam? B/c I use a copper Tom Thumb for western or a copper curb and Daisy never foamed).
Just a question for thought... :)

5 comments:

Sydney said...

A horses anatomy does not allow him to swallow and breathe at the same time so that saliva goes out the only available outlet, it's mouth.
It is likely that Daisy has a lot more saliva today because you were doing a lot more cantering/harder work that required a quicker respiratory rate and thus, less time for swallowing saliva.
Especially with a curb (even as "mild" as a kimberwick) the pounds of pressure you pull on the reins by are amplified by the curb chain/strap which presses on the mental nerve, usually on average by 10 or more times depending on the shank, angle and a bunch of other factors I am not even going to get into. What may seem like soft hands compared to your old bit may just be Daisy reacting to the bite of the curb on her mental nerve.
Copper has a different metallic taste to it. True some horses do create more saliva with it but not all. The metal is softer, a lot of horses literally chew the metal up. I have an old copper bit that I used when I was younger and you can see where it's been crunched on.

Mrs Mom said...

Neat observation Mel. Thanks Sydney for giving such a good explanation too!

I was going to say that Sonny was foaming and slobbering on the line the other day, as he did more true canter work. Sydney's explanation makes good sense as to why!

Lauren, Sonny, and Toby said...

I know that my horses (and most other horses I've ridden) slobber a lot when they do a lot of flexing at the poll... For some reason that stimulates the saliva or something... idk its just what I've been told by the vet when I asked!

~Lauren, Sonny, and Toby

allhorsestuff said...

It is known as "a good sign" when the horse foams while working, as it lends itself to "Correct work" verses incorrect head carriage.
If the horse is not relaxed it can not allow the duct, behind the jaw, to produce the saliva. A rounded horse, relaxed at the poll-allows the duct to flow freely..
The copper metals cause this action in horses that may not have enough saliva. That metal is not allowed in higher level Dressage arena's.

Nice looking lipstick Daisey!
KK

allhorsestuff said...

PS....Wa foams with a Mullen Mouth(rubber-no metal) so it does have to do with the poll and relaxation mainly

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