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Frothy Mouth
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Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Tue May 9th, 2017 07:35 pm
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I was doing a search on 'raising the life' and came to the posting 'Buffalo Skeleton' and read about the longus colli function in raising the neck so I checked it in an anatomy book. An additional comment made there was that 'long muscles connect the sternum to the bone at the base of the tongue. When the horses head is "tied in", he is virtually unable to swallow.'
My question is, when you see dressage horses slobbering heavily is it an indicator that their necks have been tied in or is it actually a positive reaction to the bit, as some are claiming or can it be either or?

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Wed May 10th, 2017 02:10 am
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Oh my goodness! Just when I thought I had heard every dirty deception. Unbelievable. My dad and his family were top farriers in the Toronto show circuit. He wouldn't allow me to get involved in showing because he said he had seen too much. I bet he had.

Redmare
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 Posted: Thu May 11th, 2017 06:06 pm
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I believe I've read Dr. Deb refer to appropriate salivation as no more than a "light lipstick", i.e. that excessive amounts of salivation and thus "foam" mean the horse is either A) too active with the bit suggesting he is not 100% OK, or B) that, as it has been trendy to do in competitive dressage for many years, the horse has been given something like sugar cubes, egg whites, or some other ridiculous ploy to increase the foam because that's what en vogue.

If you're not just seeing foam but actual strings of saliva, then that would certainly be an indication that the horse isn't/cannot swallow properly.

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Thu May 11th, 2017 07:58 pm
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That makes sense. That is also, a great image to keep in mind as a standard. I don't follow modern dressage and have known there is a great difference between it and classical riding so when I see the images of horses drooling and slobbering I just can't believe that it is right. So now I have confirmation that it isn't. Thank you.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun May 14th, 2017 07:46 pm
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Patch -- In whose anatomy book did you read the business about cramps in the long muscles of the neck making it difficult for the horse to swallow? I'm very interested in knowing which veterinary anatomist had the insight to know that -- was it Peter Goody?

There are several reasons why you might see competititon horses with lots of foam about the mouth or flecks or chunks of foam dribbling out of the mouth and sometimes flying back and sticking to the breast, neck, or shoulders. The first is that the competitor, before tying on the crank noseband, has placed a couple of chips of Ivory soap in the horse's mouth. Another way to guarantee lots of foam is to inject a drench of water and sand into the horse's mouth before tying it firmly shut. This is also why these competitors will insist that the mouth has to be tied firmly shut.

Of course, the reason why competitors feel that they need to do these things is that somebody whose horse foamed 'all by itself' without soap or sand, won a previous class. The incompetent are often ambitious. There are many people at horse shows who do not know how to train a horse, but that does not mean they won't do just about anything to win a prize: the prize is the main thing, if not the one and only thing, that they are there to get.

The old word for this behavior is 'idol worship', and it infects every form of horse showing that there is. Not just around foam, of course. In another division it will be about high tail carriage, for which nicking and/or tail braces are used to guarantee that an ersatz of the 'rainbow tail' will be visible. Or, it will be slow, soft movement with a low head carriage, for which years of rapping the horse in the mouth, along with other training techniques, will have been used: it produces an ersatz of collection which is called 'western pleasure' and whose successful practitioners can earn millions of dollars by the approbation of judges and spectators who know no better. Or, in another division, it will be weighted shoes, or the use of chains and soring, to produce the extravagant 'action' of the forelimbs which is another feature characteristic of the truly collected horse. All ersatzes are cruel, and all of them stem from ignorance -- from the fact that the person who engages in rollkur, for just one more example, does not know how to train a horse, does not know what collection is or the horse's natural mechanism for producing it -- AND has passed beyond the point in their own thinking where they even believe that there is such a thing as 'true' collection. To many show people, whatever the accepted standard is in their division is acceptable, because to them, ALL standards are artificial and manmade. It is therefore very difficult for such folks to understand our objections to their doings.

But yes: a horse that foams 'all by itself' does so because it isn't swallowing its spit. And the horse that shows stiff foam -- when that isn't 'enhanced' chemically by soap -- has stiff foam for the same reasons, even the exact same chemical reasons, that whipping cream stiffens: something is 'beating' the spit, that is, mixing it with oxygen. That thing is, of course, the tongue; this is why an injection of sand produces stiff foam -- the horse continually works its tongue, inside the mouth which has been tied shut, to whip the spit into stiff foam.

A normal horse, ridden without having its mouth tied shut, may foam also, because the rider does not understand how to raise the base of the neck and therefore the horse is in some way compressing its pharynx and the base of the tongue while ridden, and thus can't swallow very well or at all. It may also foam because of malocclusions of the teeth, a mis-fitting bit, bad hands on the part of the rider, a wound in the mouth, or other causes unrelated to horse showing or ambitiousness; and of course the real horseman or horsewoman will investigate all these causes. A thin film of foam is generally OK, as somebody mentioned, that looks like a bit of white lipstick, and probably doesn't indicate any kind of problem. -- Dr. Deb

Patchwork Pony
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 Posted: Mon May 15th, 2017 01:52 am
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Thank you for this information.
I have used Smythe and Goody but the source that stated about inability to swallow is Dr. Sara Wyche, 'The Anatomy of Riding', Crowood Press; Ramsbury, Wiltshire UK.

tegz1
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 07:16 am
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I am new here and I hope I am not speaking out of turn but this is a topic that interests me.

I have been interested in the amount of foam produced and the different disciplines. First of all I would like to clarify my understanding that foam is produced by a protein within the saliva called latherin (same as what is in sweat) and it is perfectly normal to see horses producing some foam while they eat hay. To produce foam though there must be friction required although not necessarily from the bit as I have seen bitless horses producing foam. I believe it has much to do with frame, in dressage you will often see a contacted neck which stimulates the salivary glands and then overproduces saliva and then with the friction of tongue and jaw movement excess foam. In contrast in a discipline like reining the neck is more out stretched with little contact ie less friction and you don't see foam happening.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 07:55 am
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Tegz -- The latherin is, as you say, a protein found in saliva which, when agitated -- in other words, when it is whipped together with air --- reacts by becoming stiffer.
Saliva is like whipping cream: one starts with the cream in a liquid state, and then one whips it or stirs it vigorously to mix it with air. When the air reacts with proteins and fats in the cream, the cream stiffens and then we call it 'whipped cream.' If you churn whipped cream further, you get butter; and if you render butter or animal fat of any kind ('rendering' means heating the fat while continuing to stir it), you get the chemical end-state, which is wax or tallow. All of these chemical reactions happen on the chains of hydrogen molecules which are characteristic of fats and some proteins; oxygen molecules attach to the hydrogen chain, causing the chain to kink up.

What 'whips' saliva into stiff foam is the movements of the horse's tongue. This is why it is, indeed, normal to see (and hear) horses sloshing and agitating saliva in their mouths when they eat. My mare Sadie used to LOVE pears, and when you'd feed her one, it positively sounded like a washing machine during the 'agitate' cycle. And the edges of her lips would get a 'lipstick' of foam. This is what I assume you are describing as normal.

What is NOT normal or desirable is lots of foam -- foam dripping out of the horse's mouth. The reason you think it has to do with 'frame' -- since you're new here I'll give you the courtesy of letting you use this term the first time, but that will hopefully be the LAST time -- is that dressage horses are typically ridden by being shoved-and-held, which crushes their jaws back against the 'stop' built into the rear wall of the glenoid fossa, and which also compresses their pharynx. The reason horses foam is that they are not swallowing their spit as fast as they produce it; and the reason the foam is thick is because their tongues are uncomfortable and unquiet; and the reason it runs out the front of their mouth is that it has nowhere else to go.

The reason that 'foam' is de rigeur in dressage is that somebody -- I'm a historian of equestrianism but I am not sure who it was -- said that the horse was supposed to have a moist mouth. Maybe it was Xenophon 2200 years ago. World cultures got along fine with this idea for all that time, but when it came to the ambitions of American competitors -- then it became just like the aphorism for making a successful Hollywood movie: you have to show bigger, better, faster, more. So this type of thinking says that if a moist mouth is good, then a moister mouth (as evinced by foam running out everywhere) must be better.

So mesmerized by the Giant of the Age is the thoughtless and heartless -- but ambitious -- dressage competitor that she will even go to lengths to ENSURE that the horse foams -- even if her riding technique is such as to give even the sorriest nag a very dry mouth indeed. I myself get a dry mouth, I have to tell you, anytime I'm around these people, who will put a few chips of Ivory soap in there, or else a big fat drench of water and sand: by God, that'll sure keep the tongue busy.

I've said all this in previous posts in this thread, I believe, but I suppose it bears repeating. In every generation it bears repeating; that's what keeps Equus Magazine going, for sure, and the Chronicle of the Horse and The Horse (formerly The Blood Horse) and Western Horseman. They survive because, while there is a continuous outflow of people who've had their dreams, if not actually their backs, shattered by having their horse buck them off (because they did not learn horsemanship before they got on); there is also a continuous inflow of naive new horse-hobbyists who have not yet been bucked off. We like to catch them at this stage because there is at least a slim chance that they will become interested in learning and practicing horsemanship.

The whole idea of 'frame' is totally bogus and absolutely destructive. If you want to succeed in bringing a horse to high athletic achievement in dressage or any Olympic discipline, I would advise you to offload the idea, and the insidious mental picture that goes with it, instantly. Commit to this. If you want to talk about that subject in more depth, or if somebody else does, please start a new thread and we sure will. -- Dr. Deb


tegz1
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 08:41 am
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Thank you Dr Deb, that brings further understanding for me. I will start a new post.

tegz1
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 10:22 am
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is that dressage horses are typically ridden by being shoved-and-held, which crushes their jaws back against the 'stop' built into the rear wall of the glenoid fossa, and which also compresses their pharynx. The reason horses foam is that they are not swallowing their spit as fast as they produce it; and the reason the foam is thick is because their tongues are uncomfortable and unquiet; and the reason it runs out the front of their mouth is that it has nowhere else to go.
Given what you have said above - is it the compression that stimulates more spit or they are producing the same amount they just can't swallow it?

Last edited on Sat Aug 12th, 2017 10:34 am by tegz1

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 02:46 pm
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The same; they just can't swallow very easily.

Aloha
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 Posted: Sat Aug 12th, 2017 10:19 pm
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Just yesterday I received in my daily email spam advertising for sale a product that read: "Increase Salivation with NEW XXXXXXX from XXXXXXXX". Comes in several flavors.
I've Xd out the name of the product and the company.

Another trick people use is shaving cream.


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