This is a spade bit horse. My spade bit horse. If you could see his soft eye, jaw, and tongue movement you would see there’s no tension or stress. He was rolling the cricket with a soft tongue like a child licking candy. With today’s bits made out of recycled iron and the hands of many of today’s riders this chemical reaction between the right metal, the non intimidating light contact from the riders hands and creating a relaxes neurochemical state in the horse, which is not something we see much of let alone find people that understand it.

The foaming of the mouth, in my experience, has taught me it can be from a positive active relaxed tongue and jaw, or a negative stressed tight jaw and wadded up tongue. A nice spade bit horse with a relaxed soft jaw, and the tongue working up and down rolling the cricket, like their licking candy, is not a stressed horse. Although the horse with constant pressure on its tongue from heavy hands and a drop noseband, or tie down, or both in some fashion, is not a happy relaxed horse.  The former can have a positive foaming mouth, the later can have a negative foaming mouth.

What we do see are the effects of the cortisol, adrenaline, or other stress hormones caused by poor hands and possibly bits with a poor fit and ,or, bad tasting metal. I don’t know if there’s any difference in the saliva or foam produced by the horse but the mindset in which it is produced is definitely different, maybe, even polar opposites. 

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