My OTSTB has a history of being fussy with his mouth. He tilts his head dramatically - the right cheek is facing the sky. He snakes his neck and the head is literally lying on its side, and he fusses with his tongue, mouth gaping open. I’d liken it to a person with taffy stuck in a back tooth or something.
His teeth have been checked many times without any notable issues. I had his eyes/sinuses examined as he gets weepy eyes in the summer. I’ve done saddle fitting, ridden bitless, did a bitting clinic, etc. He became my primary riding horse this year and the issues were not a problem until recently, so it appears to perhaps be seasonal? It is genuinely not triggered by riding - he fusses sometimes in the same way even loose in his stall. It does seem related to “anxiety.” He has a pretty stress-free life, but watching me prep dinner, or being ridden - doing something - that’s when he’s doing this. He is not obviously doing a head turn/tilt in pasture, but he does fuss with the other horses at times with his neck/head.
I’m wondering if anyone has horses with sinus-related issues that do this? I ask because I get sinus pain with weather changes, and wonder if that’s part of it. This horse is ridiculous about flies, so I could see a bit of post-nasal drip tickling him into doing this. He does have some clear discharge, not copious amounts, from both nostrils, but nothing remarkable/abnormal.
It could also just be learned behavior from tongue tying in his track days emerging in winter since he’s worked less, but wanted to get inputs on anyone who had a horse do something similar and what the cause/cure was for your horse?
Edited to add: I plan to get my massage person out (myofascial release) to try to ID any source of physical discomfort, then talk to my vet… But still think polling other horse owners is helpful!