tongue ties

All matters relating to the training and racing of horses.

tongue ties

Postby Marcus » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:30 am

Two years ago I got back into owning quarterhorses. I have several racing at Los Al in California. I have two horses that my trainer uses a Tongue Tie on. The filly I claimed always seems to have her tongue hanging out the side of her mouth so using a tie seems logical and since the former trainer used it my trainer continued to do so. A 2 year old I purchased as a yearling was "snorting" while working out at the track so the trainer said he needed a tongue tie also. 15 Years ago with all the horses I owned I never had this situation so this seemed new. I also noticed over the last couple of years that a vast majority of horses I saw pictured in the "Blood Horse also had a Tongue Tie with either cotton string or a special head set. this the "latest thing" that more trainers are using inorder to help keep the air passage open and help the horse run better? Is it really needed? I can tell that a horse fights a tongue tie or at least is aware of it and the possible slowing of blood flow into his can this be more of a distraction to a horse racing than helping it to keep the air way open?

Re: tongue ties

Postby DougA » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:31 am

I have used tongue ties for years and years. In my early years, I have
worked for trainers that used them on almost all of their horses as common
operating procedure. When I started training, I pretty much believed in a
minimalist view. The less tack the better. If they seem to need it and race
well with tongue tied, I used it. If not, I didn't. You will ride some
jocks that seem to want a tie in every one of their horse's mouths, if they
hear strange throat sounds. I take whatever they say with a grain of salt.
One suggestion, does not a change of tack make. If I run across a horse that
actually "swallowed" his tongue in a race, then that is a pretty much sure
sign that they need one. Those types of horses are a bit rare in the
thoroughbred business. You will see more tongue swallowing in the harness
horse business where a horse's head is checked up high, and they often have
a lot of iron in their mouth etc. Quarter horses seem to be more hyper and
maybe more prone to tongue swallowing than many thoroughbreds, I don't know.

In short, don't be in too big a hurry to pop a tongue tie on your horses.
If you think you need one, make sure you give your horses plenty of time to
become accustomed to one by wearing them in the stall, while galloping, etc.
Don't tie it too tight. A blue tongue is not a good sign. I have found the
leather strap types with buckle to be pretty useful designs. They are less
prone to cutting off circulation.

Re: tongue ties

Postby Janet » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:53 am

I want to clarify the term "swallowing" I know you know it is an impossibility to swallow the tongue-it seems when a horse is nervous then he may try to curl his tongue up in his mouth or control it in other ways-when you find the horse doing this then it is useful to tie the tongue. As far as the tongue hanging out side of mouth-sometimes the tongue is longer than the mouth and doesnt fit in comfortably-the horse may bite the tip when he runs as some horses bite down hard when running and this helps keep it out of the way.

Re: tongue ties

Postby DougA » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:54 am

I agree, the term "tongue swallowing" is simply jargon used in the
business. As far as the tongue-tied horse with the tongue hanging out the
side of the mouth, I tend to believe that this is mainly the cause of how
the tongue is tied. Many grooms (and other horse people) seem to think they
have to grab mightily on the horse's tongue and PULL it out, to wrap it
with cloth and wrap it high so it won't slip off the end before tying the
rest of the cloth around the lower jaw. What happens is the unnaturally high
encircled tongue is forced much lower than it should be and is pulled down
by tying the rest of the tongue tie around the jaw. The tongue is forced by
this improper tying to hang out unnaturally. If the tongue is encircled down
much lower toward the end of the tongue, where it should be, the tongue will
stay in a horse's mouth.

Just think about it! Why on earth would any animal want his tongue
hanging out in the drying and often dirty air? Because it is most
comfortable for him! Why is it more comfortable for him? Because the tongue
tie is fastened so high (or deep) on his tongue that to reduce the stress on
this structure, the horse keeps his tongue elongated, causing the end to
hang out of the mouth. Tongues are not too long, ever. Who ever saw a tongue
hanging out of a running horse in nature? I consider this a disgrace and on
the par with a "blue" tongue. All horse people should know better!

Re: tongue ties

Postby Comfy-tie » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:14 am

Tongue ties.. A horse does not actually swallow their tongue. The tongue billows (bunches up) at the back of the throat when stressed at times causing the tongue to block the palate (breathing flapper) To much stress on the tongue is not good while racing, as in the tongue turning blue which means the blood flow is stopped which is VERY uncomfortable to the horse. I have recently patented Americas newest and most comfortable tongue tie in the world for any types of horses with breathing problems. my patent causes NO pain or obstruction of blood flow to the horses tongue at all, it's proven effective and way more comfortable then any tie in the world. Let me point out- A tongue tied with a string cloth panty hose etc etc is a painful stress on the horses tongue in everyway. Now with all that stress on the tongue causing pain just like if you tied a string around your finger until it turned blue, sit there a minute and think, Now wouldn't this hurt and take your mind off of what it needed to be on? Yes it would..I highly advise anyone using tongue ties on any type of horse for breathing to try the Comfy-Tie, Your horse will thank you and his mind will be much better on the job you have set your horse to do.. You can visit my under construction site at
The best way of having your horse preform at it's best is to have your horse as comfortable as you can get him or her. And wth Comfy-tie you will see results without pain or blood flow blockage in any way! it is being used by some of the top thoroughbred horse sales agents & trainers in the world such as Eddie Woods, Ricky Lepalla, Doug Cowans, Gayle Woods, William Badgett and many more top horsemen and women around the country!! Your horse deserves it's best, If you haven't tried Comfy-Tie It's Time for the change. Please visit our site at
My tie is designed to help aid in DDSP= Dorsal displacement of the soft palate which is the most common problem in effecting a horses airflow while he or she is under pressure.
Best of luck to all horsemen and women around the globe,
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