Now that Cinny and I have found our better fitting saddle, an arena with better footing, and a great bit...we have been actually "working" instead of merely riding. He has sat pretty much all 7 years of his life until a month and a half ago. He wasn't ridden until about 3 weeks ago...and it was pretty much just riding to get him started, not actual work.
Well now that we are actually "working" it seems he coughs a LOT. What I mean by working is lunging...5 turns at a good pace walk, then 30 at a trot..each direction. I am counting times because I want to make sure he doesn't get stronger on one side than the other..is this silly? I haven't been cantering on the lunge line so much, just the walk trot. Towards about the 25th time around or so he starts to slow down his pace. In the second direction he will slow down then start really stretching his neck out and cough..and not the usual cough cough from dust or just warming up, he rattles the windows and mirrors in the arena.
Then when I ride I go about 3 times each direction at a walk, bending and doing circles in each corner, each direction. Each time around I give him a little more squeeze to push him more into the bridle..with an extremely loose rein. Then we work the trot, again working on circles and bending in the corners. About this time he starts doing the stretching and the window rattling cough again...but instead of just one to three times like in lunging, he does it consistently over and over for about 5 minutes or so, it almost seems like horsey athsma. After going about 5 times each direction at a trot I do about 5 figure eights to get him used to changing diagnals...and sometimes he is still coughing at this point. It sort of comes and goes. Coughing for about 5 minutes then no cough, then coughing again.j
I ride in an indoor arena that is dragged daily and they gently mist it early afternoon before the "rush hour" begins so there usually isn't much dust flying. He is in a dry lot with a round bale. He only coughs when being worked.
Does this sound like the typical "out of condition" cough or does it sound like something worse? And how can you tell if it's just a lack of conditioning? Are there supplements that will help him? He currently is getting Nu Image, MSM (to help with the swelling and itching of the nasty fungus he had), Farriers Formula II, and smart vite. None of the other horses at the stable seem to have this issue.
Thanks for reading this...and your suggestions.