Quick, heavy breathing during workout - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey, US
Posts: 249
• Horses: 1
Quick, heavy breathing during workout

A bit of background, Bud is a 13 year old paint cross (potentially draft, big boned) 15 hands. I've had him for about a year now. He's in regular work, several rides per week for about an hour per ride- walking, trotting, a bit of cantering. He doesn't have any health issues, his saddle fits (could fit better but for the most part fits well, he does not pin his ears buck or otherwise act out because of it, i just get picky about the itty bitty differences in the distribution of pressure. He couldnot care less from how he responds in other saddles, western, or bareback.) During warm up he'll cough and sneeze a few times, the longer and more gradual the warm up, the less he'll sneeze.

I understand respiration will increase with work, this just seems excessive to me.

However, what concerns me is that when I ride he begins to breath very fast, sounds like panting to me. He does not weaze. He does not pin his ears or show discomfort. He does not lag behind or get slow or lazy, he moves off promptly and happily. He just huffs. I figured with exercise he would get better but he just seems to remain the same. He does not slow down any during the cool down either. His breaths are less heavy, but still just as quick. After I dismount it takes only a few minutes to return to normal. It just seems odd to me. Is this normal? Do other people find this issue?

If i forgot to mention anything that might help, just ask.
Goodbye13lueSky is offline  
post #2 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 175
• Horses: 1
Since his breath seems to return normally after a ride, I'm not thinking it's any form of asthma. Could he be excited when you're riding? My mare gets so excited and full of energy when I ride, free jump, etc. with her. Her nostrils are flared the minute she starts being asked to do something, but then she quickly catches her breath afterwards. Arabs are typical horses that seem to do this more often, but I couldn't see a paint not being able to have the same thing.

Ask somebody the next time you ride to watch your horse and see if he's just excited.
Does he keep his head up high?
Does he look around a lot?
Is he willing to move forward in a quick manner?
Is he accepting of the bit, saddle, and what he is being asked to do?
Does he not put up a fight with you during or before work?

I'm by no means an expert, but that's what I think when I read your post.

if it doesn't seem like excitement, I would listen to his lungs. If he's not making a "rasping" or "wheezing" sound during and after exercise, then I wouldn't be too worried about any possible breathing problems.

It's where I learned about working hard
And having a little was just enough
InsaneDino is offline  
post #3 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 06:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: south of nowhere, north of nothing
Posts: 4,685
• Horses: 0
my trainer has a mare that we nicknamed "The Freight Train"

shes a hotter QH. she lies to move and she digs in ALOT when shes got some forward movement
she chuffs and snorts every stride, but only at a lope. once you get her down to a trot or walk her out she goes back to normal pretty quick.

oh and shes a 15hh QH

i would do what InsaneDino said, listen to his breathing, if theres no wheezing or other problems it may just be him. but get him checked out. ask your friends to watch and listen and get some other opinions.

*Insert something witty*
Roperchick is offline  
post #4 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,880
• Horses: 0
We used to have horses at the track that during trackwork they used to 'roar', they vet checked on scopes and other such tests fine, they were just horrid to hear.....and all the track riders on the young ones would dread having a 'roarer' come flying by them!!!!

How ever with your guy it sounds like he's not really inhaling as big as he could....perhaps you could have a vet come out and watch him while he's doing this and to scope him and give him a good check over? Might ease your mind, I would notice that too and be kind of befuddled as to why he was doing it....good luck:)

Last edited by Muppetgirl; 10-02-2012 at 10:35 PM.
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #5 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey, US
Posts: 249
• Horses: 1
He stays calm and focused, accepts all the tack and puts a lot of effort into all requests, understood or not. The only part that seems strange to me is the fact that he only returns to normal breathing when standing still, not while walking out. Maybe he just stays in "work mode" even when he's just walking instead of going into relax mode....I will listen closer for weazing or funny sounds but as of now havent been able to hear any. I have tried to listen for them. (got off listened, held my ear to his side but then he tries to see what im doing and squirms too much)
Goodbye13lueSky is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 10-02-2012, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey, US
Posts: 249
• Horses: 1
Muppetgirl- thanks :) i was going to ask next time the vet is out to the barn. It doesn't seem to hinder or bother him any so I'm hesitant to spend the money I haven't got if it isn't bothering him any. I'm just confused as to what it could be!
Goodbye13lueSky is offline  
post #7 of 11 Old 10-03-2012, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,880
• Horses: 0
Yes, it is muddling isn't it? Please let us know what you find out....I hate not knowing! Haha!
Goodbye13lueSky likes this.
Muppetgirl is offline  
post #8 of 11 Old 10-03-2012, 02:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Alberta
Posts: 1,018
• Horses: 1
sounds like Heaves. anyone else think so ?
Spotted is offline  
post #9 of 11 Old 10-03-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New Jersey, US
Posts: 249
• Horses: 1
No rasping or wheezing. He does it in the rhythm of his steps, be it walk trot canter.... I guess until the vet can really get a listen it's chalked up to he is silly! He seems perfectly content with his work load, just sounds like an over heated puppy dog.
Goodbye13lueSky is offline  
post #10 of 11 Old 10-03-2012, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Illinois www.saddleonline.com
Posts: 523
• Horses: 1
I rode a "freight train" horse for a while, some of the bigger guys just breathe heavy when they are working hard! Thats a lot of horse to pick up and move around! If you have ruled out heaves etc, I would say its ok if he is still breathing quickly when walking out. Try stopping and standing on a loose rein for a minute or so during your cool down to let him catch his breath, some of the big guys, once they start moving they will keep that faster breathing pattern, especially if they have a nice active walk.

Good Luck!

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
~Author Unknown
SaddleOnline is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lucys last workout *pic heavy!* PintoTess Horse Pictures 8 06-17-2012 06:20 PM
Heavy Breathing After Riding Chelley Horse Talk 7 01-12-2012 03:21 PM
Heavy breathing/Snorting spookychick13 Horse Health 5 04-11-2011 03:37 AM
Heavy Breathing when saddling up! Caitlinpalomino Horse Riding & Horse Activity 3 11-19-2010 02:49 AM
Coughing+Heavy breathing tammy123x Horse Health 4 04-28-2010 06:35 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome