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Discussion Starter #1
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.
Thanks!!
 

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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.
 

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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.
 

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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:)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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!
 

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Yes, it is muddling isn't it? Please let us know what you find out....I hate not knowing! Haha!:)
 
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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
SaddleOnline, thanks! That made me feel better, he is a pretty big boy. Built like a tank. He also does march like he's on a mission as far as walk goes. Just good to know someone has experienced this as well :)
 
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