The Art of Natural Dressage

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 1:27 am 
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Joined: Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:20 am
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Location: Dresden, Germany
Not really a vocalisation but a sound... Does anyone know what it could mean when a horse is sucking in air?

I don't mean windsucking but just doing it once at a time, a bit like he was suffocating for a short moment, and in the next moment being back to normal. Could this be stress related? I experienced this today with Pan, who did it two or three times during a training with the hay feeding machine that he is very scared of at the moment. However, it did not happen in moments of acute fear but rather somewhere in between while he was feeling tense but nothing special was happening.

Or perhaps it had nothing to do with his nervousness, and in that case do you have any other ideas what it could be about?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:49 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
My first response would be to check for ulcers? Ulcers lead to windsucking which in turn leads to endorphin and pain relief. He may not have got to the biting on something yet?
Sometimes horses do this when they freeze and then remember to breath (sometimes accompanied by a startled reflex like they are mentally somewhere else also can be pain related). "Whistlers" horses that have a problem with breathing and get over exerted (this may sound like sucking air), allergy coughs or coughs (disease related) at the start of exercise?
These are the only ones I can think of that would sound like you describe?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 7:51 pm 

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Location: Western Cape, South Africa
Are you sure he is not just "grunting" at the scary machine? :funny:

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 8:49 pm 
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Thanks for your reply, Annette! :)

Morgan wrote:
Sometimes horses do this when they freeze and then remember to breath (sometimes accompanied by a startled reflex like they are mentally somewhere else


That might have been it, especially as he does tend to go somewhere else mentally when he is stressed. He has only made that weird sound on that one day though, and not at all during the next three days. Don't know whether he is doing it now as Lena is training with him again (I think), and I haven't heard anything from her these last few days.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:28 pm 
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I am copying a post that Anat wrote in Bacardy's diary, about the way her horses call her.

anat wrote:
in our family Geronimo is the most manipulative (in a good way) in the ways he trained me for a recall
when i am in the house and he cannot see me he will call (whinny as this is not a Höhöhöhö but a Hiiiiiihiiihiihii)
if i am already out and about but not in the paddock or when all the horses come to greet me he will deliberately walk to the closest pedestal / seesaw / stone that he can station on and will wait - and i am super obedient and will come in and give him a treat / scratch.

over here Pipo learned too that if he will whinny at the gate there is a good chance i'll come out of the house with a treat for him.
this is rather new and still not constant (maybe happened 3 or 4 times only in the last 2 weeks) a funny thing about it that his whinny is so weird (the first time i herd it i wasnt sure it is a whinny at all - as if he still need to work on that and perfect it.

Tequila, Hercules and Boten are more of a Höhöhöhö people
Tequila will actually use it (like you described - as a tool) to call me out of the house - mostly when she thinks i took my time between hay meals
Hercule and Boten will mostly use it to show they approve when i am already coming
Hercules once used his whinny to call me out - which was very unusual - when Pipo's leg got caught in the hay net and he needed saving and Hercules was next to him calling me out. so i think he understand the concept too, just find it less useful to have me out.


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