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Thread: Horses that snort at every stride

  1. #1
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    Default Horses that snort at every stride

    Something I am reading at the moment mentions 'dragon breathing'. Apparently this is when a horse snorts at every stride. I have seen (and heard) horses do this: racehorses, dressage horses...

    My question is, is this good, bad, or indifferent?

    And, why does a horse do it?

    How does it compare to the lovely snort of relaxation when a horse is using himself well?

  2. #2
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    Hi taff I certainly don't think it's a bad thing, but then again I've not thought about it! I used to ride a horse who snorted at every stride, but not always.
    He used to do it at the canter, I felt he was happy and just keeping rhythm.

    When I've seen horses snort in rhythm, they seem to be relaxed. Occasionally you do see a tense horse snorting, but to me this seems to be a different type of snort

  3. #3
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    Yes, I'm not talking about tense snorting at all.

    But I am sure I've heard that this 'dragon breathing' is not the best. I really don't know, hence the question.

    My half-mad, long dead instructor told us long ago that snorting was a good sign, but he wasn't referring to the snort, snort, snort at every (canter) stride. He was referring to the relaxed, steady, 'comfort' snort of a horse settling into work. (either on the lunge or when ridden).

    HOWEVER, another instructor, many years later, told me that yes, this snort was a good sign but nothing to write home about. I might have attached too much importance to it.

    But this 'dragon breathing'... surely many people have heard and seen this? What are their thoughts, I wonder. Does it mean the horse would like to go faster? Why do racehorses do it when they are cruising along at a canter? Why would a 'dressage horse' do it? Would/could it be good or bad?

    It's in a novel I am reading.

  4. #4
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    So, to be clear, we have at least 3 types of snorting (let's disregard the wild snorty snort of a suspicious stallion in a Disney film).

    1. Relaxed snort
    2. Snort at every stride of canter (apparently known as Dragon Breathing at least in the USA)
    3. Disney snort (to be ignored)

  5. #5
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    Maybe its just a thing they do. Like those tennis players that feel the need to grunt or shriek with every hit ?

  6. #6
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    Such a busy forum….
    One of my horses snuffles when he is pleased/happy.. typically heading out somewhere when he had not been ridden for a while.
    Across all the other caps he wears..nothing….
    The only thing wrong with a horse is that it is usually attached to a human

  7. #7
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    ..and.. further to my intro above.. most modern software sends out notifications when posts are made.. folks turn them off but in the case of cbh a post notification process might engage some who have given up checking…just sayin'…..
    The only thing wrong with a horse is that it is usually attached to a human

  8. #8
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    Thank you for checking in, tgh.

    Yes, I suppose most people have given up checking in here, or only check very seldom (once or twice a year). [Whispers] I tried to suggest a looksee at horse and dog f o r u m in Ewe Kay but it got wiped by gremlins and I might have been banned for a week but I didn't notice.

  9. #9
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    We have life.. nice to see.
    As for snorting, I suppose like people they are all a bit different. Maybe we just close off the poor old airways by insisting they tuck the good old nose too far in :O
    Hope you are all well and not too affected by the crazy old world, Chatty chook is still cruising, 2 years and 2 months later. Might be getting on, like me.

  10. #10
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    No, cyrus, the snorting of a relaxed horse occurs when they start to use their back, I think. The head and neck will be in a comfortable position.

    'Real' dressage is good for the horse. It's just a shame that in any activity at all there will be participants whose practises we don't admire. We mustn't critisice the whole group, though.


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