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  1. #1
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    Default Snorty Horses

    My gelding is very snorty, especially when he's checking stuff out. When he's investigating (even the ground requires inspection sometimes) he'll do a lot of little piggy snorts, but if it's something he really wants to let know who's boss (I think he's really bluffing) it's a loud, long one. Only major things like the enclosed wash rack, or a new chair by the arena warrants the loud snort. Usually his head is down and he seems otherwise pretty relaxed, sometimes he's even nibbling grass and snorting at the same time. A couple of new people at my barn have commented that he must be on pins and needles all the time. In your experience is snorting always an indication of stress or fear? I think he's just "talking" because he will definitely let you know when he's stressed or afraid



  2. #2
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    Default

    I think there's the snortiness that comes with spookiness and insecurity.

    Then there is the snortiness that comes with relaxation and working happily... that I love.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.



  3. #3
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    Default

    Snorting is not necessarily in his head. Well it is, but lower down. Snorting is about clearing all the air out of his nose so he can get a fresh whiff of whatever the next time he inhales.

    It's just thoroughness or calibration of his olfactory instrument. He can certainly be calm while he's doing it!
    The armchair saddler
    Politically Pro-Cat



  4. #4
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    Default

    He's talking. ASBs are bred to act like they are on pins and needles even when they aren't. They snort a lot more than horses of most breeds. It takes people a while to get used to. It's a good indicator of their moods though. You sort have to get used to your own horse's typical spm (snort per minute) and use that as a guage for how stressed he really is.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Snortiness in Saddlebreds is normal, not necessarily an indication of stress or fear, just announcing 'hey there is something to investigate!'. Almost all of the many Saddlebreds I've had the pleasure of knowing are talkative, sometimes with snorts and snuffles, sometimes they talk with their feet, waving around a foot, or pawing, etc. I read somewhere that the softer snorts horses do with heads down are to blow air at something to get a better scent bouncing back to them, for investigation purposes. Remember, horses investigate their surroundings by more than just their eyes, muzzle and nose being quite important.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  6. #6
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    Default

    SmartAlex, I love that definition, spm! ('You sort have to get used to your own horse's typical spm (snort per minute) and use that as a guage for how stressed he really is.')
    I am glad to see we are GMTA, as we both pretty much said same thing at about same time, about how this is normal for Saddlebreds.
    Last edited by sdlbredfan; Mar. 12, 2010 at 10:49 AM. Reason: change a word
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  7. #7
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    Default Yeah, that second one is cool....

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I think there's the snortiness that comes with spookiness and insecurity.

    Then there is the snortiness that comes with relaxation and working happily... that I love.
    I knew a Saddlebred mare that snorted with every trot stride, as in that second sentence. Her general demeanor was that she knew she was 'hot stuff and a very important horse' and I always got a chuckle out of her doing that. I anthropomorphized that as 'look at me or get out of my way'.

    Mvp, I am so glad you pointed that out (message 3). That makes perfect sense, but I did not know that and am glad to learn.
    Last edited by sdlbredfan; Mar. 12, 2010 at 10:47 AM. Reason: add content
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  8. #8
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    May. 11, 2009
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    Dairyville USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FlashGordon View Post
    I think there's the snortiness that comes with spookiness and insecurity.

    Then there is the snortiness that comes with relaxation and working happily... that I love.
    This.

    I have a third category-"Hot" snortiness-the stuff that comes with FG's second category on a loud, proud, saddle horse-like an ASB, Morgan, Arabian, etc. I like to call it show and blow-they're like "HEY! I'm HERE! Look at ME!!!"
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
    Michael: Nah, it's more of a "we'll kill you if you don't do it" type of thing.
    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.



  9. #9
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    Jul. 17, 2006
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    Default

    My girlie snorts all-the-time. It's fricken' ADORABLE. Regularly makes me smile or laugh, and the other boarders too. I will go get her out of her paddock to bring her into the barn, and even though her head is dropped, there's slack in the lead and she's completely relaxed she snorts in time with her footfalls - snort, snort, snort, snort, snort...

    When she takes a deep, relaxed breath, she exhales and snooooooooooooooorts.

    She has earned the nickname "Miss Prissy Pants", but in an affectionate way. She's actually quite popular at the barn because she has so much personality.

    Enjoy your expressive little man!!



  10. #10
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    Jun. 19, 2008
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    Default

    SPM really is a good measure! The people who know him laugh and think it's cute. It took me awhile to learn the snorts, big eyes, head up, are really just him being a drama queen. He can still catch me off guard some days, and I'll say WTH and try to figure out how to help him relax...but 99% of the time he's just being a goofball. I've actually only seen him truly scared a couple of times (thankfully) and that's another story, but he still hangs in there with you no matter what. Love him! Uh yeah the pawing he only does if I'm not fast enough breaking up alfalfa cubes to serve his highness



  11. #11
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ASBJumper View Post
    ...even though her head is dropped, there's slack in the lead and she's completely relaxed she snorts in time with her footfalls - snort, snort, snort, snort, snort...

    When she takes a deep, relaxed breath, she exhales and snooooooooooooooorts.
    this is him exactly! Good to know!! It always makes me laugh and suprised at how loud the deep, relaxed breath snoooort is.



  12. #12
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    Oct. 4, 2003
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    Clinton, BC
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    Default

    My draft/TB mare Roany is a great snorter. And it is usually best if I listen to her, she's usually spot on in her assessment.

    Had a TB broodmare down in the pasture, on her back with her legs in the air, stuck in the snow. First notice of this was Roany's snort. Roany was over there, looking at her, snorting. Any problem happening with the herd, Roany broadcasts it.

    Roany's son, Razzberry, was chased through a barbed wire fence last summer, by the neighbour's visiting bull. Razzberry laid his shoulder open pretty good. There was some snorting from Razzberry over this development. I gave him some atravet, and had to trailer him to the vet for stitches. He is green about the trailering, but loaded right up, and rode to the vet's clinic (an hour), alone. The vet froze the area as best as he could, and started sewing. "He's being SOOOO GOOOOOOD" the vet remarked, very impressed with Razzberry's bravery. "This is frozen to some extent, but it has still got to be quite unpleasant, painful" he said. Razzberry never moved. But I know Razzberry quite well, he was working hard to "hold it together", and we were reaching the limits of what Razzberry could do in this respect. Eventually, the snort came. Once, very loud, deafening in fact. The vet was in semi-panic, thought the horse was having a heart attack or some drastic reaction to the drugs. I laughed. Nope, just a snort, he can't help it, it's genetic. Razzberry healed up just fine. The neighbours got rid of the bull, they couldn't keep it contained.



  13. #13
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Chesterland, OH USA
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    Default

    My ASB is also very snorty.
    It took a while for the my trainer and the people I routinely ride with to figure out that he wasn't about to explode.

    In fact, its when he is NOT snorting that you have to be aware that he is truly afraid.



  14. #14
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    Sep. 13, 2002
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    Pacific Northwest
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    Default

    One of mine is a snorter. It is just his way of expressing himself and doesn't really mean that he is freaked out. But it is embarrassing sometimes (him snorting and everyone thinking, geez, what a spooky horse!) and the worst is when he gets other horses going. I hated being in a lesson with this other horse (big nasty spook) as mine would snort and set this other one off, mine would truck around and jump everything, but the spook would stop everywhere because he couldn't figure out what mine was so snorty about! I felt guilty and that person probably hated being in lessons with us!



  15. #15
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    Sep. 14, 2007
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    Default

    My ASB is also very snorty, and talkative in general. Her snorts usually mean, "I am feeling good and have energy and if you don't give me something to do, I will find something to do." Real spooks are never really accompanied by snorts, but I am bored and OMG THE DIRT IS SCARY always has a huge snort.
    The Procrastinators Anonymous meeting has been postponed again.



  16. #16
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    Apr. 17, 2002
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    Default

    Our SSH/TWH filly is a talker. I tell her she's blowing butterflies. She loves to flutter about silly things. Last week an ultralite buzzed us and she craned her neck to watch and study with no flutters. But a cat cuts across the pasture? Flutter flap and chase

    It's better than her nicker. She's got quite the ugly low goat voice LOL



  17. #17
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grataan View Post
    This.

    I have a third category-"Hot" snortiness-the stuff that comes with FG's second category on a loud, proud, saddle horse-like an ASB, Morgan, Arabian, etc. I like to call it show and blow-they're like "HEY! I'm HERE! Look at ME!!!"
    I agree with you on adding this one! We called it the "I'm hot stuff" snort. My TB jumper did it all the time when he was particulary pleased with something he'd done, like after jumping a gymnastic or after a course, especially when people clapped for him.
    ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard



  18. #18
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    I think I will print a bumpersticker.

    Snort. It's a Saddlebred thing.

    I have a snorter as well. Love it!
    Dreaming in Color



  19. #19
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    Jun. 7, 2008
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    Default

    ROFL, yep! Loved that 'Real spooks are never really accompanied by snorts, but I am bored and OMG THE DIRT IS SCARY always has a huge snort.' Definitely gotta watch out for the scary kind of dirt that might eat a horse, LOL.
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



  20. #20
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    Default bumpersticker idea...

    Quote Originally Posted by drmgncolor View Post
    I think I will print a bumpersticker.

    Snort. It's a Saddlebred thing.

    I have a snorter as well. Love it!
    If you get around to having any made, please PM me and let me know if you are willing to sell me one!
    Jeanie
    RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.



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