Long time lurker...second time posting.
I'm wondering if anyone else has this "issue" with their horse.
My darling 6 y/o mare is always yawning...she yawns while I groom her, she gives a ginormous yawn when I put her bridle on. Under saddle, she yawns when I give her the rein to stretch, she yawns at the halt. She has no shortage of energy and is not lacking in forward.
I love that she seems relaxed in her work, but the yawning just seems excessive and I'm wondering if there is another reason behind it besides relaxation.
Can be a sign of tummy troubles if excessive. Also can be a sign of stress. You may want to have her checked for ulcers. Horses can yawn for no reason, but your mare seems extreme. You may also want to have the vet take a look at her tongue, lips, teeth, and gums. There may be a problem in her mouth causing her pain.
Yup...she does have ulcers, they just flared up about a month ago (read- not eating normally, really REALLY crabby) and is on Gastro-gard. She is now eating normally and is her normal sweet self.
Her annual dentist appt is on Thursday, so I'll have the vet check out her mouth.
I had a vet tell me once that excessive yawning is a sign of chronic liver failure. That was three years ago and the horse is just fine with no medical problems! The yawning only went on for a couple days and has never returned.
I have one yawner .......but his is due to being uncomfortable due to his PSSM......before he was diagnosed he yawned constantly and ground his teeth..........he had two issues low selenium and PSSM after both were addressed his yawning almost stopped.....he still does it once in awhile.
IME yawning is more a sign of some sort of irritation around the head/face than a sense of boredom or fatigue in horses.
I put a nice, soft leather halter on one of my yearllings this week to get him used to wearing something on his head for longer than five minutes and he probably yawned 50 times in the first half hour!
My mare often yawns and stretches after I take her bridle off if she's sweaty. She'd REALLY rather rub her head on me, but knows that's not allowed.
I wonder how yawning is coorelated to organ function?
Just because someone says it might be, doesn't mean it is.
Hiccups can be a sign of liver problems in humans, but mostly they're just . . . hiccups.
Our school ponies yawn every time a student takes off their halters in order to bridle them...then, they'll yawn again when the bridle comes off. That itchy/irritated feeling just gets to them!
Since horses can't/don't breathe through their mouths, yawning isn't related to increased oxygen intake, is it? I get yawn-y when I change elevations (hubby is from Denver area, so family visits have been anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 ft. changes!).
I have a horse that yawns excessively like you describe yours doing. Years ago he had gotten his head stuck in a wooden fence and gave a good yank to it. Recently, due to several small quirks (yawning a lot being on of them) I brought him to a vet who ultrasounded his TMJ and x-rayed his skull. Turns out he crushed/fractured/damaged his inner ear on the right side! As well as cartilage damage through his hyoid area. We think he yawns a lot as he could be trying to equalize pressure in his inner ear. Go figure!