I have tried searching this topic and can not find a thread on it so either I don't know how to search it or there is no thread on this. Anyway, here is the issue:
We are currently in the middle of a trial on a very nice but somewhat lazy Hanoverian mare who is a nice dressage mare. She is thirteen, does third level comfortably and has some higher level movements. Pretty, sane, sweet, seems fairly sound. The one thing about her is that when she is ridden she grunts while she is trotting around, and cantering, too. Kind of a uh uh uh...
Has anyone else experienced this? Is it a red flag of a BIG AND TERRIBLE or nothing to worry about? She is not spooky or tense, in fact has floppy ear thing going on a lot of the time.
I had a TB mare who "hummed" under her breath all the time while working. Her daughter does the same, although not nearly as often. The first mare would also groan when lying down--had more than one colic scare from THAT habit!
I would be inclined to think it's nothing if the mare is otherwise healthy and well.
My old gal did it all the time, my current one, occasionally. It's particularly funny when done in the exact rhythm of the trot strides. Thank heavens they've never done it at a show (it must mean relaxation.)
My gelding makes an occasional very high-pitched wheezing noise, just once, right when he's being asked to work for the first time in a schooling session. It's hilarious.
I've seen old man geldings who farted at every trot stride.
Try riding her around a few laps in the half seat (your bottom off the saddle).
If she doesn't grunt then maybe you can work on lightening your seat.
On one horse I never really sat down in the saddle at the trot, I just skimmed the seat with my butt.
Does she do this on the longe line?
I ride a schoolmaster that hums and groans when she's working well, is happy, and likes her rider My young mare has always been a bit tense at the canter. Recently she's started groaning/moaning, and it coincides with finding relaxation. It's as if she's suddenly learned not to hold her breath
DD quarter horse does this at good canter/gallop, we call her the "freight train", have been told it is a good sound, diaphragm working to get out of way of expanding lungs, then air expelling good breathing sounds.
"They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier
"They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"
If she does it all the time it would concern me less then if it was situational. My guy sort of grunts/moans when I sit the trot or post without stirrups but does not when my lighter daughter does the same. So I do not sit the trot or post without stirrups!
My old gelding Rush would do this sometimes at the beginning of the ride, regardless of whether it was ring work or just out on the trail, but always at a trot. He always followed the several strides of grunting by blowing his nose. Makes me wonder if it was something akin to what SPF10 mentioned, especially since he always cleared out his sinuses afterwards.