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dressage mare grunting a problem in competition?

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  • dressage mare grunting a problem in competition?

    This is a cross post of a thread under horse care. We are trying a mare who is a nice dressage horse for my daughter and she plans to compete in recognized shows on the horse at first/second level. (The mare does third level comfortably and is a good teacher.) The mare is really lovely, we have had a trial on her and we like her, but when she is being ridden she grunts. She is kind of a big lazy mare, but can put herself together nicely and do her job, but she kind of grunts through the whole thing. We wonder if this is a problem, either for the mare or for competition. Is there a special hidden demerit or even a secret coefficient for "grunts like a pig?"

  • #2
    is her name Elizabeth?

    My friends mare grunts constantly when ridden in the arena. On trails she doesn't. It's funny actually because sometimes she is grunting in rhythm with her foot falls. My friend rides in hunters and has never received a bad "review".


    • #3
      I find that sometimes its a "who the heck are you" grunt.

      My gelding used to grunt and groan when I started to ride him. Now that we've been a team for a couple months he only groans when I really screw up. I swear he's telling me to get myself together and figure it out! LOL


      • #4
        Technically no, it shouldn't matter. That said is there a reason she grunts?

        Its almost sounds like some sort of tension issue (and this is just envisioning it in my head) which may be marked down?
        I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


        • #5
          As long as I have been scribing(15+ yrs), never had a judge make remark about grunting.
          some horses grunt, others do not....some horses wring their tails, others do not....

          I would not worry about it.

          When they(horse) leaves at A or jumps out of the arena, then I would be concerned!
          If the horse l leaves at A, you did not have your outside leg on. If horse jumps out, he(horse) might be done for that day!

          This past weekend, at an arab sport horse show, a 1/2 arab was entered in 8-
          1st level tests, he jumped out of the arena in test #7. I was hoping he would have left sooner at ride number 4. Both myself(the scribe) and judge squealed with joy when he jumped out. They scratched the #8 test, the jr rider was d.o.n.e. for the weekend!!! That jr rider had ridden 4 - 1st level tests on a different horse earlier in the day.
          Last edited by jcotton; Mar. 19, 2013, 11:02 PM.


          • #6
            My PSG horse grunts through everything he thinks is hard... He can do it, he just wants me to know exactly how much effort it takes... He thinks it will garner him an extra peppermint or two afterward Won't get your DD marked down, wouldn't affect my decision in buying a horse in any way.


            • #7
              Had a student whose mare made a grunt only when she was doing one tempi changes, a result of the exhalation from the lungs. It's fine.
              I.D.E.A. yoda


              • #8
                I used to know an OTTB gelding who "sang". He'd grunt in time to his footfalls, "huh,huh,huh,huh,huh", like that. Not a problem.


                • #9
                  My horse does this rhythmically when he is extremely focused on work and/or very relaxed during hard work, similar to my own breathing when I am in a good phase of running. His grunts during ones are quite impressive. At first I found it distracting but now I think it is neat to be able to tell so much about him by his breath, something I had not considered before. I don't think it makes any difference in terms of showing.


                  • #10
                    Equine Pranayama I believe it is called.


                    • #11


                      • #12
                        I would equate it with teeth grinding. I don't believe that there is any deduction for that either. Both can be a sign of tension or concentration, depending on the horse.

                        No deduction for sheath noises either!
                        "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                        • #13
                          Grunt is a good thing. When my gelding is grunting, I know I "finally" get him working, instead of just plopping along.


                          • #14
                            My horse grunts in the 2 stride tempis - no one has ever noticed/said anything. I don't mind much as it helps me count


                            • #15
                              I have sat with judges who deduct for every movement that has audible teeth grinding and mark down in submission, if they believe it is a result of mental tension in the horse.

                              Originally posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
                              I would equate it with teeth grinding. I don't believe that there is any deduction for that either. Both can be a sign of tension or concentration, depending on the horse.

                              No deduction for sheath noises either!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by CapitolDesign View Post
                                I have sat with judges who deduct for every movement that has audible teeth grinding and mark down in submission, if they believe it is a result of mental tension in the horse.
                                Yes, they can deduct for tension, but it is fairly subjective.
                                "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


                                • #17
                                  Mine has been known to grunt but as far as I know it's never affected our scores.

                                  I personally would be more embarrassed by the "gelding noise". Which is part of the reason I have a mare!
                                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                  • #18
                                    At FEI level you gets points off from submission.


                                    • #19
                                      Gelding noise (sucking air into sheath) is because of belly tension, grunting is because of the energy (rhythmic exhalation) of the movement pressing more air out of lungs (not tension). Grating teeth is evaluated as to the character of it, rhythmic grating is generally not taking off.
                                      I.D.E.A. yoda


                                      • #20
                                        My mare does this grunt melody when she is happy and relaxed. Usually she does it while out trail riding and it really is this melody like grunt in time with her footfalls. Of course I crack up laughing...which only encourages her even more. The last half mile home is filled with her grunting and me laughing hysterically.

                                        Now if she only could be that relaxed in the ring....working on it.