Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

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Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

Post by RaknRydr on Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:43 pm

I think I read somewhere that horses DO NOT breath through there mouth and that was why it was important to have nice sized nostrils.

I ask because my husband and I have headstalls with built in cavesons,we don't have them very tight anyway, and don't even need them any longer but they are there so we use them.

My BIL was riding one of ours and didn't want to use it because he said "how would you like your mouth strapped shut were you could not breathe good."


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Re: Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

Post by Got_gait on Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:40 pm

I read this and thought "what a crazy question", but then... I don't know the answer either, so not so crazy, huh? Would make sense that they only breathe through their nostrils because when they choke they can still breathe. I've never seen them pant either, so... interesting. Never thought about it before.

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Re: Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

Post by Dr. Daniel Pike on Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:46 pm

Good question! Horses breathe primarily through their nostrils. You usually only see horses breathing through their mouth if they are disoriented or in severe pain. So, placing a caveson will not hurt them. Also, the pressure on the caveson will not affect the airway, as the nasal passage is composed of a cartilage/bone matrix called a meatus (they have three portions: ventral, middle, dorsal) that maintains an open airway most of the time. No problem riding with a caveson...it can be a great training aid.

FYI: When a horse "chokes," a bolus of food is stuck in the esophagus, so they can't swallow. Their airway is not affected other than they are at ain increased risk for aspiration of saliva/food in their airway, becasue of the inability to swallow. When a person chockes, an object is lodged in the airway. We an swallow, but not breathe...we are opposite in that way!!!
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Re: Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

Post by RaknRydr on Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:27 pm

Thank you for your answer, that is exactly the scenario I thought of to come to my conclusion and I also knew that sometimes when I would squeeze my mare across the bridge of her nose for meds it would sound like you were cutting of her airway more so that way, but I won't agrue with a 67 yr old till I have some solid info to back me up, unlike him. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Do horses breath only by nostrils ?

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:21 pm

I'm like that too. Every time someone contradicts me, I automatically think I'm the one that's wrong. Then I think about it and go..."wait a minute...." Surprised)
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