What’s In a Snort? Brought to You by Banixx Horse Care

Boadie blowing at the wet shavings in his stall.

Did your horse just snort, or was it something else? The noises that our horses make may sound similar but have different meanings. What often gets labels as a snort may not actually be a snort.

Snore – A short, course sounding, inhale: This is a mild alert, often heard when investigating something new, taking in scent/smells. Your horse may snore when he walks out of the barn into the crisp morning air.

Blow – Intense and non-pulsing exhale: An alarmed/attentive reaction (yes, this is the one just before the horse becomes a kite!). It may be associated with aggression or fear. Your horse may blow when a plastic bag goes flying across the ring ‘thwapping’ on every jump standard it passes, or when the water heater in his winter bucket gives off a little steam as it warms your horse’s overnight supply.

Snort – Nostril vibrations that create a pulsed sound that is slightly longer than a blow: This is a reassuring one, telling you all is well. It may be referred to as a “purr” and usually has a positive/content association, such as at feeding time. His ears may be forward during a snort, an indicator that the horse is content/happy. Your horse may snort when he pokes his nose into his dinner while standing in a warm, dry stall on a cold night.

Some horses seem to snore, blow and snort more than others – why? Are certain horses more of the “watchdogs” of the herd (farm)? Some more hyper aware of differences? And some more verbal (like some people)?

What are your thoughts and experiences? The Banixx team would like to hear from you!

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