why does my horse cough when i ride her

Mine does this when he's been stabled - think he has a mild dust allergy. My pony will also do the odd one or two at the beginning of a ride. I have used that Lincoln Koff Syrup for my horse and that seems to relieve it - plus he seems to like it. I actually just open the lid and squeeze some in to his mouth. He will actually sort of 'ask' for it. Wish they'd design the bottle though so you could squirt it in to the mouth easier. it can get messy otherwise and there's no way I can feed my horse a tablespoon of it! As someone mentioned feedmark as well I will agree with them being extremely efficient delivering!
Horses do not cough to evade work. If a horse is coughing, there is a physical reason that should be investigated. I agree that the dust in the arena is likely the culprit, it s not uncommon to see horses cough a bit when working in a dusty siuation, coughing is the bodys way of clearing an irritating substance from the lungs.

Horses do not have premeditated thinking. *Hmmm, if I start to cough, mummy won t ride me today* or *maybe if I act scared of the mailbox, mummy will pat me and let me go home*. While it is true that a horse can have a conditioned response. (eg. A barn-sour horse that learns to evade going out onto the trails if he/she has a rider who is simply unable to assertively insist that they leave) but, this is a LEARNED response, not a premeditated pattern of thinking. When an assertive, experienced rider mounts this same horse, it is often amazing how the bad behaviour simply vanishes!

Your horse is a seniour, and my first thought would be a mild onset of heaves. Older horses often have it to some degree given a lifetime spent in barns/stables, eating hay (rounds or squares) and being in a domestic environment. It is possible that her lungs have become a bit hyper-sensitive to the dust, whether it be from arenas, or dusty roads or whatever. The second possibility would be a bit of allergies to things just floating around in her environment. but my first concern would be the heaves. Some people refer to it as stable cough, but it is one and the same more or less. As long as there is no concern that it could be a viral/bacterial repiratory problem brewing. (my 3rd guess) then I would treat the condition as a mild stable cough problem. work her in as dust free of an environment as possible, lots of fresh air, and keep round bales to a minimum, if not removed all together.

There are medications on the market, as well as obtainable from your vet that will make/keep her comfortable if the above mentioned suggestions are not helping. Keep an eye on your mare, if the coughing is increasing, then it s time to take action! Anything to do with the respiratoy system can progress rapidly and get severe seemingly overnight. respiratory health is imperative to maintaining the physical usefulness of your horse. The above mentioned concerns are by far the most common causes of coughing in horses. please don t think that your horse is playing mind games with you. they just don t work that way.

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