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View Full Version : Do healthy horses ever faint?



Tazlima
12-24-2014, 01:41 AM
If so, under what circumstances? :Huh:

cmhbob
12-24-2014, 02:48 AM
My daughter (horse trainer intern) says it's pretty unlikely, because their flight instinct should take over, making them want to run. Maybe in a unique horse, but really rare.

thethinker42
12-24-2014, 03:06 AM
My mom had a horse pass out while he was hooked to a carriage. He had apparently never seen *another* carriage, and when one went by, he just...collapsed.

It's highly unusual, though.

Mr Flibble
12-24-2014, 03:16 AM
Yeah I'd think it's far more likely to be an underlying condition (virus, heart condition etc ) than happening in a healthy horse. I used to be a groom for many years and I never even heard of it happening, though we did have a couple of horses faint/collapse (one virus, one previously undiagnosed liver condition).

So, I suppose it could happen but I'd probably raise my eyebrows unless you had a really really good reason for their blood pressure to drop enough. Shock after a near miss car hit?

Unimportant
12-24-2014, 03:50 AM
Sunstroke.

Tazlima
12-24-2014, 08:24 PM
Hmmm, so no equine equivalent of fainting goats then. It's probably for the best. I imagine a fainting-prone horse could hurt itself badly during the fall.

It's weird the things that some species just don't do. Like rats being physically incapable of burping or vomiting, who would have guessed that?

Gotta love AW. Where else can you get sincere and thoughtful answers to the most random questions?

Thanks everyone!

Captcha
12-24-2014, 11:44 PM
I know you've got your answer, but for future reference, or whatever...

I know a horse who did something similar to thethinker's mom's horse's panic attack. She was deathly afraid of being tied (from some trauma prior to coming to the barn I was at, I assume) and a new staff member somehow hadn't heard that and tied her in the arena while she was distracted by something else. She tried to move, realized she was tied, and just collapsed. It was pretty terrifying, actually, to see her flat on the ground, her head lifted up a little because she was still tied to the arena wall...

She was otherwise healthy, and has been happily at that barn for at least ten years. Just don't tie her up.

Ariella
12-25-2014, 12:23 AM
If you need a healthy horse to suddenly collapse temporarily for plot reasons, the horse could just be a character who likes to roll. I once had a trail horse pull that one on me.

I was taking a tourist trail ride in hilly country, on an older horse. We came to a place where the trail turned downhill steeply and the soil was very loose and sandy. The horse hesitated, pulled his head down, and blew at the sand a few times. I figured he was uncertain of the loose footing, so I gave him lots of rein to find his own way down the slope. He let out a great big groan and his front legs just collapsed. I had to step off quickly, because then he fell over on his side and started twitching spasmodically. I thought the poor beast was having a heart attack. But when the trail guide saw what was happening, she hopped off her horse, dragged on his reins, and berated him severely in French. He got back up, shook his mane, and looked quite healthy and pleased with himself, now that half his body was coated in sand. "Sorry," the guide said, "he like to roll."

shaldna
12-25-2014, 06:04 PM
Hmmm, so no equine equivalent of fainting goats then. It's probably for the best. I imagine a fainting-prone horse could hurt itself badly during the fall.

It's weird the things that some species just don't do. Like rats being physically incapable of burping or vomiting, who would have guessed that?

Gotta love AW. Where else can you get sincere and thoughtful answers to the most random questions?

Thanks everyone!


I have a horse with narcolepsy. He doesn't often completely collapse, he tends to sort of stumble a bit and lose his balance. It's a bit different from what you are asking though.

Horses can and do faint, it's called syncope. There's a good article here:

http://www.thehorse.com/articles/32207/equine-collapse-reviewed

Mr Flibble
12-26-2014, 01:20 AM
You have to be a member to read the full article

I'd be surprised if most instances weren't down to underlying issues however -- ie in a healthy horse.

Religion0
03-08-2015, 11:31 PM
My mom had a horse pass out while he was hooked to a carriage. He had apparently never seen *another* carriage, and when one went by, he just...collapsed.

"There are more of those things?! Oh!" *swoons*

Sorry, funny image. :D

Yeah, uh, constructively, I would say heat- or sunstroke is an option, or an extreme "freeze" response. For an animal like a horse flight would be a far more prominent reaction, but provided they couldn't do that, individual reaction might go from fainting, to locking up in a state of panic until they get set free, to fighting whatever is keeping them from running until they injure themselves.

Cath
03-09-2015, 01:49 AM
This thread is several months old. I appreciate it may be interesting to you to resurrect, but pushing it to the top of the forum pushes questions folks need answers to now further down.

If the OP is still interested in receiving answers here, I'll leave it open.

Cath
03-09-2015, 04:13 AM
Locked with OPs permission.