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Fainting horse?

A friend of mine called tonight to ask me for advice. She bought a Quarterhorse a couple of weeks ago and had gone with plans of riding. She had told me before that this horse always "blows herself up" really bad when saddling and tightening the cinch. This is a 5 year old mare who has not been ridden very much.
On Thanksgiving Day she went to saddle the horse and when she tightened the cinch, the horse "fainted" and fell down.She was out for nearly a minute then got up and was ok. Lynae thinks the horse held her breath until she passed out. I have never herd of such a thing! The previous owner stated that this has happened once before, again when tightening the cinch.
Anybody on ridecamp herd of such behavior? Any recommendations on how to stop it?
I told her to tighten it a little bit at a time and walk the horse around in between. I ride with a relatively loose girth anyway. I have never seen this horse, but I am curious to see her.
Thanks, Jutta

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