A well-known conjecture, often attributed to Serre, asserts that any motive over any number field has infinitely many ordinary reductions (in the sense that the Newton polygon coincides with the Hodge polygon). In the case of Hilbert modular cuspforms $f$ of parallel weight $(2,\ldots ,2)$, we show how to produce more ordinary primes by using the Sato–Tate equidistribution and combining it with the Galois theory of the Hecke field. Under the assumption of stronger forms of Sato–Tate equidistribution, we get stronger (but conditional) results. In the case of higher weights, we formulate the ordinariness conjecture for submotives of the intersection cohomology of proper algebraic varieties with motivic coefficients, and verify it for the motives whose $\ell$-adic Galois realisations are abelian on a finite-index subgroup. We get some results for Hilbert cuspforms of weight $(3,\ldots ,3)$, weaker than those for $(2,\ldots ,2)$.