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Jayson Goetz

Jayson is a strong believer that you don't have to be wealthy to live a rich and full life and wants to share tips on how to do exactly this. Whether...

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Understanding Your Horse

Anyone who owns any type of animal knows that they have their very own personalities and quirks. There are so many positive things that come from having an animal, and creating a lasting friendship is one of them. However, in order to do so, you have to be able to read them. It is easy to misinterpret the way an animal communicates unless we really dig deep and do the research to get to know how they behave. Horses, for example, are very social animals and have many modes of communication. If you happen to own one of these beautiful creatures, hopefully this will help you get to know them better. Here are some tips to help you understand your horse.

Body language

We use body language every single day. As humans, body language is almost just as important as vocal speech. However, for horses, it is everything. Horses use body language to communicate to other equine as well as their human owners. There are a number of signs that horses use to communicate and it is important to know the main ones.

Vocal

Although body language is crucial for getting to know your horse, you might be surprised that they also do a large amount of vocal language as well. Here are a few things to look out for and what they mean: vocal noises such as a scream or squeal might infer that it is threatened by another stallion or even a mare. We are all familiar with a neigh or whinny, a high pitched sound that carries pretty far. This sound indicates that a horse is telling its owner or other horses where its location is. Other horses might even respond back with a neigh even when out of sight from each other. One sign of friendship that horses show with their body language is nuzzling and nudging. This is often done to baby horses by their parents, however horses tend to show this affection to their owners as well.

Ears

A horse’s ears can say a lot more than we think. If we look a little closer, we can find that they communicate with their ears fairly often.  Just like dogs and cats, when the ears are stiff and pointing up, it means that the animal is alert. If they are loosely hanging out with no sign of tenseness, it means that they are feeling neutral and relaxed. If you notice that your horse has droopy, lateral ears that are pointing down, it usually means that they are tired or can even be depressed.  A good thing to know about the ears is when your horse is feeling aggressive. This can help you avoid getting hurt. When you see a horse’s ears sticking right to their neck, this is a sign that they are feeling aggressive or angry.

Mouth

To go along with vocal communication, horses also say a lot by what they are doing with their lips. If they are showing their teeth and have their mouth wide open, it is a warning to stay back. This means that they are aggressive and do not want to be touched. The same goes for eyes that are wide open big enough to see the white part. Flared nostrils is another way they can communicate to you. This typically means that they are excited and alert. However, you might have to read their body language alongside this one because it can mean that they are happy or scared. It is up to you to be able to decide which one.

Tail

Again. Just like cats and dogs, tails can be the very first thing to give away how your horse is feeling. When the tail is high, this means that they are happy to see you and just happy in general. On the contrary, when the tail is hanging real low, this could mean that your horse is depressed, in pain, or exhausted. Make sure to give them some love and monitor if they are eating regularly and staying hydrated. When you see your horse swishing its tail back and forth, it means that it is annoyed. And lastly, when the tail is held over the horses back and high up, it can mean two things – they are playful, or they are alarmed. Again, its up to you to read other signs to determine which one they are trying to communicate with you.

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Hopefully these few tips help you understand your precious horse better. Feel free to do more research to really get to know your animal and further strengthen your bond with them. These signs are crucial as they can alert you of any illnesses, and to protect yourself from potentially getting hurt as well. There are many other signs of communication that they use, and probably some that we have not even caught onto yet. Just be sure to always give your horse the love and attention it needs, and all should be well.

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