What You Need To Know About Horse Language

Yes, horses have a language of their own, and unfortunately many of us are not as aware of it as we should be. It is a huge mistake to not to understand their language, as it may mean issues for us in the end. Every swivel of the ear(s), hip movement, tail flick and facial expression means something. This is the language horses use to speak to other horses and to us – if only we would listen.

We need to know what OUR body language says to them first before we can understand them. Flapping arms while trying to get the halter on will cause concern. Running at them in a pasture rather than walking up to them calmly can make them think – predator chasing me. We’ve all heard about bombproof horses – sorry, there isn’t any such thing. Something, a little time will spook your pony – any pony.

In the meantime, keep your body language quiet, slow, easy and calm. If you’re calm, this helps your horse remain calm.

Horses speak to us with all body parts and that includes the front and back end. Both ends can cause us untold grief if we do not pay attention to what they are saying. As an example, many of us know that when a pony has both ears pinned back flat something is actually wrong. Chances are that they are either scared or angry. Mostly it is hate. So watch the rear and front terribly fastidiously. Caution is best regardless of if you suspect the horse might be listening to something behind them or bored. Once you really know your horse well, you will know what the ears are saying.

Ears perked up and forward mean they’re targeting their attention on something and are either up to some mischief or they’re on high alert about something that they see, hear or smell. Remind your horse you need his attention, especially if you are riding and the ears whip forward.

Brushing and caring for your horse is THE major bonding experience between humans and equines. Don’t ever underestimate how powerfully you are communicating to your horse about YOU when you brush him.

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