(Last Updated On: October 18, 2020)
Horse body language has anything to tell about. The horse can’t talk, but they are intelligent animals compared to many other animals. Your horse speaks in its own voice in the form of body language.
Horses are herd animals and prone to be loyal and understand love, fear, and anger. Much research has already been done to learn more and more about what the horse says, what it feels, how it feels, and so on.
Horse body language: what you need to understand
As a horse lover, you have to understand what it says and means. When you will be understanding the implied hints and message of a horse, the next phases of developing bonding, relationship, and leadership come up as consequences.
A horse lover or owner must improve trust, relationship interaction with the horse by listening to the horse’s cues, allowing it to voluntarily express behaviors—provided you are not dangerous and is here to assist the horse.
You have to know that a horse communicates basically through its “very expressive body positions,” in order to let us know its feelings, mental state, and emotions to surrounding objects, according to Rebecca Agocs, a horse rider, trainer, and judge. Agocos says a horse’s eyes and facial expression convey a great deal about what a horse may be feeling in its mind as well as its thinking, mood, and desire.
In this article, I am going to talk about horse body language- what do they say and how to understand their untold, implied story, and sayings. In order to be a successful horse owner, you must know what are the signs of contentment, annoyance, fury, indifference, fear, happiness, hunger, and so on.
Horses love to be attended to intensively. In several ways, a horse will draw your attention. It doesn’t like to be ignored. The horse feels hunger, thirst and they disclose their need in the form of a particular body language.
You should not be worried about finding some easy tricks to understand your horse’s body language. Observe the body language as a whole, not on any particular part.
You will find a common pattern and harmony in its body language and attitude in a particular situation if you look at a horse’s stance, eyes, ears, tail, legs, bodyweight, sound, and head.
If you closely look at those symptoms and the situations, gradually you will be able to read your horse’s mind and body. Looking into the surroundings of the horse is another useful signals you can predict.
A sober and relaxed horse looks very confident with its stand position with her head and neck in a neutral, relaxed position. Also, you would find the hindfoot of the horse is seen cocked or resting on the point of the hoof.
2. Solitude, loneliness
In case the horse loves to stay alone and have some time of rest, it will run far away from other horses in the herd
The horse shows its back to you or to the front side when it doesn’t like to have any interaction at all for some time.
4. Draw attention
Horses are social animals. It loves to stay in the herd. Moreover, it loves when you pay proper attention to your horse.
You will see your horse is nudging its muzzle in order to grab your attention to it for any particular reason or for any sort of impatience. Sometimes, the horse starts creating sound to draw your attention too.
5. Hunger, thirst
The horse stamps or kicks the ground to let you know its hunger or any sort of unrest. Moreover, the horse may cause sound or noise in order to attract you to itself for solving its need.
6. Anger, Fury, Grudge
Have you ever seen your horse biting for no reason? In case of any frustration, aggravation, or anger, the horse shows its fury by biting. Fortunately, the teeth are not very sharp to penetrate your flesh and cause any severe wound.
In order to demonstrate its dominance, the horse may bite you as well as another horse.
However, this is not a decent behavior and you should not allow this in your dog. Stop the biting horse by showing your dissatisfaction or gestures, in order that the horse may give up this habit gradually.
Your horse may be aggressive for any reason. In the aggressive situation, the horse may show the white part of its eyes as well as biting.
It will also be moving toward the person out of its aggressiveness. However, it is unusual for a domesticated horse to show its aggressiveness. If it happens, you should consider the issue seriously.
9. Fear and stress
Have you ever seen a frightened horse? The horse would show the white of its eyes as and/ or bite and kick someone nearby. The horse would run away from the cause it’s afraid of.
Additionally, the horse stands square with its head on the upright position and pulled back, with wide eyes, as well as put its entire weight on the hind legs, when it’s in fear.
You may also find the rapidly moving ears of the horse that turn back and forth quickly for the assuming danger that causes fear.
It is also very frequent that the horse may get depressed because of several reasons, such as illness or excessive physical and mental pressure, or in case it is bullied by other horses or persons, etc. In the depressed state, your horse would look uninterested, unmoved, blank looking, and unhappy that you should take care of properly.
11. Alert, curious or interested
For several reasons the horse looks alert, curious, or interested by symptoms such as standing square with the horse’s head up high, ears pricked forward and unmoved, while the bodyweight is equally disseminated or more towards the front of the horse in order to look or glare at something or somebody.
12. Neutrality and rest
Stand confidently as well as laying down for some time in a routine pattern is quite normal. Usually, the horse may lay down 2-3 hours a day to take rest and sleep. It is quite normal for a domesticated horse.
You can assume the horse is sick by its hollow look, reluctance to the food and drink, indifference in involvement and interaction, as well as much sleep and rest, compared to normalcy. In such cases, you should carefully investigate the issue and solve it as soon as possible by yourself or your vet.
14. Danger, defense, aggression, unhappiness
You can identify the defensive mode, or a sign of danger, undergoing aggressiveness or unhappiness, by finding your horse to show its unmoved, alert, and pinned ears that are laid back against its head.
At the same time the body of the horse to be pointed to any particular side, other horse, object, or person. The head of the horse could be high with wide eyes.
15. Fondness, love, trust, and happiness
The optimum body language you expect from the horse is to show love, fondness, pleasure, and happiness. The horse is a social animal and loves to be loved and cared for. When you show your care, trust, and responsibility to it, the horse will pay back love and affection to you by showing its Nicker or Whinny for you (or a person it cares) as well as rest its head-on.
Some other signs of showing happiness are to nudge your body or hear, will feel relaxed and peaceful around you. In this state of mind, the horse may also groom you back. The horse will show you respect and breathe on your face frequently.
The horse is fearless, and not worried and happy and you will find it’s head high and tail up. The horse feels pleased when it sees anyone it likes and trusts, or the horse has a decent mood. The horse is fearless and will come close to the person it loves, instead of going away from him or her.
Every horse is an individual. Yet there are some common body language patterns, with some rare exceptions. Read those languages well as quickly as possible in order that you can be a caring and responsible owner whom the horse can rely upon.
Knowing about the body language of your horse is important in order to solve the issue and enhance bonding, trust, understanding, responsibility, care, and relationship. The good thing is, you can easily pay attention and read the body language your horse shows, that is not that much hard to understand. You need to use your willingness, intuition, and patience to know what your horse is communicating.