The body language of horses
Like people, animals can communicate through gestures, sounds, and body postures, which means that they have their own language that we humans must understand to understand them.
Perhaps the horses’ case is the most significant since these animals are capable of transmitting their feelings with practically any part of their body. Many studies have been conducted on horses that have shown that the behavior of a herd of horses can be harmonized up to 98% over time through their movements to express their feelings, greet, warn of dangers, and make requests and even give orders.
Although it may seem a bit fanciful, it is true what they say that humans can communicate with horses, and that is that, although you cannot have fluid communication with them, we can adapt our language and our movements to send them signals. Those who first realized this were the Chickasaw Indians, who created a language called Equus that was based on body signs accompanied by sounds that helped their horses to understand them. Such was the success of this language that the Native Americans taught the Equus to many colonists, which made many of the traditional signs of American dressage due to this language.
If you want to learn how horses communicate so that you can know what they are feeling or thinking from Bekia, we will guide you so that you become a true horse whisperer with your pet.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE EARS
The movement of the ears of horses is probably the most expressive form that these animals have and one of the areas to which we must pay more attention. Through the ears’ position, we can know the state of mind of our pet, if it is suffering any pain, and even if it has fallen in love.
- If the horse has its ears raised and stiff, it is indicating that the animal is alert, either because it feels in danger or even wants to flee.
- If ears are back, it may mean that horse is in a submissive state (if the ears are relaxed) or that on the contrary, the horse is angry (if the ears are stiff).
- If ears hang, your friend will be telling you that he needs a bit of play since he is a little bored.
- If the ears are loose and relaxed, they mean that they are totally comfortable with the person they are with.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE TAIL
The tail in horses, like in dogs, tells us what the mood of the horse is. If the tail is moving abruptly and our pet is hitting the rump with it, he is very angry and nervous and better to leave him alone to relax. On the contrary, if the tail hangs and moves calmly, it means that the horse is relaxed and happy with whoever it is. Likewise, if he hides it between his legs, he tells us that he is scared.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE MOUTH
When they retract their lips, teeth or gums it means that they feel threatened or that they feel like biting, however, if they start to lick or chew without starting, it means that the horse is learning something at that moment or that they are in a situation of stress or conflict with other animals or people. Likewise, if they have droopy lips, they mean that they are calm or tired.
THE LANGUAGE OF THE HEAD
If the horse’s head is down, it means that he is calm and that he may even be sleepy, however, if the head is up, it will mean that the horse is paying attention. However, if the horse starts hitting us with the head, it will mean that it is angry and that it wants to attack us, so we must be careful, also if it moves it back, it is better that we move away since it is likely to rebound.
THE SOUND OF HORSES
Horses mainly have two sounds with which they communicate, as a rule; these are the whinny and the snort. When a horse neighs, it means that it is agitated or excited or even wants to make its presence known when, for example, it is separated from its herd or sees its mother or its owner. On the contrary, if the horse snorts, he wants to tell us that he has detected some danger or is in a situation where he is frustrated. Some experts in this animal point out that the intensity with which they make this sound reflects the degree of emotional activation in which the horse is.
Knowing the body gestures of horses is very important to understand and communicate with them and, thus, create stronger bonds with them. Horses are one of the pets that can most connect with humans, so it is very important to dedicate enough time to them to understand them and to understand what they want to tell us.
How to clean a horse properly
When cleaning, we remove dirt, sand, dead hair, and flakes of skin from the horse’s coat. We scrape litter, manure, and stones out of his hooves and free his tail and mane from straw and matted hair. The most important reason we clean a horse is to ride it. Because where the saddle, girth, and bridle are, the fur must be clean. Otherwise, the equipment could chafe and hurt the horse. That is why it is important to clean the saddle and girth very thoroughly.
There are other reasons why we clean these areas and the entire horse: When cleaning, we can determine whether the horse has any tension, stitches, or wounds. We can use the massage effect to prepare the horse’s muscles for riding, and we create a bond with the horse. Because every horse enjoys a well-executed cleaning.
You need that – that’s how it works
To loosen up the dirt, we use a harrow. This is made of metal or plastic and is moved in circular movements with light pressure over the fur. The muscled areas on the neck, back and croup can be massaged more firmly – as firmly as the horse would like. Many horses enjoy slow circling here the most. A so-called spring bar can be of great service in the case of very heavily encrusted dirt. It is drawn across the fur in long strokes. Next comes the grooming brush – the brush. With it, you get the dissolved dust out of the fur. To do this, apply a little pressure in the direction of hair growth.
What we can learn from horses
Horses do not operate grooming in yourself as cats lick themselves. But they massage each other with their lips and teeth – especially on the neck, withers, back and croup. It has been found that this mutual grooming has a calming effect and creates a bond between the horses. One can observe that they sometimes use gentle, sometimes quite strong pressure. The scratched horse shows the partner where it would like to be worked by moving it forwards or backward.
The horse shows us how well we clean
If it dozes with half-closed eyes or lowers its neck, we do everything right; on the other hand, if it hits its tail, moves to the side, twitches away from the touch, puts its ears back or even snaps – we are doing something wrong. Maybe we’re too rough or too quick with our cleaning measures, maybe something is hurting him too.