As you may have realized by now, is that horses do not speak our language, so it is essential for us to adapt and learn to speak their in order to understand horse behavior. Have not you ever noticed the swivel of their ears, expressions on their face and movements of their hips.
So in order for us to understand horse behavior and their language, it is essential for us to understand what our body language says to them. Waving your arms around in a desperate attempt to get the halter on will certainly cause some alarm. Also running towards them when in pastures might give them the image of a predator attacking. Rather try to approach them calmly.
You must always remember that no horse is bombproof, therefore you should always try to keep your body language slow and calm around your horse. The best way for your horse to remain calm, is for you to remain calm.
Unlike humans who only communicates with the top part of their bodies, horses uses both the back and front ends to communicate. Not only does signals come from these parts of the body but injuries to humans as well, so watch for what they are telling you.
Lets look at a few body language signs helping us to understand horse behavior:
Ears laid back means:
Almost all horse loving people know that when a horses ears are laid flat aback, something is wrong. In most cases the horse could be scared or in most cases angry. This would be a good time to watch both ends of the horse's body.
As you get to understand horse behavior better you will know that this gesture is not always dangerous. The horse could only be listening from noises or commands coming from behind or just resting out of boredom. Do not worry, as you get to know your horse, you will quickly begin to learn the true difference between these, extremely helping you to understand horse behavior.
Ears forward means:
Now this is not something to really worry about as a happy horse usually has it's ears forward? – Sometimes, but not usually. As a horse directs their attention to something, the ears will usually follow. Ears sticking up high or being erect means that the horse is mischief or alert. It is a good time to remind your horse that you are in charge once his or her attention span starts to fly around during your ride.
This is a very important aspect that I feel needs mentioning. Most people consider grooming as something that has to be done and nothing more. But in truth, grooming helps a lot in establishing a bond between you and that horse, just like grooming between different horses in the wild would. If you treat your horse roughly or just do a quick brush over, your horse will assume you are rough and a harsh holder whereas if you spend a lot of time grooming the horse and spending time with it, you will establish a bond of trust.
When you understand horse behavior, you will be able to read your horse much better, helping you build a bond of trust with your horse, which in turn will simplify the training process immensely.
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