Items

Forums
Horse Body Language
 By Winniefield Park   •   24th Mar 2018   •   888 views   •   0 comments


When we think of communication, we think of talking, or at least making noises. We humans are a noisy bunch, and talking is most often our chosen way of making our thoughts known. Yes, we use body language but it often isnít conscious. Horses however, are more likely to use body language than make a noise. We know they are expressive with their posture, tail swishes, ears and facial expressions. Here are a few other ways horses communicate noisy and not.

Yawning
Horses are one of the few herbivores that yawn according to BBC Earth. We yawn when we are tired, under-stimulated or taking shallow breaths. Yawning takes in more oxygen, which is stimulating. Horses donít yawn for the same reason. Horses donít inhale through their mouths, and they canít take in oxygen that way. They donít seem to inhale when they yawn like we do. But still, apparently, horses yawn about once per hour. When a horse yawns, itís thought that it is releasing tension. My horse yawns when I remove her bridle, multiple times sometimes. So itís possible that she is releasing tension that she carries while being ridden. In a herd, yawning may be a way of relieving social stress. Environmental stress, such as being kept in a dark stall may make a horse yawn habitually as well.

Sigh
A horse sighs much like we do. They inhale deeply and exhale slowly. Sighing means your horses is relaxed. Your horse may sigh while it enjoys a good grooming or massage, or it might sigh after youíve warmed it up for a schooling session. Or, your horse might sigh once you take the saddle off. These nose fluttering deep breaths mean your horse is okay with what is happening right now. Sometimes a sigh can communicate boredom - such as a school horse walking over poles for the millionth time.

Snorting
A snort is a more explosive sign. Snorts may mean the horse is scared or feeling energetic. A horse that is puffing, with head high is smelling scents from far away and these may be intermingled with snorts as the horse tries to figure out what it sees and smells. If your horse is full of energy, a snort will tell you heís ready to expend some of it, so you better be able to keep up. A snort may be a warning to others.

Groaning
Horses can groan for a number of reasons. If I ask my horse to do a schooling figure she actually has to put effort into, she lets out a long, low groan of protest. A horse may give a little grunt of effort as they take off for, or land from a jump. Grunts and groans can communicate pain too, so a horse landing from a jump that has sore feet, back or joints may be telling you heís uncomfortable. Groaning while producing manure or urine isnít unusual, but be sure it isnít a sign your horse is impacted or has urinary pain. Groaning can also be a sign of gastric ulcers.

Squeals
Squeals are loud, sharp noises that indicate excitement. When horses first meet each other, they often posture and squeal. A stallion may squeal at meeting a mare. Or, horses may squeal as they spar in the pasture.

Snapping or Clapping
Foals open and close their mouths when they first meet another horse and sometimes will do it at humans. This may be called yoping, yawing, snapping or clapping. It doesnít seem to have an official name. The snapping horse almost seems to smile as they chew the air with their necks outstretched. This is an appeasement signal, made to show the other horse they are submissive and accept their superiority. Mature horses that are nervous may do this, to show submission to another horse.
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 More News by Winniefield Park
Pit Bull Killed by Police After Attacking Horses
23rd Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Terrifying moments were captured on video as a pit bull type dog attacked a group of a police horses during a Gasperilla parade in Florida. The dog attacked horses multiple times and police officers had to shoot the dog. None of t ...
Service Horse Denied Hospital Entrance
22nd Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
There seems to be a lot of confusion around the status of service animals. The controversy exists because of there are people who maintain their pets are emotional support animals, guide animals even though they are not officially ...
Pony Playing With Leaf Blower
21st Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Ah, to feel the fresh breeze on your face, wind whipping through your hair, and glory in the buffeting play of a tiny tempest redolent of a ...leaf blower? Well, that seems to be the sentiment of a pint-sized pony whose antics pla ...
PonyBox Rare Jumpers
17th Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
If you look at the jumping statistics youíll see that the most common breed in the competitions is the Thoroughbred. This makes sense since Thoroughbreds are athletes that excel in high jumping competitions. Currently, the highest ...
Horse Girl Official Trailer
16th Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Time to pop the popcorn and get yourself a comforting beverage for some Netflix and chill. Coming soon is a coming of age story called Horse Girl. A young woman who is socially awkward, works at an arts and crafts shop and loves h ...
Istanbul Tourist Carriage Horses In Dire Condition
9th Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
It often seems that tourism and horses is an unfortunate mix, especially when the offerings go unregulated. Such is the case in Istanbul, where carriage rides have come under scrutiny. Combined with a deadly virual outbreak, Istan ...
At Least 15 Horses Shot in Kentucky
8th Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
A story out of Floyd County Kentucky is getting international attention. Almost 20 horses, the major portion of a free roaming herd, have been found dead. The horses lived near a strip mine, and is accustomed to people visiting an ...
The Eastern Cape Bajodini Bush Race
4th Feb 2020   |   General   |   Winniefield Park
Bush racing is common in many areas. These races take place in remote countryside spaces were an impromptu track is set up, and spectators stand on the sidelines, separated by a small rope, if that. One such race takes place in a ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
418 Members Online 261,250 Registered Members 2,668 News Articles 11,335,825 Unique News Article Views 269,005,469 Website Views