Items

Forums
Horse Body Language
 By Saferaphus   •   24th Mar 2018   •   381 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:  Saferaphus
 More News by Saferaphus
Transport of Live Horses For Slaughter
21st Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Earlier in 2018 the rules governing the horse slaughter industry in Canada changed and at the time some speculated that it would be dealt a crippling blow. The changes came about because of the European Unionís requirements that a ...
Losing Horse Shoes
19th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
The decision to put shoes on your horse isnít something you should take lightly. Most horses donít need shoes and putting shoes on can sometimes cause problems if the job isnít done right. But if, in consultation with your farrier ...
California Wild Roundup Horses To Sell For One Dollar
14th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Animal rights activists are angered after the U.S. Forest Service, a branch of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that looks after the national forests and grasslands, began the roundup of about 1000 wild horses. The horses are be ...
Do Not Do This To Your Helmet
12th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Each time we ride, our helmet is protecting our heads. To make sure we get the optimum protection throughout its lifespan, we need to give it a little respect. Helmets donít take much maintenance, but there are some things you sho ...
Saddle Fit Nightmares
7th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
We know that you should ride your horse in a saddle that fits it properly. An ill-fitting saddle can cause all sorts of physical and behavioural problems. But some horses are more difficult to fit than others. ...
Algae In Water Troughs
4th Oct 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
But there is one kind of algae that is harmful to all mammals, including horses. Itís called blue-green algae and it is likely to be found in ponds and slow moving streams. Even once this type of algae has dried up, say along an e ...
Show Jumping Refresher
29th Sep 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Unlike a lot of sports like dressage, figure skating and gymnastics, the scoring in show jumping is fairly non-subjective. A horse either knocks down a rail or doesnít. Refusals and falls are very well defined and scores arenít in ...
Buy A Police Horse
26th Sep 2018   |   General   |   Saferaphus
Previously, the RCMP held their auction every other year. But it has been three years since the last auction and about forty horses are being offered. Online bidding has been open since mid-August for the police foundation auction ...
  View All News by Saferaphus
 
©2002 - 2018   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
291 Members Online 240,566 Registered Members 2,483 News Articles 10,348,803 Unique News Article Views 226,567,535 Website Views