Horse face: horse face and body language
When we think of language, we think of sounds, but the horse face can speak with its whole body. On the other hand, horses make sounds only a few times a day while using body language. Missing this information means wasting a lot of communication power.
In the Blog, we will talk about the horse face and body language so that you can recognize four of its main feelings.
Facial expressions are the most obvious, especially those of the ears. Combined with other signals from different body parts, they are a fascinating language.
How to know if your horse trusts you
. The horse comes to you if he’s loose, or you can go to him, and he doesn’t run away.
. It neighs with a loud sound called a whinny or makes a soft sound, which seems to be telling you things, called a nicker.
. He nudges you to get your attention, or he pinches your clothes. You have to be careful with these games because there is an excellent line between meaning confidence and becoming dominant.
. It nibbles at your grooming style between horses that have close bonds.
. He is relaxed. It doesn’t matter if you move things, jump, come or go; he remains calm. The maximum degree of confidence would be to lie down next to you.
. He respects you; that is, he respects your space. You mark the displacements when they are made and their speed. A horse that respects you will enter the box behind you without running you over, despite knowing that he has food.
. They snort in front of you. A horse with fear would never dare.
. The position of the tail is relaxed so that it falls smoothly.
. Lower lip relaxed, and eyes almost closed. He is about to fall asleep, and he doesn’t mind doing it in front of you. In a herd, some horses sleep while others keep watching.
. He stands on 3 legs, and one rests because he knows he doesn’t have to prepare for an escape.
How to know if a horse is happy or content
Happiness is closely linked to the feeling of security and confidence.
. The nostrils are relaxed. Neither tight nor open like when they are working, which they do to inhale more air.
. Enjoy the scratch when you brush it. He tilts his head slightly, stretching his neck and lifting and moving his upper lip slightly. Apart from liking the process, he feels safe enough with you to say so.
. They interact with the environment, so they watch a lot and listen. You will see them with alert eyes and attentive ears, checking every movement around them. On the contrary, a horse that seems to not look anywhere for long periods is a sad horse.
. They raise their tails high as a sign of intense joy. At other times it is a warning symptom. It is common in stallions as a territorial warning signal.
. They play.
. They perform what is known as peer grooming. That means that they are comfortable within that herd. They can also do this with their favorite human, but you have to be careful because the force they use can damage us.
. They frequently make the sound of snorting, with which they clean the nostrils.
. They are within walking distance of each other within a pack, so they roam the field like this, no matter how big it is. If a horse is always away from the rest, you must check what happens.
How to tell if a horse is in pain
. The eyes change. The muscles around the eyes contract, giving them an appearance similar to when they hear something that scares them. The difference is that when they get scared, it is something temporary and, in addition, they usually look for more information, directing their ears to that place.
. The ears are crooked, and it seems that it is not looking anywhere, despite having “scared eyes.”
. The nostrils dilate for no reason or frown excessively, as do the lips, clenching the jaw. It is usually accompanied by abnormal breathing, and if we were to take the pulse, it would be accelerated.
. Other bodily manifestations depend on the cause of the pain. For example, rolling continuously or kicking for no apparent reason when you have colic.
How to know if a horse is angry
. The ears are thrown back, almost in the same prolongation line as the face. They are signs of threat towards others, which are growing in intensity. When a dominant horse makes this gesture with its ears, and the others understand it and withdraw, that is the end of the threat.
. If, in addition to throwing back his ears, he stretches his neck, his eyes appear bulging, and he opens his mouth as if he were going to bite, he probably will. To avoid greater evils, it is necessary to understand the previous level of threat (only with the ears) and withdraw in time.
. Shake tail. It does so more intensely than when it shoos away flies and is also accompanied by other signs of threat. After several shakes of the tail, which are not understood, there is usually a slap or a kick accompanied by the squealing sound, which would be the next warning level.
They may also wag their tails when they are upset with an exercise, indicating that they feel uncomfortable. In this case, it is a protest, not a threat.
As you can see, horses are very expressive, and horse face language, the signs always go from less to greater intensity. It is your job to recognize them as soon as possible, to understand them better.
This is achieved by observing in learning mode, that is, inactive mode. Sit in front of a herd of horses and watch them. In addition to relaxing, you will learn many things to use in your relationship with your horse.
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