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Horse Behaviour

Understanding Horse Behaviour

Horses originally lived on wide open plains and would spread out to graze a long way from one another.  The best way to communicate quietly and quickly when you're a prey animal in such a situation is with body signals.  

Horses developed small signals rather than sounds to communicate with each other.  When we learn to recognise what these signals mean, we too can understand horse behaviour.

Horses Don't Tell Lies

Horses don't lie to one another.  When one horse wants another to move away, he will use a series of signals until he gets what he wants.  He may start with a look, a twitch of the ear or a flick of his tail.  If that doesn't work, he will threaten to bite or kick and will carry out the threat if necessary. 

Each horse knows that after the threat will come the action. 
The other horse has a choice.  He can stand his ground and get kicked - or he can move.

Understanding Horse Behaviour.  Foals learning horse behaviour the natural way, in a herd.

Understanding Horse Behaviour
 
Horses show us all the time what they're thinking and feeling.  They send out the smallest of signals to communicate with us and it's our job to make sure we're listening well enough to hear them whisper! 
 
Kitkat, the horse on the front page, was showing signs of being nervous with his wobbly lip and facial expression.  But what was concerning him? 
Understand Your Horse's Behaviour.  Problem horse Kitkat overcoming fear using horsemanship techniques.
It could have been the feel of the jeans on his back, the weight, the sound, the smell or even the sight of the rope in the handler's hand.

But it was actually the sight of the jeans in two eyes behind him at the same time that was causing him some concern. 

He soon settled down and was happy to move forwards in a relaxed and calm way.

Understand Your Horse. Problem horse Kitkat overcoming fear with natural horsemanship.