• MNH

Part 1. Section 2. Body Communication

Updated: Mar 30

Subtle changes in your horse's posture, expression and movements can provide important clues to what he is thinking.


Language: the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way.


==> Horses don’t use a language, they communicate with their body


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VIDEO - In this video, you can see a grey poney in a very noisy environment. While his eyes are relaxed, his ears tell you that he's paying attention to everything around him.

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

Why do you need to pay attention to a horse's ears?

If a horse has floppy ears and a droopy mouth, how should you approach him?

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VIDEO - Did you know that horses have several ways of blinking their eye lids and that this indicates their level of stress? Check out this video for more information.

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

What is sclera? Why is it important to be aware of it?

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VIDEO - Horses will often start snapping as soon as they are born. Check out this video to see a newborn foal do it.

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VIDEO - Young horses will snap at older horses they don't know as a sign of submission. Check out this video of a young horse being introduced to an older one. Can you see the snapping?

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VIDEO - Check out this video to see wild mustangs flehmen. What do you think they're smelling?

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

What is flehmen? When is a horse most likely to do it?

How would a young horse show his submission to an older horse?

Why do horses open up their nostrils wider during a tiring exercise?

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VIDEO - Check out this video of a beautiful Arabian stallion with his tail up.




VIDEO - Did you know that the height of the tail is very important in the world of beauty competition for Arabians? See if for yourself, check out last year's Best of Dubai International Arabian Horse Fair.


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VIDEO - Horses often use their tails to swish flies off each other's faces. Check out the video here.

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TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE

What are 4 of the main body parts of a horse that give the most information about what is going on in their heads? If you had to chose one, which one would you chose and why?

If a horse has floppy ears and a droopy mouth, how should you approach him?

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VIDEO - This video shows beautiful pregnant Friesian mares and their body language. Can you see it all?


VIDEO - Watch this video of the famous Lipizzaner Stallions and try to recognise some of the horses’ body communication.


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Exercise you can do at home


1. Look at videos and documentaries of wild horses and pay close attention to their body language. What are the ears telling you? What are the eyes telling you?


2. Observe your friends or family members and pay close attention to their body language. If you look at their eyes, can you guess what is going on? You can do the same exercise if you have a pet like a dog or a cat.


Exercise you can do outside


The next time you head to the riding club, take extra time to look at the horses. Maybe sit in a corner and just watch them. Apply all the body communication tools you have learned and cross check it with what you are seeing. You can do the same thing while observing a horse being ridden.


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