How Horses Communicate

By Ellie Nodland
 Horses
neigh when they are trying to locate
other horses in their herd. Horses may also
neigh when they are brought somewhere
they don’t recognize. Typically when a horse
neighs they hold their head in the air with
their ears forward and their mouth open.
 This may be translated to, “Where are you?”
This is a picture of a
neighing horse. As you
can see the horse puts
it head up with its ears
horse may nicker when it is greeting
another horse or person. Or you may hear a
nicker when they see a stallion horse (a
male)they like. This nicker is often longer
and lower. Another reason a horse may nicker
is if a foal runs away, then the mother horse
may nicker to call it back. The horse makes
this sound by closing their mouth and using
their vocal cords.
 This can be translated to a simple, “Hello”.
This horse is nickering
as someone is entering
the stable.
 You
may hear a horse snort when it is scared
and is trying to let others know of the
danger. Or when they are trying to clear
their nostrils. When the horse snorts to clear
their nostrils it is like a sneeze. A horse
snorts by pushing air out through their nose
so that their nostrils will vibrate. When you
are riding a horse and the horse snorts they
will typically put their head down.
 A snort may be translated to “What is that? I
don’t like it!”
This picture is of a
horse snorting and
pawing the ground. The
horse is snorting from
fear not to clear its
nostrils, the head is
held down.
squeal is a very high pitched noise that is
made in annoyance or anger. When ever you
hear this you may be in danger of being
kicked. If you are ever in a situation where a
horse is squealing at you, you should quickly
get out of the horses reach, so that they can
not harm you.
 You may translate the squeal to “Get away,
you’re making me really mad right now!”
This horse is squealing
and if you were there
you would be able to
hear it from several
hundred yards away.
sigh sounds just like a humans sigh and is
made by blowing air out of their nose.
 Translates to “I’m tired I think I am going to
bed now.”
This horse is sighing, as
seen the horse doesn’t
move its head to a
certain spot to sigh.
Over the course of the day your horse
may feel several different emotions. Some of
them may include, anger, boredom, content,
curious, expectant, fearful, submissive,
uncertainty, and many more. Each of these
feelings have their own set of body language
to express those feelings , allowing you to
clarify what they are feeling. Anger is most
likely the easiest to recognize as the body
language is very pronounced. Most Body
language uses the nose, mouth, and/or ears.
Horses communicate to other horses
almost the same way they do to you. Instead
of just using sounds and body language
though they use vibrations as well. Also when
horses communicate to other horses they use
a combination of their senses. Sense of smell
and sense of hearing are used the most,
although they do their other senses to.
 Used
to submit to leaders:
Other horses must see the body language of the horse
submitting. (Lifting of the head, lowering of the ears,
and chewing on the air.)
Horses don’t use sight very much, for they
have very poor eyesight, at least in comparison
to humans eyesight. The smallest movement
catches their eye, but when jumping fences they
can’t even see the fence below them.
 Extraordinary
sense of smell.
 Used to learn new things:
Horses smell each others dung and urine to learn
things about the weather, how healthy the herd
is, and what type of food is in the area.
Used to recognize each other:
Because of a weak sense of sight, horses sniff
each others breath to recognize each other.
 Good
hearing in comparison to humans
 On a daily basis different sounds are heard
through each ear at the same time, and they
require full attention to hear them.
 If a sound is heard from behind the horse,
the horse may rotate their ears around
instead of turning their whole head.
 Sounds can make a horse stressed or calm:
Loud noises can make a horse stressed easily
Soft, gentle, calm, confident voices calm horses
 Used
the same way we use our sense of
Used with friends-Friends scratch each others
itches with their teeth
Used to comfort-Mother horses nuzzle young ones
with their muzzle
Horses unlike humans are mostly silent, but
when they do make noises they are very
significant. A horse may use several signals as
well to communicate how and what they are
felling. Because of this horses sometimes
misinterpret your gestures, so when around a
horse the best way to communicate is to be
silent, or talk quietly. No sudden movements or
sounds. When silent you also have time to
notice other things like your horses body
Besides saying commands you should say
encouraging words to your horse if you are
working them hard. Try to use quick low words
when around horses as well, especially when
the horse is scared. High words tend to make a
horse just panic more.
 - senses

similar documents