Does your horse like music? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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Does your horse like music?

Curious here. The other day I was playing music off my phone while grooming and riding and my horse seemed so much more relaxed. The next day I went and didn't play the music right away. My mare was a little on edge (her usual self), I put the music on and she seemed to calm down. Does anyone else's horse like music? Is it normal for horses to like music? I'm thinking if the music helps her relax, I may get a pommel bag for my saddle to put my phone in to play music while riding instead of having my phone bounce around in my pocket...lol. I need a saddle with a speaker wired in it...lol.
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 10:05 AM
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Horses cannot actually distinguish rhythm or beats (and therefore do not hear music as we do). The only two animals which can are humans and birds who mimic speech.

To horses, music is just noise. It is likely she calmed down from one of two reasons, the music drowned out background noises or you relaxed from the music, therefore calming her.

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post #3 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 10:14 AM Thread Starter
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Most likely I relaxed then...lol.

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post #4 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 11:16 PM
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i've never heard that horses can't hear music. I play it all the time at the barn and usually sing and my horses love it. Big Time Rush is Shaggy's favorite lol

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post #5 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 11:22 PM
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My mare always seems to tune in when the Top 40 music comes on the radio...

Although I've been meaning to talk with her about her questionable music choices >.>

I've never heard of them not hearing music either, in fact my neighbor keeps the radio playing in her barn because the extra noise comforts her older horse when he is in his stall by himself.
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
Horses cannot actually distinguish rhythm or beats (and therefore do not hear music as we do). The only two animals which can are humans and birds who mimic speech.

To horses, music is just noise. It is likely she calmed down from one of two reasons, the music drowned out background noises or you relaxed from the music, therefore calming her.
I don't know about this. Science always pretends something is a fact until it is proven not to be.
I have all of one data point that brings this theory into question. When my mare was a filly I would sing cadence for my benefit, not hers. She had one speed for every gait - fast. I have always had a hot seat, so I naturally wanted to ensure I wasn't adding to the problem. I sang - outloud - cadence to control my seat. Anyway, people on the ground often commented to me that her foot fall was in perfect time with the cadence. They would say, "you aren't going to believe this, but...". I couldn't see it, of course. I filmed her for other reasons, and sure enough...there was no question to the most casual observer. As her training progressed I could feel her body respond to the beat under me - whether to my wonderful melodious voice , or music I had picked. B/c of this observation, I use it on the ground to teach her "moves"...it worked/works unbelievably well. Soooo...I disagree...they can hear rhythem and beat.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 11:43 PM
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that's awesome Missy May. I wonder if Shaggy does that when I sing while I'm riding! Im going to have to film it and see now! I've alway thought music was a great way to keep up with the beats of each gait.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-17-2012, 11:49 PM
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My mom used to do dressage and she always said her horse would pick up the beat of the music. I can see it in some of her old videos too. I do rodeo drill team and at practice as soon as the music comes on the horses get antsy and excited so I would say she likes it. I can also feel a difference with some songs too. My girl seems more perked up and forward when we play "black betty" which has a pretty strong beat. Not really my fav but she seems to like it. So I too will disagree... based on my experience
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-18-2012, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, did some reading last night and didn't find anything saying horses can't hear the music or distinguish beats. Saw some articles saying horses are more particular to softer or classical music and not rock or metal...lol. I guess my horse likes country...lol. Maybe I should expose her to some Mozart...

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post #10 of 27 Old 04-18-2012, 08:25 AM
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I don't know, anebel.. there were a few cases I've seen differently.

A broodmare at the place I used to work at was pretty grouchy. We'd always listen to kiddy songs on CD and sometimes the radio.

But when "All The Right Moves" by One Republic came on.. she'd literally start dancing in whatever gate she was. It was her favourite song ever.. I wish I had gotten video.

I used to lunge my horse to classical music.. he found the rhythm of the song as I could see the tempo of his trot change. This was back when I didn't know a darn thing so I wasn't influencing it as far as I know. I barely knew the songs o_O

I could see how if music I liked was played and I got into it, relaxing myself.. he'd relax too. But it was just some freak thing. Very cool though :)

He didn't so much like Classical as much as those cheesy Country or hip hop/pop songs. Never played metal but I don't think that would go well for either of us haha!
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