ear position. is this normal? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LouieThePalomino View Post
... and when we canter he also has his ears back like racehorses do when running. I guess to keep the wind out of his ears?
In my experience, some horses just do this, and it has nothing to do with pain or anything else that I can tell. Our youngest mare, Cinnamon, does this while riding at a lope, and she does this when she is playing with the others out in the pasture, too.

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post #12 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 09:17 AM
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On the trail. most horses have their ears in motion.. flicking them back toward the rider when a cue is given (leg or voice.. does not matter). A horse that has ears steady back is probably having some sort of saddle or rider discomfort.

Sort of a funny aside.. when I was out riding as a kid (oh man was THAT a long time ago) I used to pass the time singing. My one horse used to hold his ears out to the side.. I suspect to try not to listen to my voice.

I really didn't think I was THAT off key......

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post #13 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 04:11 PM
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I too think there is something else going on. I don't think this is normal as a horse should have its attention ahead on its surroundings, and you should be able to cue your horse without the ears coming back.

I would say either your saddle isn't fitting right, or your hands aren't still. But something isn't right. Could be your seat isn't still too, for that matter, but not normal way for horse to be. They can "listen" to you with their ears forwards, and should be.

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post #14 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 04:41 PM
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I have noticed, though, that if my horse is not leading when out riding with friends, that his ears will come back and rest in a halfway position, but leading, they are up and looking ahead all the time.
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post #15 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 04:44 PM
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I call it the "thinking" ears. They're focused on you, thinking about your cues and how to carry them out properly.

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post #16 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by LouieThePalomino View Post
No, he doesnt sniff my foot or really bend his neck, he just glances back at me constantly.

And yea i give him a good whack on the neck when he tries to kick or pin his ears.

Our old appy mare would wait on every command, and would keep an eye on my bf, while trail riding, because she knew he was a novice rider.. She would actually try, and catch him, if she thought he was falling off, too. She was an awesome trail horse!!

When I ride my Twh.. I gained a little weight, and I noticed she was sniffing/nipping at my feet.. She never did this until I gained weight, so I quit riding her.. I was too heavy for her back, and it was making her uncomfortable.

Do you fly spray before trail riding?.. Mah horse never bucks, but she was bowing her back, and felt like she was gonna.. I turn around, and there is a horse fly on her tail about the size of my thumb!!
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post #17 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 07:07 PM
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My gelding holds his ears back when we ride with a bunch of other horses. We just started a new winter group ride thing at my barn, we get together 2-3 times a week and play with our horses. My horse is at the bottom of the herd, so all of the horses we ride with have at least some dominance over him.

I don't know if he is just unsure of himself around them and he is paying closer attention to me, or if he not paying enough attention to me and is just being grumpy about it. He pins them when another horse is coming up on his butt too, and I always tell him to chill out. He has never threatened to kick out at them, but he gets super irritated when they rush up on him.

When we ride alone, his ears are almost always forward and attentive. We have been riding alone most of the time for the past year, so maybe he is just spoiled by it. It has to be the other horses. Regardless, I think he just needs to trust me more and gain some confidence around them and learn to relax.

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post #18 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 08:51 PM
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Various reasons. When there are other horses he may be concerned about being the last horse. He may not be looking at your but trying to see past your legs. If he's not the last horse he may be concerned about the horse behind him. If he's in a position whereby he threatens to kick another horse, rather than hit him trot him in three or four tight circles then go back to where you were. Hitting him can turn into a game for him. The circles represent work. Now, it won't fix him the first time you try it but it should by the third or fourth time on the same ride. Horses flick the tail before the kick. That is the time to get him moving.
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post #19 of 21 Old 12-16-2012, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
I call it the "thinking" ears. They're focused on you, thinking about your cues and how to carry them out properly.

What about the horse in your avatar? Now, that's an ear condition!!! Lol! You should probably see a vet about those!!!!
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post #20 of 21 Old 12-17-2012, 12:13 AM
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My mare's ears will be forward if she is in front on a trail ride or jumping, otherwise they are back. You can see the contrast in this video, whenever she's behind, her ears are back.

She's the Paint
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ears , normal , pin

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