Fowl Body Language - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
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Fowl Body Language

Ok, so this is the first horse we have ever owned and he is still a fowl very young and about 4 months ago I noticed when I got up to pet him he started almost sitting on his hiney and pulling to back away from me, then when I went to sit down, our ranch hand had him by his grip and the horse walked right over to me and literally (as I was sitting in the yard swing) put his head over my shoulder and was sniffing my shirt my pants etc, however he did let me pet him. After a few short mins I had myself a new bestfriend lol. Of course life has taken over and kept us pretty busy over the pasts 4 months so I wasn't even sure if he would remember me tonight when we went out to the farm, but as I got in his stall with him he was hesitant to approach me but I walked over to him held my hand out grabbing his harness and bridal, and again after a few short mins he had his entire head down to his neck thrown over my shoulder and his neck almost all the way against me as if he were hugging me!! What does this mean in a horse this young and rebellious? He hasnt even been broken yet and I am the only person he responds this way too. Any opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 12:48 AM
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I think you mean foal. Fowl is a bird. His reaction to you means that he sees no reason to respect you and he can push into your space whenever he wants. Please don't think that you have some mystical connection with this horse. He was curious and that's about all. Learn about horses and get a trainer for the colt when the time is right.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 12:48 AM
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I think you mean "foal" not a bird :P

Sounds like he's just checking you out and figuring out what to make of you and whose in charge.
Just be consistent and work with him. Foals have short attention spans so just work for them for 10 minutes or so at a time and let them get into a routine and start to understand what's going on.

How do you mean that he is rebellious?

EDIT: I re-read it. If he is pushing on you -- Don't let him get away with that. A baby is not allowed to get away with anything a full grown horse wouldn't be allowed to get away with. Have a friendship with your horse, yes, but he also needs to respect you. Is he halter broke? Work with walking him and such and when he invades your space, push him out. Praise him when he does the correct thing.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 01:02 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, I know yall are all going to crack up laughing at me Foal im sorry my spelling is not the best in the world haha so thanks for correcting me. I am BRAND NEW to horse ownership and it is hard to explain to you what his body language was let me see if I can rephrase this, A- I don't think I have some "Mystical" thing going on with this horse lol, just like any other living creature we all have different personalities and some mesh better with one than others. B- He wasnt pushing really, ok the best way I can explain it is like this I am in fact and AVID dog lover and owner lol and I can tell you that his actions with me tonight were much like a submissive dog maybe you can help better explain what this really means in the horse world but he basically was leaning himself up against me and "resting" his head and neck on my shoulder as I was SCRATCHING HIM ALLLL OVER his neck and the ranch had said he was closing his eyes like he really enjoyed it lol. When I say rebellious, he pulls away from everyone else and almost acts spooked, "particularly" men so we think he must have been hit abused or something along those lines before we got him. Even with me he will blink his eyes and jerk away abruptly when I put my had near his face, but once he realizes hes not been hit, he is just fine and acts like a happy puppy. Hope that description makes better sense?
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-19-2009, 11:21 AM
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Please don't forget that behavior in animals will differ. Saying he was acting much like a submissive dog....when I think of submissive dog, I think of a dog approaching the lead dog, wagging it's tail, then laying down infront of the lead dog. In no way from what you described would I say it was like a "submissive dog" I'm sure that if a low packed dog went to the pack leader and rested his head on his shoulder he'd probably get a nice bite in his side.

If what you described recently is what he's doing I just think that he has learned that if he places his neck on your shoulder he'll get good scratches, which he enjoys, but the main thing you want to be careful for is him just approaching you and doing it. I never let my horses into my space (even if they want scratches) until I invite them in. If they walk towards me without me asking, I'll simply say no and ask them to back up. Once they look at me with ears forward, and say where I asked them to stay (for like 2 seconds even) then I'll ask them to come in, and they are licking and chewing showing me that they understand.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-20-2009, 02:26 AM Thread Starter
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Well, that makes sense to me! I realize you don't want them to have free reign as it can be very dangerous and we sure don't want that. I am learning a little bit at a time, I can promise you I won't be saddling him up first thing tomorrow but at some point after hes been broken I would like to give him a shot and see how he acts with me riding him. I do like what you said about them not coming into your territory and respecting your space because if the get use to not respecting your space a larger version of that same foal (lol thanks for the corrections ealier on my spelling) has just turned into a very territorial and dangerous animal. So, again I completely understand and greatly appreciate the advice. Right now I feel he has as I said before been abused so any telling him "NO" or "STAY" isn't the best for him as he is skiddish and jerks away from you and squints his eyes as if he is bracing for the hit which is very sad someone would hit a horse but there are some very sorry people in the world, training purposes I can understand but never hitting them in the face I think that's just terrible!
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