Horse Body Language
   

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Horse Body Language

This is a discussion on Horse Body Language within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Horse body language licking and chewing
  • Recognize horse body language

 
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    11-02-2008, 07:27 PM
  #1
Trained
Horse Body Language

So this afternoon, I was working with my 5yr old -- teaching her to trailer. I did get her two front feet in and she was quite content -- actually I had a hard time backing her out because she was so interested in the trailer

However, the only reason I got her front feet in, IMO, was because at some point I recognized that she needed to be told, "OK, now come in" firmly at which point, she did just that without a hitch. But, what told me that? I'm still pondering... some things I can name that told me when she was nervous, for example, but some things I just seem to have just known -- without really being able to put my finger on.

What kind of clues do you all see and recognize?

My girls --
Paw when they want to but are scared too
Suck back their lower lip when scared
One kicks up with her back leg when frustrated
Their pockets above their eyes get deeper when nervous

-- see what I mean? These are all negative reactions, so where did I see the confidence in my girl today when working her? Purely a lack of negative signs? I don't think so, but what?
     
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    11-02-2008, 07:54 PM
  #2
Weanling
Call it intuition?

My boy will stamp his left front when grooming if he doesn't feel like working, he'll nip when he's in a bad mood, he likes to move stiffly when I go to get him in the stall to get him ready. All of these pretty much signal that the ride or day with him isn't going to be peachy.

But on the other hand, there are days when we just click together so well, and I can tell when I first go into the stall, really.

I don't even know if I answered your question..but yeah.

(:
     
    11-02-2008, 08:15 PM
  #3
Showing
If you have been around horses for a while, I wouldn't be surprised you understand horses more than you think. You have come to learn what is normal and what isn't normal behavior for that particular horse, so you know when to push and when not to push her.

Teaching horses to trailer is probably the thing I despise the most. It's not complicated but with the trouble makers, it can sometimes just take sooo long to teach.

Congrats on your ability to train your horse. You should be proud of yourself :)
     
    11-02-2008, 09:10 PM
  #4
Trained
M2G -- I know what you mean about just knowing. I sure would like to be able to pick out what I'm seeing though. It would help with learning to see more things and with other horses maybe too.

Funny -- I don't mind training for the trailer at all. But, especially this time of year, I don't expect to need it anytime soon, so I can take all the time in the world. And I have the world's smallest, darkest trailer. If I can get a horse in THAT, I can get a horse in anything! :)

Do we all react based on the negative body language we get when training? Does anyone get positive body language? Or is positive stuff the lack of negative?
     
    11-02-2008, 09:12 PM
  #5
Weanling
One positive thing I recognize with my horse is when he's in a good mood, he'll come over and put his head against me and nuzzle me. (: He also has his ears perked in a different way. Usually, though, I just sort of know for some reason...
     
    11-02-2008, 09:17 PM
  #6
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by northernmama    
M2G -- I know what you mean about just knowing. I sure would like to be able to pick out what I'm seeing though. It would help with learning to see more things and with other horses maybe too.

Funny -- I don't mind training for the trailer at all. But, especially this time of year, I don't expect to need it anytime soon, so I can take all the time in the world. And I have the world's smallest, darkest trailer. If I can get a horse in THAT, I can get a horse in anything! :)

Do we all react based on the negative body language we get when training? Does anyone get positive body language? Or is positive stuff the lack of negative?
You can and you will. It's something that comes with time :)
     
    11-02-2008, 09:46 PM
  #7
Started
The only thing I can really point out with my horse is that when he is really nervous he will snort and kinda blow..its like an audible exhale. Also when he is really relaxed and calm he will blink slow...like close his eyes and it will take a second before he opens it again.
     
    11-03-2008, 06:46 AM
  #8
Weanling
Licking and wagging!

Those are the two best cue I get from any of mine when I am teaching. Of course you may get resistance from anything new you introduce.. But I look for that licking they do after accepting what I ask of them, and going over it again I will get that fast wag of the tail, letting me know "yes, yes, I got it, I know!"

Those are my big signs I go for!
     
    11-03-2008, 08:55 AM
  #9
Showing
I think if you spend day after day with them for years and you don't pick up some horsey language? Your not listening
I'm getting so I know when Vida has to pee when we are walking down the trail
     
    11-03-2008, 10:28 AM
  #10
Foal
I know with my mare, when she is upset or nervous about something, she gets real stiff in the neck and when she is fine with something she is relaxed. With my gelding he is harder to read, because he is so layed back by the time you realize that he's going to react, he already has. He is so quick in his reaction time also, I have tried watching his ears etc... but still can't get a clue. On the other hand though, when I am working him from the ground, its his licking and chewing action that tells me he is willing to do what I ask.
     

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